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The Vancouver Canucks are looking to trade Ilya Mikheyev to free up cap space ahead of the 2024 NHL Draft. Will they find a taker for the struggling forward?

The Vancouver Canucks are in a precarious situation this offseason. With multiple key free agents to re-sign, including Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, and Filip Hronek, they need to create cap space quickly. One player who has been identified as a potential trade chip is forward Ilya Mikheyev.

According to NHL insider Frank Seravalli, the Canucks have been actively shopping Mikheyev since their playoff run ended. They even tried to move him at the trade deadline. However, finding a suitable trade partner has proved challenging.

Canucks Seeking Cap Relief, But Unwilling to Attach Assets to Mikheyev Deal

Mikheyev’s recent on-ice performance has raised concerns. He managed just one goal in the final 61 games of the season, including the playoffs. This lack of production, combined with his $4.75 million AAV cap hit for the next two years, has made teams hesitant to acquire him without additional incentives.

It’s been reported that several teams have inquired about Mikheyev but have asked the Canucks to include a sweetener in the deal. The Canucks, however, are reluctant to part with any assets at this time. This impasse has stalled negotiations and left Mikheyev’s future in Vancouver uncertain.

The Canucks are hoping that Mikheyev’s struggles were a temporary setback and that he can return to his previous form. In his prime, he showed the potential to be a reliable offensive contributor. However, his recent performance has raised doubts about his ability to regain that form.

The upcoming NHL draft presents a deadline for the Canucks to find a resolution. If they cannot trade Mikheyev before then, they may have to explore other options, such as a buyout or a demotion to the AHL. Neither of these options is ideal, but they may be necessary to create the cap space needed to re-sign their key free agents.

The next few weeks will be crucial for the Canucks as they try to navigate this difficult situation. It remains to be seen whether they can find a trade partner for Mikheyev or if they will have to resort to other measures.

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