With Vancouver still not having yet decided whether or not to sign top pick Quinn Hughes for next season, Postmedia’s Jason Botchford suggests there is some pressure on the Canucks to clear up their logjam on the back end to help pave a path for the youngster to play in the NHL in 2018-19. However, he points out that their trade options are limited due to no-trade clauses, players underachieving last season, or inflated contracts. Their best trade chip may be Troy Stecher but dealing him opens up a hole on the right side while Hughes is a left-shot player. Accordingly, someone like Derrick Pouliot (who is on an affordable $1.1MM deal) could be the most realistic trade option they have although the return for him likely wouldn’t be particularly substantial.
Elsewhere around the league:
- The Maple Leafs and winger Andreas Johnsson did discuss a multi-year deal before Johnsson ultimately decided to take his qualifying offer, notes James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required). However, given the lack of comparable players for someone who has some promise but just nine regular season NHL games under his belt, they weren’t able to settle on something that made sense for both sides. Johnsson is playing under a two-way deal once again next season but considering that he’s a lock to be claimed off waivers if Toronto tried to send him down, that provision in his contract is merely just a formality.
- After getting Mathew Dumba locked up earlier today, Minnesota is now shifting their focus to their other arbitration-eligible restricted free agent in winger Jason Zucker. On a conference call, Wild GM Paul Fenton told reporters, including Sarah McLellan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twitter link) that they had several discussions with his camp this week and remain hopeful that they can get a new deal done before his hearing next weekend. Zucker is coming off of a 64-point season and is projected to receive a significant raise on the $2MM he received in each of the last two seasons.