Canucks set to extend Allvin, searching for top-6 forward

In this edition of Saturday Headlines, Elliotte Friedman provides the latest updates on the biggest stories around the NHL including Patrick Roy's hiring process, Marc-Andre Fleury's potential absence, the Canucks' deadline priorities and much more.

The Vancouver Canucks have been on a tear this season, leading the Pacific Division and consistently atop the NHL standings, and much of that can be attributed to the work of president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford. For that effort, he was offered a three-year extension in his role.

As Elliotte Friedman reported on the Saturday Headlines segment on Hockey Day in Canada, it’s only a matter of time before his hand-picked general manager, Patrik Allvin, is next.

“The general manager, he’s getting an extension done as well that they hope to have next week.”

Though the Canucks’ play through 45 games this season earned Rutherford and Allvin their extensions, there are still some on-ice needs as the team pushes for their first playoff appearance since the 2020 bubble.

“There’s no question that they’re looking hard at a top-6 forward, somebody preferably with flexibility,” Friedman said. “The word is they’re looking at four or five different players.”

Friedman believes pending free agents Jake Guentzel of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Elias Lindholm of the Calgary Flames are among the players the Canucks are considering.

Rutherford and Allvin, both formerly in the Pittsburgh front office, have not been shy in collecting former Penguins, signing defenceman Ian Cole and trading for goaltender Casey DeSmith and forward Sam Lafferty ahead of this season, each of whom played under Rutherford in Pittsburgh.

Guentzel is considered one of the top pending UFAs on the market, scoring at over a point-per-game pace this season with 46 points in 42 games. Across his eight-season career with the Penguins, he has three 30+ goal campaigns under his belt.

Lindholm, another coveted pending UFA, hasn’t been scoring at the prolific pace he’s demonstrated in years past but has still put up respectable numbers with eight goals and 30 points in 45 games. While Calgary and Vancouver are divisional rivals, trading Nikita Zadorov demonstrated these teams aren’t afraid to deal with one another if the asking price is right.

Though it’s entirely possible the Canucks will end up with either player, Friedman guarantees they’ll make a push to bolster the top of their lineup.

“There’s no doubt that a top-6 forward is No. 1 on Vancouver’s radar.”

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