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Canucks Wrap: Kuzmenko Wine and Dine, NHL Trade is Made

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Vancouver Canucks, Andrei Kuzmenko
The Vancouver Canucks hope to sign Russian free agent forward Andrei Kuzmenko, shown here in action.

It won’t be too long I reckon before we find out how dinner went with the Vancouver Canucks and Russian free agent forward Andrei Kuzmenko during his visit to BC on Thursday. In fact, they’re probably wining and dining or preparing to as I write this.

Based on previous reports and on communications with Kuzmenko’s agent Dan Milstein, this will be the last Canadian stop on the team-shopping tour, before heading south to apparently speak with a couple (more) American clubs.

As it stands right now, the Vancouver Canucks have as good a chance as anyone in landing the 26-year-old winger. Oddly enough, despite some animosity often directed to the local media core from the fanbase, one of the things Kuzmenko was impressed with about Vancouver, according to Milstein during our conversation a few weeks ago, was the intense Vancouver Canucks hockey coverage in the city, including information on his career.

NHL Trade, Sort of

It is a trade, it goes down as such in the transactions, but the deal on Thursday between the Vegas Golden Knights and the Montreal Canadiens was mostly a salary cap manoeuvre.

The Habs traded the remaining contract of former captain Shea Weber, essentially a permanent resident of long-term-injured-reserve (LTIR), in exchange for active player Evgenii Dadonov, who still has a year remaining on his deal.

An earlier trade attempt in March to move Dadonov to the Anaheim Ducks and clear his cap space was invalidated by the NHL because it ignored the player’s limited no-trade clause. The Ducks were on his no-no list.

As for Thursday’s deal, there are cap benefits going both ways, but until or unless the cap antics begin for Vegas, I’m not overly concerned about diving into the financials. Plus I don’t have to, because Montreal Hockey Now’s Jimmy Murphy crushes the entire story for us anyway.

Cassidy Inspired

The Golden Knights new head coach Bruce Cassidy addressed the media and NHL.com summarized the thoughts on Thursday. Despite an impressive regular season winning percentage and six consecutive trips to the Stanley Cup Playoff, “Butch” was relieved of his duties by the Boston Bruins back on June 6th. He was hired by Vegas eight days later.

“This is not some sort of a revenge tour,” Cassidy told the league site. “I just want to prove to myself, more importantly, that I’m capable of doing the job and winning, winning in the postseason. So, there’s a little bit of that.

“It’s not going to consume me every day, by any means. When you come close to winning a Cup, it’s always in the back of your mind and you want to finish the job. I definitely have that mindset where I’m at.”

Cassidy and the Bruins lost the Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

Vegas Hockey Now provided some nifty background on the coach after his hiring two days ago.

Extra Day of ‘Jonesing’

Sorry Vancouver Canucks fans, and the many others that hop on this site, no game tonight and no game Friday night. The Stanley Cup Final continues Saturday evening in Denver with the Colorado Avalanche leading the Tampa Bay Lightning one-game-to-none.

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