Friedman sees trade conundrum facing Canucks

If you were Jim Benning, how would you handle the next two months leading into the trade deadline?

The Vancouver Canucks have collected 13 of a possible 16 points in their last eight games, and continued success could pose an interesting quandary for the team’s general manager when it comes to asset management moving forward.

“I think that the smart play is to continue to get prospects,” considered Elliotte Friedman when asked during a Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 what he might do in Benning’s shoes. “But they’re trying to sell tickets.

“One thing that Benning and Green have talked about was you want to keep the veteran D like Tanev and Edler because people need veterans around to learn how to play and to shield them until they’re 100 percent ready and to play defense.

“They won again last night, and they looked pretty good in doing it. I don’t think they’re a playoff team this year, but with Tanev and Edler there... they’re a very different team. And with Beagle there and Roussel, and they don’t have Sutter and Baertschi back yet. But at least guys are where they’re supposed to be.

“Plus they have those tremendous - Petterson is such a difference-maker, Horvat is such a difference-maker, and Boeser is coming on - he’s a difference-maker too.

“So I look at them, but I think if you’re the organization and you’re trying to sell tickets and they’re having trouble filling their building a bit sometimes. I’m looking at it and I could see how you’d be saying, ‘Boy, if we trade those two guys, we’re not going to be as good.’ And when you trade guys like that, you know what you start saying? ‘Boy, we could really use a guy like that.’

“I see the conundrum there for those guys, I really do.

“And don’t forget Edler, who’s a free agent this year, has never shown any inclination to leaving Vancouver. He’s never wanted to do it. So I think that’s going to be interesting.”

Edler is in the final season of a six-year, $30 million contract, which contains that no-trade clause.

Tanev has this season and next remaining on his five-year pact, which carries a $4.45 million cap hit and has a modified no-trade clause through which he can nix eight potential locales.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly