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Target Set: who have the Canucks got in their sights?

Written on March 28, 2013 at 09:02, by headtothenet

HTTN rounds up possible acquisitions with the trade deadline approaching

-by Samir Javer

With deadline day less than a week away, here’s a look at five players Canucks GM Mike Gillis may be eyeing

Steve Ott (C) – Buffalo Sabres

The Canucks made a pitch for Ott last year when he was a member of the Dallas Stars, but the rumoured asking price was Cody Hodgson. Vancouver backed off and went after a younger player with more upside – Zack Kassian.

Ott finds himself in a similar situation again this year, with the Sabres reportedly set to be active sellers on deadline day. Pierre LeBrun reported the Canucks are gearing up to take another run at the gritty forward to help fill their gaping third-line center hole.

Here’s an example of his on-ice antics, courtesy of HBO’s 24/7:

Tyler Bozak (C) – Toronto Maple Leafs

There’s an asterisk here: Bozak only lands in Vancouver via a Roberto Luongo trade. As of Monday night, the Province’s Jason Botchford still expects Luongo to be dealt by the deadline.

Bozak is scheduled to hit the market this summer, and is the center the Canucks have coveted for some time now. Just like Ott, he would fit on the third-line. Should the long-overdue Roberto Luongo trade finally consummate with Toronto, look for Bozak to be headed this way.

Here’s Bozak’s first NHL goal from three years ago. Not bad, eh?

Derek Roy (C) – Dallas Stars

Bob McKenzie speculated weeks ago that if Derek Roy is made available, the Canucks will be front and center in his pursuit.

Having already dealt captain Brenden Morrow to Pittsburgh, it appears Dallas is in selling mode. With 20 points in 27 games this season, Roy would improve Vancouver’s offense significantly, and would slot in perfectly with the prolonged absence of Ryan Kesler. He does have a cap hit of $4M, but that’s an issue for capologist Laurence Gilman to deal with next season.

Check out his hands on this highlight-reel goal:

Shawn Matthias (C) – Florida Panthers

Everyone knows the Canucks and the Panthers love trading with each other, so why not give it another go? With the door closed on the Panthers’ season thanks to a plethora of injuries, Florida has had its “for sale” sign up for a long time now.

Matthias, a skilled faceoff specialist and big centreman, would be a great fit in Vancouver’s bottom six. The asking price would likely be low in comparison to some of the other potential acquisitions we’ve mentioned.

Notice Matthias’ hard work and determination on this goal from two weeks ago:

Jordan Leopold (D) – Buffalo Sabres

With Buffalo in firesale mode, many are throwing Leopold’s name around as trade bait. A smooth-skating, puck-moving defenseman, he could be a nice addition to Vancouver’s blueline. A solid defenseman with 7 points in 20 games, Leopold has some offensive upside as well.

Just imagine having this physical threat in the Canucks lineup.