NHL

Canucks view themselves as buyers as trade deadline nears

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TSN.ca Staff
2/25/2009 11:30:24 AM
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With an 8-2 record in the month of February, and sitting fifth in the Western Conference standings - just three points ahead of the ninth place Anaheim Ducks - the Vancouver Canucks view themselves as a buyer as the NHL trade deadline approaches.

They have approximately $2.5 million of space remaining under the cap which, pro-rated over a whole season, will not be an issue if the club is looking to acquire a front-line rental player.

The team's biggest need at this point seems to be a puck-moving defenceman; somebody who can potentially anchor the power play. But a number of teams around the league are looking for that type of player and there are very few of them available.

The Canucks had also been in the market for a top-six forward but, given the play of Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows since moving up to the top two lines, that may not be as pressing a need. But by moving those two players up, the third line has become significantly weaker, so a depth-type of checking player may be someone the Canucks are looking for.

So, who might Vancouver be willing to part with?

Although he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, it is highly unlikely that defenceman Mattias Ohlund will be moved, given the number of minutes he eats up along the blueline.

A player who might see some action is winger Mason Raymond. Projected to be a top-six forward coming into this season, the speedy Raymond has struggled of late and has been in and out of the Canucks' lineup in the month of February.

The team has all of its draft picks in play with the exception of a third round pick this year and a second round pick next year, but given the small window the team has with this season's roster, the Canucks will not be looking to move a first round draft pick.

Files from TSN Reporter Farhan Lalji were used in this report.

Zimmerman and Gillis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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