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Canucks’ asking price for Chris Tanev is reportedly ‘very high’

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After dealing veterans Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen at the deadline, and finally declaring a rebuild in Vancouver, the Canucks still have another valuable trade chip they can utilize, with the expansion and entry drafts quickly approaching.

That would be defenseman Chris Tanev.

His future with the team is a hot topic of discussion in that market, especially as the Canucks look to get younger, stockpile prospects and gather additional draft picks for the future.

The 27-year-old Tanev is entering the third year of a five-year, $22.25 million contract that also has a modified no-trade clause about to kick in on July 1.

Those teams seeking a defenseman capable of impressive bottom-line offensive numbers aren’t likely to get that from Tanev. He’s never registered more than 20 points in a single season. But a reliable shutdown presence in his own end — lauded for his shot suppression abilities — is a reputation he’s garnered for a few years now and that may be an attractive quality for teams looking to shore up that aspect of their game.

Tanev also isn’t getting any younger, and he’s never played a full regular season schedule. Injuries have played a part, particularly this past season when he was held to just 53 games. There may not be many more opportunities after this for the Canucks to get the maximum return on this specific player in a trade.

From Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet during Saturday’s Game 3:

“The one thing I’ve heard is other GMs who say they’ve reached out to Vancouver have been told that this is no guarantee. And if Chris Tanev is going anywhere, the price is going to be very high for him. He’s got three more years under contract. He’s a good player at a good price. I don’t think Vancouver is looking to do this unless it’s a great deal.”

There has been trade speculation involving both Tanev and fellow Vancouver blue liner Alex Edler for quite some time now. Edler is now 31 years old and has two years left on his deal, at an annual cap hit of $5 million. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, but he also has a no-trade clause in his current contract.

There is also an argument to be made for the Canucks not trading Tanev. His absence would, in the club’s immediate future, leave quite a hole on the right side of their blue line, and Vancouver is already coming off back-to-back terrible seasons in the standings with few bright spots.

“It’s hard to find good defencemen, especially defencemen who are mobile and move the puck,” Canucks GM Jim Benning recently told Postmedia. “Unless it would make sense for our future, I’m not trading Chris. He means so much to our team.”

Canucks name new head coach of AHL affiliate

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The Vancouver Canucks have finally settled on a head coach for their AHL affiliate.

Today, Trent Cull was named new bench boss of the Utica Comets.

Cull replaces Travis Green, the new head coach of the Canucks.

“Trent is a passionate head coach with significant AHL experience,” Canucks GM Jim Benning said in a release. “He understands the development path of a young player, including the challenges they face, and has been a part of many successful organizations. Trent is a teacher with a positive, energetic work ethic. We’re excited to welcome him and his family to our organization.”

The past four seasons, Cull has been an assistant coach for AHL Syracuse. The Crunch made it all the way to the 2017 Calder Cup Final, where they lost to Grand Rapids.

Cull, 43, has never been a head coach in the AHL, though he did hold that role for three years with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves from 2010-13.

It’s believed the Canucks’ first choice for the Utica job was Rocky Thompson. However, Thompson chose instead to become head coach of Vegas’ AHL affiliate in Chicago.

Construction worker dies after fall at Detroit arena

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DETROIT (AP) A worker has died after falling 75 feet at the Little Caesars Arena worksite north of downtown Detroit.

Deputy Detroit Fire Commissioner David Fornell says the 46-year-old man was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived about 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Other workers had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation which first responders continued. The man was taken to a Detroit hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Fornell says officials were told the man was an electrical worker and may have fallen from a catwalk. He says the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration likely will investigate.

The arena will be home to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and the NBA’s Pistons. It is scheduled to open this fall.

More on the story from the Detroit Free Press

Habs extend De La Rose — one year, $725,000

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Montreal secured some forward depth on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with Jacob De La Rose.

De La Rose, 22, was taken 34th overall at the 2013 draft and has appeared in 64 games for Montreal over the last three seasons. He had a nice debut for the club in ’14-15 — appearing in 33 regular-season contests, and 12 playoff games — but has since spent the majority of his time in AHL St. John’s.

That might not be the case moving forward, however.

De La Rose’s deal is worth $725,000 (per TSN) and, importantly, is of the one-way variety. There could be more opportunities at forward next season. Montreal has already said it’ll pass on bringing back UFAs Brian Flynn and Dwight King, and it’s unclear if the club will get a deal done with Alexander Radulov.

It’s also unclear what GM Marc Bergevin plans to do with Alex Galchenyuk, who’s been the subject of numerous trade rumors.

Even after bad season in Buffalo, Kulikov generating strong interest as UFA

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Dmitry Kulikov had a bad season in Buffalo. There’s no debating that.

Not only did the defenseman struggle statistically, finishing minus-26 with just two goals and three assists, he also had trouble staying healthy, appearing in just 47 games for the Sabres.

But despite all that, Kulikov seems to be generating plenty of interest as an unrestricted free agent. Presumably, the hope among his many suitors is that he can bounce back, so long as he’s put in a better situation.

Kulikov is still just 26. And before he was traded to Buffalo a year ago, he’d had a number of respectable seasons with the Florida Panthers.

It’s why the Sabres were so happy to get him.

“He’s a good player,” then-GM Tim Murray said last June, per NHL.com. “I like guys that are honest, I like guys that are hard to play against, I certainly like guys that can make a tape-to-tape pass, and with our forwards, I think if he can make a tape-to-tape pass, good things are going to happen in transition with the skill and speed we already have here, so he’s just a great fit.”

Of course, it wasn’t a great fit, and Murray is no longer the GM.

As for Kulikov, there’s “about a dozen” interested teams, according to his agent. Ottawa and Winnipeg are believed to be among them.