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Rumor mill: Elias Pettersson and the Canucks are frustrated
Credit: Capture d'écran / Screenshot
With the NHL trade deadline (March 8) fast approaching, rumour season is in full swing across the Bettman circuit.

Here’s what’s grabbing the league’s attention right now:

Frustration between Elias Pettersson and the Canucks

Since the start of the season, the Vancouver Canucks have surprised just about everyone. The club leads the league in points this season (82), and is truly one of the great stories in the NHL in 2023-24.

A (good) part of this success can be attributed to the big season of Elias Pettersson, the Canucks’ star center. With 74 points in 60 games, Pettersson is playing like one of the best players in the league.

That said, it’s important to remember that his contract expires at the end of the current season… and even though he’ll be a restricted free agent, Pettersson’s future in Vancouver seems unclear.

The club doesn’t want to trade him, but teams are calling.

Yet, according to Rick Dhaliwal, who covers the Canucks’ activities, the team is getting no indication that Pettersson wants to stay in town, to the point where there is frustration between the two clans.

He doesn’t know if Pettersson wants to leave… but he’s not as sure as he used to be that the forward will sign a new contract in Vancouver.

Obviously, it would be a disaster for the Canucks to lose him, but if Pettersson were to become available for a trade (possibly more this summer, when the Canucks could negotiate his signing rights), expect it to be a long line. A guy like Pettersson is worth a lot of money, and teams are going to take their chances.

At 25, he’d be a target for any team… and I hope Kent Hughes will at least give the Canucks a call.

We have an idea of the price to pay to get Vladimir Tarasenko out of Ottawa

Once again this year, the Senators’ season isn’t going very well, to the point where the club is likely to be sold by March 8.

This means that a guy like Vladimir Tarasenko, with only a one-year contract in his pocket, becomes a great bargaining chip.

And according to Bruce Garrioch, who covers the Sens, the club is reportedly asking for a second-round pick and a prospect to trade the Russian forward.

It should be noted that the price would be higher if the Senators were to withhold part of Tarasenko’s salary. And with a cap hit of $5 million, it’s safe to assume that the teams that have him in their sights will need the Senators’ help at this level.

But clearly, that’s not stopping teams from monitoring the situation. The SNY network is talking about a possible return to the Rangers, but in any case, scouts are flocking to Senators games.

No fewer than 24 scouts for 21 different teams watched tonight’s Sens game. Tarasenko must have been a spied player, as was Jakob Chychrun… and Brady Tkachuk?

Jake Guentzel: Red Wings, a complicated fit

The Pittsburgh Penguins are having a tough season, so like the Senators, we shouldn’t be surprised to see them being sold.

It could be a good way to take a step back and give the Crosby-Malkin-Letang (and Erik Karlsson) core a chance to win the Stanley Cup next year.

The big question is whether Jake Guentzel, whose contract expires at the end of the season, will leave. He is currently injured, but should return in a few weeks.

His market seems rather peculiar, but according to Elliotte Friedman, some people see the Red Wings as a fit.

The problem, however, is that they’ll probably have to give him a long-term contract extension, and Steve Yzerman isn’t a fan of giving long contracts to veterans.

The Red Wings are in the thick of the playoff race in the East, and a guy like Guentzel could be a big help to a forward core that’s already building on some great resources.

But Steve Yzerman will have to think about deviating from his principles (unless he simply picks him up as a rental player).

In bursts

– Another name to watch at the trade deadline.

– Ahead of Mike Matheson? Really?

– I laughed. It’s obviously arranged.

– Well done Hendrix Lapierre.

– Great moment for the youngster.

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