NHL Rumors: The Vancouver Canucks are making Andrei Kuzmenko a priority and not Bo Horvat

Canucks Making Andrei Kuzmenko a Priority

TSN: Darren Dreger on Insider Trading noted that during Jim Rutherford‘s press conference on Tuesday, he is making re-signing forward Andrei Kuzmenko a high priority.

While there is still a lot of work to be done on an extension, the two sides met last week and will meet again after the All-Star break. This gives the Canucks about a month to get Kuzmenko extended as they want clarity on his future before the March 3rd trade deadline.

“Really more of an informal meeting to begin the process and it’s probably going to be another couple weeks before talks resume somewhere after the All-Star Break. So that basically leaves a month for the Canucks to get this player extended, because they’ll certainly want clarity on his future by that March 3 trade deadline.”

NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks – Andrei Kuzmenko and Bo Horvat

Andrei Kuzmenko taking priority over Bo Horvat

Donnie & Dhali: Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal on Vancouver Canucks pending UFA forward Andrei Kuzmenko, and a little Bo Horvat note.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Taylor: “You have some news regarding a Canuck UFA to be.”

Dhaliwal: “I do Donnie. So, Canucks GM Patrik Allvin, president Jim Rutherford and assistant GM Emilie Castonguay met with Kuzmenko’s agent Dan Milstein in Florida, Donnie, over the weekend. Positive first meeting.

Both sides want to get this contract done. They’re going to continue to talk in hopes of getting a deal done with the 26-year old Russian. Canucks like this player. He sees the ice well. In the offensive zone he can score goals.

And with Bo Horvat and that situation, if he doesn’t sign, the importance of re-signing Kuzmenko goes up for Vancouver.”

Taylor: “No it doesn’t.”

Dhaliwal: “Yes it does. I will get this in. Let me get this in.

Kuzmenko’s not going to be cheap Don. 38 points in 42 games. Could be a bridge deal, $6 – $7 million a year. If you want to go eight years, and you can do that Don, the numbers going to be over $7 (million).

One thing to keep in mind, many team …”

Taylor: “Are you serious that they’re actually thinking of Kuzmenko for eight years when the whole town is screaming for a rebuild?”

Dhaliwal: “So what I’ve been told. You can do two or you can do eight years. It’s your call. I’m not saying it’s going to be eight.

But one thing to keep in mind Don, many teams in the NHL are interested to see how this plays out in Vancouver. If the Canucks can’t re-sign him, this player is going to have a ton of teams interested at the trading deadline and on July 1st.

The big thing for me is the Canucks brass went to Florida, well they were already there. They met with Kuzmenko’s agent. They refused to meet with Horvat’s agent Pat Morris, who be in town next week.

As of , now morning, no meeting has been set up with Morris. That’s very telling to me.”