Vrbata knows he’s trade material, tries to focus on scoring for Canucks

Vrbata, 34, and Dan Hamhuis, 33, are prime UFA assets and a team in contention would covet a quick-shot winger to augment its offence, while the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are among many seeking a proven top-four defenceman. And with the level of desperation heightened at the deadline, the Canucks would do backflips if Vrbata could command a high draft pick or prospect.

Last March, Chicago sent a first-round selection and blueline prospect Klas Dahlbeck to Arizona for centre Antoine Vermette, 32, a 13-goal rental who re-signed with the Coyotes in the offseason. Vrbata has 11 goals and, while the return wouldn’t be nearly as high, he has the fourth-highest NHL shot rate, is second in team shots and has a first-rate release.


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