Benning on Virtanen and Markstrom
Luke Fox of Sportsnet: The Vancouver Canucks have expected more from pending restricted free agent Jake Virtanen. The 24-year still does have some trade value for someone willing to give him a change of scenery.
“We’ve been patient with him and his development but he’s a guy who I was expecting to produce more for us,” Benning said on Sportsnet 650.
“I was expecting more from Jake in the playoffs. He can skate, he’s strong, he can get to the net, and he’s a guy that we’re going to have to talk about here moving forward.”
The Canucks would like to get back into the first or second round of the 2020 NHL draft.
“Jacob has earned that right if he needs to test the market, if he’s not happy with where we end up,” Benning said during his media rounds this week.
Markstrom may be looking for a no-movement clause with the Seattle expansion draft coming next year. Thatcher Demko would have to be exposed if they projected Markstrom and Benning has dubbed Demko as their “goalie of the future.”
Should the Predators go after Taylor Hall this offseason?
Adam Vingan of The Athletic: A league source told The Athletic’s Scott Burnside that the Nashville Predators would make sense for pending UFA forward Taylor Hall.
Should the Predators go after Hall?
Hall won the Hart Trophy and recorded a career-high in 93 points when now Predators coach John Hynes was coaching the New Jersey Devils.
“He was always a big fan of John and vice versa,” former Devils GM Ray Shero said. “I know they’ve got mutual respect for each other.”
After only being to the playoffs twice in his first 10 seasons, Hall’s priority is winning.
The Predators have about $9.3 million in salary cap space and Hall projects as $8 million-plus.