Latest Canucks and Stars Speculation – April 3, 2018
A look at a couple of short-term replacements for the Sedins plus more offseason speculation for the Dallas Stars in your NHL rumor mill.
VANEK, BOZAK POSSIBLE SEDIN REPLACEMENTS?
THE PROVINCE: Prior to the Sedin twins announcing their intent to retire at the end of this season, Ben Kuzma wondered if the Vancouver Canucks should consider bringing back Thomas Vanek if the Sedins decide to it a careers. He noted how Vanek, in his brief stay with the Canucks this season, was an effective scorer in Vancouver, becoming a mentor for rookie star Brock Boeser and acting as an assistant coach on the bench. Kuzma said the 34-year-old winger enjoyed his time in Vancouver and would consider returning on a one-year contract with a no-trade clause.
Tyler Bozak is a player I have been told the #Canucks could have interest in if he is available on July 1st.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) April 2, 2018
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Canucks bring back Vanek and pursue Bozak they will be short-term replacements for the Sedins on Vancouver’s second line. Critics of Canucks management could scoff at this idea, preferring the club build solely with young players. However, the development of their promising talent could benefit from the presence of a couple of veteran leaders who can still contribute as depth players and take some pressure off the youngsters. If Vanek and Bozak are willing to accept affordable one- or two-year deals, perhaps the Canucks will pursue them this summer.
POSSIBLE KEYS TO THE STARS’ OFFSEASON
ESPN.COM: Emily Kaplan suggests making prudent signings, locking up Tyler Seguin to a contract extension and addressing the leadership as the three keys facing the Dallas Stars in the offseason. She considers it unlikely the Stars will bring back pending UFAs Dan Hamhuis and Kari Lehtonen. She notes they need secondary scoring and wonders if general manager Jim Nill will pursue San Jose’s Evander Kane or Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk via free agency.
Seguin is eligible in 2019 for unrestricted free agent status and could wait for New York Islanders center John Tavares to set the market this summer. Kaplan feels “it would be wise for the Stars to commit to the one player who has consistently performed.”
Kaplan doesn’t expect head coach Ken Hitchcock to be replaced after just one season. However, there are some questions over the leadership of captain Jamie Benn.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kaplan also points out Nill has demonstrated he isn’t afraid to make bold moves. I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes shopping this summer for secondary scoring via trades or free agency. However, he’ll face some scrutiny after a couple of last summer’s big signings (Ben Bishop, Martin Hanzal) were hampered by injuries this season.
It’ll be interesting to see if they attempt to re-sign Seguin on July 1. Given his consistency (five consecutive 70-plus point seasons), he’ll be in line for a substantial raise. As per Cap Friendly, Benn is the highest-paid Star, earning $9.5-million annually on an eight-year deal that runs through 2024-25. Are the Stars willing to exceed that to keep Seguin in the fold? They might not have much choice.