More trade speculation about the Canucks, former Leaf Leo Komarov willing to return to Toronto, and Wings GM Ken Holland expects to talk trade at the upcoming NHL scouting combine.
VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Jim Jamieson and Ben Kuzma the “deep six questions” facing the Canucks this summer. Among them is what to do with Ryan Kesler, whose list of six preferred trade destinations could expand by the NHL Draft weekend, especially if the Canucks haven’t hired a new coach by then. Kuzma notes Kesler is a big part of getting the Canucks back into the playoffs, but he’s also their biggest trade chip.
The Canucks must also find a scorer to play alongside the Sedin Twins, plus improve their bottom-six forwards, which could be done via free agency. Defensemen Alex Edler and Jason Garrison could become trade candidates, though their struggles this season could hurt their trade value.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks should rebuild but it appears they want to tweak things and push for the playoffs next season. How they’ll do depends on what moves new GM Jim Benning makes and which players (Kesler? Edler? Garrison?) are involved. If they get a terrific offer for Kesler they really should consider it.
NATIONAL POST’s Michael Traikos reports via Twitter: “Leo Komarov’s agent is in T.O. for draft combine. Says client will play in NHL and looking for long-term deal. Leafs still No 1 choice.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As long as he’s not seeking a ridiculous salary the Leafs should seriously pursue signing Komarov. Remains to be seen, of course, if they do so. GM Dave Nonis could’ve avoided this nonsense by re-signing Komarov last summer while passing on paying crazy-stupid money for David Clarkson.
MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan reports Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland expects to talk trade with his fellow GMs at the upcoming NHL Scouting Combine in Toronto.