Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton had a nice bounce-back season in 2018-19. After spending a lot of time as a healthy scratch the year before, he was viewed as a potential trade candidate heading into the season. Instead, he played a key role on Vancouver’s back end, logging over 22 minutes a night, the second-most on the team. He played well enough that he may have wound up making himself a trade candidate this summer, suggests Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston.
After looking like a possible non-tender option last summer, Hutton is a safe bet to receive his $2.4MM qualifying offer. (While he received $2.8MM in salary last season, $400K of that was a signing bonus which isn’t factored into a qualifying offer.) Johnston notes that Quinn Hughes will be a regular next season while the team intends to bring back Alex Edler. Prospect Olli Juolevi also figures to be in the mix in the near future which gives the Canucks solid depth on the left side and potentially makes Hutton expendable in the coming months.
More from the West:
- Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers left Thursday’s Game Five late in the third period after blocking a point shot and he did not take part in today’s gameday skate, notes Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun (Twitter link). While head coach Paul Maurice expressed some optimism that Ehlers would be available to play, Par Lindholm is expected to take the warmup in case Ehlers can’t suit up. While Ehlers has yet to score in 20 career postseason contests, he still deepens Winnipeg’s attack and gives them another scoring threat after putting up his third straight 20-goal season.
- Sharks winger Micheal Haley has resumed skating, reports NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika (Twitter link). However, he did so without his full equipment which suggests he’s still a little while from returning. Haley sustained an ankle injury in the third game of their first-round series against Vegas and while he was held off the scoresheet, he contributed physically with eight hits in those three contests despite averaging just over six minutes a night of playing time.