A shaky start to this season raised speculation last week that the Vancouver Canucks might make a trade to shake things up. They subsequently acquired center Jack Studnicka from the Boston Bruins and defenseman Ethan Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes.
Other moves, however, could be in the offing if they don't turn things around soon.
The Canucks' struggles raised questions over Bruce Boudreau's future as their head coach. However, on Saturday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported that Canucks management had spoken with several players, making it clear that any potential changes could involve the roster rather than the coaching staff.
Friedman said that message seems to have been received by those players. After going winless (0-5-2) through their first seven games, the Canucks enter this week having picked up their first two wins of the season.
The Canucks still have plenty of time to get back into the playoff chase in the Western Conference. Nevertheless, another lengthy losing skid could force management to reevaluate the roster and perhaps become sellers by the March 3 trade deadline.
Captain Bo Horvat could become their biggest trade chip given his eligibility for unrestricted free agent status at season's end. Cap Friendly shows the 27-year-old center is in the final season of a six-year contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million. He also lacks no-trade protection.
The re-signing of J.T. Miller last month put the focus on Horvat's future in Vancouver. There were expectations he might be signed before the season began. However, the Toronto Star's Nick Kypreos reported hearing the Canucks captain rejected a low-ball offer that wasn't close to what other comparable centers are earning.