NHL trade deadline could see changes to Canuck lineup


Kyle Wellwood insists he isn’t worried, but perhaps he should be.

With the NHL trade deadline looming, Vancouver Canuck coach Alain Vigneault has acknowledged that finding more scoring punch for his anemic third line is high on his priority list.

“Just look at it from a logical standpoint,” Vigneault said after the Canucks practised here on Monday. “We feel we’ve got two pretty good lines and we think we can really have a strong fourth line with grit and toughness and a guy like Johnny (Ryan Johnson) who can help us on faceoffs and help us on the penalty-kill. So then you look at our third line and you say to yourself, if we could upgrade a little bit it would help our team.”

Many have suggested that upgrade could come at the centre position, which would put Wellwood’s job in jeopardy.

Wellwood, who has struggled offensively this season with just seven goals and 15 points in 54 games, didn’t seem overly concerned about his job security on Monday.

“If they want to get a third-line centre besides me, then that’s their choice,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s not something I think about or worry about. Third-line centre is a good job, but it’s a tough job and it’s hard to bring somebody in to do it.”

The Canucks play their first game in over two weeks here tonight, but there is perhaps even more interest in what is taking place behind closed doors some 500 kilometres to the west in Chicago where general manager Mike Gillis and his management team have set up their trade deadline headquarters.


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