NHL Rumors: Ivan Barbashev To West Coast Team Picking Up Steam

The Vancouver Canucks are actively pursuing forward Ivan Barbashev, a pending unrestricted free agent who has emerged as a top target for the team.

Barbashev, known for his valuable on-ice contributions and recent Stanley Cup victory with the Vegas Golden Knights, presents a good opportunity in a relatively weak free agent class.

After being traded from the St. Louis Blues to the Golden Knights, Barbashev seamlessly integrated into his new team's lineup, showcasing his skills and amassing 34 points in a combined total of 45 regular-season and playoff games.

His increased ice time solidified his position as a prime top-six winger in his playing prime.

Barbashev's strong performance during the previous season only adds to his breakout 60-point campaign with the Blues in 2021-22, establishing him as a formidable offensive threat.

With his reputation cemented, the Canucks have set their sights on securing his services, demonstrating their commitment to bolstering their roster with top-tier talent.

However, the Canucks face the challenge of creating cap space to accommodate Barbashev's expected lucrative long-term contract in free agency.

They may need to make trades or buyouts to align their salary cap with the addition of Barbashev. The team's pursuit of Barbashev signifies their desire to enhance their third-line center position and strengthen their overall roster.

As negotiations unfold, it remains to be seen if the Canucks can successfully clear enough cap space and secure Ivan Barbashev's signing in the highly competitive free agency market. Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports