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[Proposal] Golden Knights - Canucks

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Was thinking about the fact that the Canucks couldn't "get" a top 6 winger this July 1st but I also couldn't help but think of Vegas's cap situation and it got me to think... I wonder if the Canucks could pry Nikita Gusev away from VGK. It's becoming pretty clear that unless VGK sheds serious salary, Gusev may not be able to be signed... and the Canucks may have enough cap to squeeze out a deal.


For those who don't know, Gusev has been arguably the best player outside of the NHL for the last two-three years and recently signed his entry level deal with Vegas in like March but didn't end up playing a game. He's a restricted free agent who is probably looking for a sizeable pay day (I suspect 3.5-5 mill per season). The one thing with him is that he is unproven at the NHL level.


With that said, he is 26 (he turns 27 on July 8th) and could be the missing winger to make this Top 6 pop. In his last KHL season, he had 82 points in 62 games and could project to put up 40+ points in a top 6 role. The problem here is that Vegas doesn't have the cap to sign him and may have to unload him.


Here comes the Canucks... If they can find a taker for either Sutter or Erikisson's deals, this is easier, if not, here's what I think the Canucks *could* do.


My thinking is:


To Canucks --


Nikita Gusev


To VGK --


Tyler Madden

2nd Round Pick 2022

Nikolay Goldobin

Dmitri Zhukenov


Why VGK does this? It's a cap dump. They don't have the cap and they can't keep Gusev. VGK also has a shallow prospect pool thanks to all of its deals to acquire guys like Max Paccorietty and Mark Stone, so to acquire guys like Zhukenov & Madden helps strength there pool. Though Madden is a bitter pill to swallow for the Canucks, they have a glut of forward prospects and could take the hit to acquire a surefire NHLer in Gusev. Zhukenov could be swapped for a guy like Will Lockwood or Matthew Theisson -- just another prospect that Vegas doesn't have to pay for at least another season (or two or three depending on the player). Goldobin goes the other way to help VGK get a "bottom six" guy who is cheap, has skill, and could help bridge the gap that was left by the departures of guys like Carpenter, Bellemore (obviously, different skill sets). Goldobin also becomes overly redundant if he stays a Canuck with Gusev joining the lineup, even if it helps the Canucks having "another Russian" in the lineup.


Why does Vancouver do this? They get a Top 6 winger, though unproven at the NHL level, he is the sort of "low risk/high reward" type to go after. The acquisition cost wouldn't be *that* high compared to others and VGK is in a vulnerable position. The Canucks are going all in on the playoffs in the next two years. Gusev is older and wants to win and have a role in that winning, he's probably not going to be satisfied with a bottom six role (which is where he'd be on VGK). In Vancouver he instantly pairs with Pettersson/Boeser as there LW, most likely. Unless he pairs with Horvat/Pearson as there LW if JT Miller slots besides Elias and Brock. The Canucks have a deep forward prospect pool and can afford to part with Madden and Zhukenov. The 2nd is collateral damage and Goldobin is there to remove a body from the NHL roster who is an RFA (thus VGK can deal with his contract which likely isn't higher than 2.5 mill).


Obviously the pieces can change but I feel like Gusev is a realistic and reasonable target for the Canucks if they do want to improve there Top 6 before training camp starts.



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I’d do it, reasonable proposal, I know everyone is in love with Madden right now but Gusev is on another level and gotta give to get. 


We would have to clear cap space but I don’t know why everyone thinks that’s impossible. 

Edited by brian42
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