Friedman wonders if Canucks will chase high-end UFA

Jim Benning may not be terribly active before the trade deadline, but this summer he might be tempted to try to land a big fish in free agency.

Elliotte Friedman had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650.

As part of a longer conversation on the Canucks, the Insider pondered what might be on the horizon for the franchise in the off-season.

“I am really curious to see a few months from now do the Canucks take a big swing in free agency,” said Friedman. “I think it’s something that they could be considering.

“Whatever happens, they had a better year this year probably in terms of staying in the race than a lot of us expected. And I know it’s a big tortoise race at the bottom of that Western Conference. But they’ve probably been more competitive than I think a lot of us thought.

“So now all of the sudden you’ve got Pettersson and he looks like he’s a franchise player. You’ve got a really improving Horvat. I think you’re wondering now what you’ve got in Markstrom. You’re looking at this run and saying, ‘What does this mean.’

“But I wonder if they’re going to be tempted to take a swing at one of the top free agents out there. I’m really curious about it. I’m not saying that anyone there has told me that, but I kind of wonder if the wheels are turning about going after a big fish this summer.

“And if that’s the case, you probably have to be very careful in what you do.”