With the team in a tailspin, speculation has begun regarding the Vancouver Canucks.
With a record of 6-10-0 and having lost five games in a row, changes will need to be made if the Canucks don’t turn it around quick. Vancouver’s play may be even worse than their record indicates, as the team ranks last in shots allowed (34.7) and second-last in goals-against average (3.94).
Sure does sound like these next four games against the Flames is going to decide a lot for the #Canucks. Whether that be on the ice or off the ice. Important next week for this team.
— Irfaan Gaffar (@irfgaffar) February 10, 2021
Fans and media have begun to wonder about the job security of general manager Jim Benning, and head coach Travis Green, but perhaps a trade will be made sooner than either one of those options.
According to a report from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Canucks might be willing to move Adam Gaudette and/or Jake Virtanen.
The Nashville Predators are interested in Gaudette, according to Friedman, who added that the Boston Bruins were “checking out” Jake Virtanen but he’s “not sure where that stands.” The San Jose Sharks “poked around during the off-season” on Virtanen too, Friedman adds.
“I mean, there’s not much to deal with right now,” Gaudette told reporters following Wednesday’s practice, answering a question about the trade rumour. “I’m here playing for Vancouver, and this is my team right now, and I want to help this team win as much as I can. We all have a common goal here and I’m playing for this team right now.”
The Predators have also not had a strong start to their season, going 5-8-0 in their first 13 games. With Ryan Johansen, Matt Duchene, and Colton Sissons, the Preds are relatively deep at centre already, though Gaudette can play the wing. Nashville has struggled offensively though, scoring just 2.31 goals per game, which is the fifth-lowest mark in the league this season. The Predators are also the eighth-oldest team in the league, so acquiring Gaudette, who is only 24, may be attractive.
The Canucks, meanwhile, could use an upgrade on defence or a two-way forward — likely at a similar salary to Gaudette, who is set to earn $950,000 this season.
Both Gaudette and Virtanen have been healthy scratches on multiple occasions this season, and each player has struggled to produce offensively. Playing 12 games each, Gaudette has just two points, while Virtanen has only one.
Playing primarily on third and fourth lines, Gaudette is averaging just 9:30 of ice time per game, while Virtanen has played an average of 12:13.
The season has been especially disappointing for both players, given they each had breakout years in 2019-20 — Gaudette with 33 points in 59 games, and Virtanen with 36 points in 69 games.