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Canucks’ Benning on trades: Teams ‘ask about our defensemen’

Chris Nichols



(Derek Cain/Icon Sportswire)

The Vancouver Canucks are still right in the thick of the playoff race, and general manager Jim Benning has options in terms of potentially trading a defenseman to add a forward if the right deal comes along.

“I think that’s the one area where we have some depth now,” agreed Benning when asked about the topic on Vancouver’s TSN 1040 Thursday morning. “With Olli Juolevi coming now too, I think we have some players now – I like our defense going forward. Troy Stetcher, for a first-year player, he’s been excellent this year.

“So if we decide we’re going to do something – teams, when they call us, they look at our depth on defense and they ask about our defensemen. So if we are going to make a move to try to improve up front, it would be maybe with one of our defensemen.”

Benning: Canucks ‘not trading any more picks going forward

Benning recently shared his philosophy that the Canucks do not want to deal any more draft picks.

He was asked Thursday morning if that perhaps limits him on the trade front, or if he’s potentially open to making adjustments if the right player becomes available.

“I talk to all of the GMs on a weekly basis,” said Benning. “We’re going to see what’s out there. If it makes sense for us in the long term… like, our short term plan when we took over here is we had to sacrifice some draft picks to try to add some good young talent to our group. We’ve done that with Sven Baertschi. Brandon Sutter, we had to include a pick to get him, but we thought he’s going to be a core forward moving forward.

“But I think now our philosophy has changed a little bit on that. We want to hold on to our picks because I have confidence we’re going to draft and develop our players well. We have enough good young talent, I believe, on our team now that we as we move forward we’ll just keep our picks and draft and develop the players we pick.”

Source: TSN 1040

For reference: Covering the Insiders

NHL Insiders. 17-year digital media hockey career includes a combined decade online with Sportsnet and ESPN.