Canucks looking at trading Troy Stecher before Monday’s deadline: report

Feb 20 2020, 11:10 pm

The Vancouver Canucks have already made a splash ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline on Monday, but they may not be done yet.

There have been plenty of rumours circling around town, but one that is gaining a lot of traction over the last 48 hours suggests the Canucks may be looking to trade defenceman Troy Stecher, who will be a restricted free agent after this season.

On Thursday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman both confirmed those rumours.

“There’s been a lot of trade talk emanating out of Vancouver about Troy Stecher,” McKenzie said on ‘Insider Trading.’

“I think the Stecher thing is definitely true,” Friedman said on ‘The Program.’ “Last year with Ben Hutton, Vancouver was uncomfortable with what it would take to qualify him, so they lost him. I think that they are a little bit concerned about that with Stecher, and I do think that that is a factor. I do think that Stecher is available.”

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With the Canucks all-in on the goal of making the playoffs, trading Stecher doesn’t make a whole lot of sense unless they believe a prospect like Brogan Rafferty could adequately fill his spot, or they acquire another defenceman.

Friedman suggested the latter may be possible, mentioning Toronto’s Tyson Barrie and New Jersey’s Damon Severson as two players Vancouver may have looked into. “I do think [the Canucks] are looking around to change their mix.”

Trading Stecher would be a tough pill to swallow. Young right-handed defencemen are hard to find, and he’s been a steady presence in the team’s top-four on a pair with Alex Edler. He’s also a local kid and fan favourite.

But the harsh reality is the Canucks are going to have to make some tough decisions due to their salary cap constraints.

In addition to Stecher, the Canucks’ list of players with expiring contracts includes Chris Tanev, Jacob Markstrom, Jake Virtanen, Adam Gaudette, Tyler Motte, and now Tyler Toffoli.

They simply can’t afford to bring everybody back.