With the Stanley Cup Playoffs over and the NHL draft not far off, there are lots of emerging NHL rumours. Teams are looking at how they can acquire assets for a rebuild, or get great players to help their playoff chances. One such rumour involves the Vancouver Canucks being interested in adding a top-four defender this off-season. This could include UFA Brett Kulak, or acquiring a player like John Marino or Ethan Bear via trade.
Vancouver Canucks Defenceman Trade Rumours
Rumour: According to Thomas Drance and Harman Dayal of The Athletic, the Vancouver Canucks will be looking at adding a top-four defenceman this off-season. They mention UFA Brett Kulak by name and suggest a John Marino or Ethan Bear trade as a possibility.
Analysis: The Canucks really do need help on defence, so adding a top-four defender makes sense. It’s suggested that if the Pittsburgh Penguins re-sign Kris Letang, perhaps the Canucks take a run at acquiring Marino, a player they’ve shown interest for in the past. Marino has been an excellent defensive player throughout his career and could add some much-needed reliability to the Vancouver back-end. It would be tough to pry away Marino from the Penguins, as he’s a good player on a cost-controlled contract until 2027. However, if Vancouver was willing to give up the assets for him he’s a player that makes perfect sense.
If the Canucks want to give up less in terms of assets, perhaps an Ethan Bear trade is more appropriate. Bear has been reported to be on the trade block. This is despite being effective in a number of different ways in the past three seasons. He may not provide the same quality impact as a Marino-type player, but he’s still an effective player. He’d be an RFA the Canucks need to deal with, but they could likely get him at an inexpensive contract.
Finally, should the Canucks not want to give up any assets, Drance and Dayal suggest Brett Kulak. Kulak is a UFA and would just cost cap space. He is older than the previously mentioned options, but he is still a very effective player. While he likely wouldn’t be “part of the future” for the Canucks, he’d help them a lot in the short term. He’s a great defensive player still and would be able to alleviate some of the pressure put on Quinn Hughes.
Embed from Getty Images