Surprising Canucks Trade Rumor Met With Skepticism

The Vancouver Canucks, tied for the best record in the NHL, are rumored to be ready to make a big move at the trade deadline to fortify for an all-out bid to go for it this season. But one surprising—even shocking—rumor making the rounds this week is that they'd be willing to trade recently acquired defenseman Nikita Zadorov. It originated after the hulking blueliner was benched for the entire third period in a game one week ago against the St. Louis Blues.

The Canucks do need to clear cap space in order to acquire any impact trade target they have their eyes on, and Zadorov does have a $3.75 million cap hit. The fact that he's also an impending unrestricted free agent only feeds fuel to the fire. 

However, this rumor is already being met with skepticism by Canucks followers.

Insider Rick Dhaliwal said on his podcast, "(The talk) is out there.. Are teams calling on Zadorov? Yes, teams are calling on Zadorov. Are the Canucks going to move him?... That's the great unknown... They would be crazy to tinker with this blueline. It's got the size and the grit you need heading into the playoffs."

Insider Craig Button agrees that the Canucks should not be considering trading Zadorov under any circumstances.

(GM) Patrik Allvin wanted to strengthen the defence group and I think he did that with Zadorov. I’ll be straightforward here: I don’t care if Nikita Zadorov walks at the end of the year. I don’t care if the Vancouver Canucks have no interest in re-signing him—I am not trading him unless I am going to get a ransom in return that is going to help my team...  
If the Vancouver Canucks made a decision that we're not going to re-sign him, no big deal! But I’m not trading this player. I’m keeping him. I want him as a part of my group! 

Incidentally, the 6'6" behemoth D-man followed up that benching by handing out a season-high five hits in the Canucks' last game before the All-Star break, a 5-4 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

 Photo: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports