Dismal Vancouver Canucks mired in trade rumours
Vancouver Canucks' General Manager Mike Gillis (left) and Head Coach John Tortorella (right) speak to the media during the Main Training Camp at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday September 11, 2013. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
At the moment, this city is on trade watch.
Much has happened over the past week for the Vancouver Canucks — with the Heritage Classic at BC Place on Sunday playing only a small part in the drama.
With Wednesday's trade deadline quickly approaching, rumours continue to circulate around three long-time members of this team.
Ryan Kesler's saga began last week when a report surfaced of him wanting out of Vancouver. The star forward and his agent have since denied it but that hasn't stopped the speculation on where he'll end up — still with the Canucks or on another team — come Wednesday.
The latest from TSN had the Pittsburgh Penguins claiming to do everything that they can to acquire Kesler, while other teams in the hunt for the two-way centre — who holds a no-trade clause and can ultimately decide where he wants to go — include the Detroit Red Wings, the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the New York Rangers, among others.
With one of the biggest potential prizes on the trade market this year at his disposal, expect Canucks general manager Mike Gillis to be busy working the phones.
Then there's Roberto Luongo. If it wasn't for the fact that head coach John Tortorella decided to bench him in favour of Eddie Lack for the Heritage Classic game — which riled up much of the team's fan base — and clearly "pissed" off the goalie, there most likely wouldn’t have been any Luongo trade talk.
But after what happened and the way he was treated, does he want out? And can you blame him after all he's had to go through with this organization over the past few seasons?
Of course, as we all know, moving Luongo and his contract isn't so easy. But there’s certainly some intrigue there now following the weekend drama.
Finally, Alex Edler — who also has a no-trade clause — is another the Canucks could be dangling. There have been many rumours surrounding the defenceman throughout the season. Vancouver will most likely look to get a top-six forward in return if they were to move the Swedish blueliner.
With Daniel Sedin reportedly out a minimum of three weeks — according to TVA sports reporter Renaud Lavoie — these are indeed dire times for the Canucks.
Having lost nine of their last 10 games, they are on the outside looking into a playoff spot, currently sitting 10th in the Western Conference prior to last night's schedule. Now they take to the road for two games, starting Tuesday against a Phoenix Coyotes squad who are one point behind them in the standings.
The Desert Dogs are struggling themselves, having lost four straight. But both teams will have much to play for.
"I'm not down," Tortorella said. "We're still in the middle of it. I know everybody talks about you need to do this, that and the other things to get in.
"We're going to keep working at it and find a way to scratch out one."