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February 10, 2014 | 11:28am ET
Canucks have serious decisions to make
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Canucks know injuries have plagued them this season, but after losing seven in-a-row heading into the Olympic break, plenty of questions surrounding this squad.

Vancouver currently sits two points out of the final playoff wild card spot and six points behind the Los Angeles Kings for third in the Pacific Division.

With 22 games left on the schedule, Canucks GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Province, "We're going to be all right," but many around the NHL are wondering if any big moves are on the horizon.

Gillis has been in the market for a top-line winger, and has been linked to the likes of New York Islanders left wing Thomas Vanek, Columbus Blue Jackets sniper Marian Gaborik and Buffalo Sabres left wing Matt Moulson, among others.

With some room under the salary cap, the Canucks' options may be limited and swapping one player with a long-term contract for another is something the team is considering.

Canucks ownership continues to state that they have full support of Gillis, though help is needed.

"It's pretty obvious that the coaching staff here has not done a good enough job teaching details of situational play," Canucks head coach John Tortorella told the Vancouver Sun. "Third period, wall play, underneath the puck -- we just have not done a good enough job (as coaches) because our guys are just not consistent enough. That's going to be a huge focus as we go through this break and get ready to play again."

Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler has been dangled as trade bait since the off-season, when Gillis tried to move him around the NHL Draft.

Edler, however, now has a no-trade clause and must approve any deal the team tries to make.

With a $5 million annual salary cap hit, Edler isn't a major financial burden and several teams have expressed an interest in acquiring him.

The Detroit Red Wings have been long linked to Edler, and whispers around the NHL suggest the two teams continue to discuss a deal that could also involved Wings veteran Johan Franzen.

Franzen, 34, is in year five or an 11-year, $43.5 million contract, and carries a $3.954 cap hit. While he's making $5 million in actual salary this season through the 2015-16 campaign, his salary drops to $3.5 million in 2016-17, $2 million in 2017-18 and $1 million in the last two years of his contract.

The Canucks have also received calls for forward Ryan Kesler, who also owns a no-trade clause, though such a bold move is considered to be very unlikely, especially during the season.


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