Canucks looking to move up at the draft

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“There is [trade] interest that’s in place right now,” Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman told reporters gathered for a sidewalk press conference late Thursday afternoon. “It is conceivable that we could make a deal this weekend. That being said, it’s also possible we don’t do anything before leaving Pittsburgh.

“The draft may be the most opportune time to make trades because you have 30 teams, 30 general managers and all their personnel in close proximity. It also happens on the eve of free agency. The situation lends itself to talking trades.

“We’ve tried to be methodical in our approach since we’ve been here — that’s the way Mike has operated the team — and it won’t change with respect to making a move this weekend.”

The Canucks could make a blockbuster if talks with Toronto involving Luongo result in the kind of draft-day deal for which Leafs general manager Brian Burke is known.

Despite speculation that Vancouver may not get a valuable asset in return for another team absorbing the final 10 years of Luongo’s $64-million-US contract, the Canucks believe they can make a genuine hockey trade for the 33-year-old that strengthens their lineup.

Toronto picks fifth in the first round, but the Leafs probably aren’t going to give that up as the Canucks try to move nearer the front of the draft line.


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