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Are Trades Coming Next for the Vancouver Canucks?

The Canucks are eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Overcoming that deficit remains a daunting challenge. What will the team do next?
J.T. Miller

Floundering near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, the Vancouver Canucks fired general manager Jim Benning and head coach Travis Green. Bruce Boudreau replaces Green on a two-year contract while Stan Smyl takes over for Benning on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found. 

Despite winning their first game under Boudreau on Monday, the Canucks are eight points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Overcoming that deficit remains a daunting challenge.

How this affects the roster for the remainder of the season remain to be seen. Core players J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and captain Bo Horvat were subjects of trade speculation since mid-November. Reports indicated Benning received calls about those players but wasn't shopping them. They're unlikely to be moved while management is in transition.

The Canucks were also linked to Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk. However, it's doubtful they'll make any significant additions until Benning's replacement has had sufficient time to evaluate the club's performance. 

The trade chatter about Miller, Boeser and Horvat should fade if the Canucks claw their way into playoff contention before the March trade deadline. Their new GM could be reluctant to upset team chemistry by that point.

However, the rumor mill could start buzzing again if the Canucks fail to show significant improvement. With Boeser a restricted free agent with arbitration rights and Miller and Horvat both a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility, they could become trade chips if Benning's replacement believes a rebuild is in order.

Don't expect them to start peddling younger stars such as Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre doesn't see them auctioning off young assets even if the next GM believes a rebuild is necessary. 

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