Vancouver Canucks forward Andrei Kuzmenko celebrating a goal
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Cuts Ties With 40-Goal Scorer

Published January 6, 2024 at 5:28 PM
BY GRAHAM MONTGOMERY
     
The Vancouver Canucks have shocked many in the hockey world this year as the team has consistently been among the league leaders by record. One player who did not get the memo though is Andrei Kuzmenko, as he has suffered from a massive regression in his shooting this year after scoring 39 goals last season.

Tocchet Losing His Patience With Kuzmenko As Struggles Continue



Reportedly, Vancouver head coach Rich Tocchet has had it with Kuzmenko, as the player continues to score at a rate far below his first season in the NHL. The void between player and coach has apparently reached the point where teams are actively calling the Canucks about the goal scoring winger according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman.

"They've been contacted by teams.."


@FriedgeHNIC on Andrei Kuzmenko's future with the #Canucks and possible interest in Kuzmenko.




The underlying metrics for Kuzmenko remain solid as he has proven to be an effective player when he is in the lineup. At this point, it just seems like there is some kind of personal beef between Kuzmenko and his coach as his on-ice performance has not warranted him being a healthy scratch.

Andrei Kuzmenko will be only a healthy scratch tonight again. It just doesn't make sense for us to keeping him on the Canucks for anymore. Just trade him & let him play. He's a legit NHLer in our eyes.


People have begun to point out that Kuzmenko being scratched is a bit ridiculous. While he might not play the exact style of game Tocchet wants, he is clearly still too talented to keep out of the lineup of the team wants to win. This would be like the Leafs healthy scratching William Nylander because he doesn't backcheck enough.

There is absolutely no world in which the Canucks are more likely to win with Linus Karlsson than Andrei Kuzmenko


Perhaps the most bewildering part of this is how the team is managing their asset. If the team is interested in trading him, they should be giving him an opportunity to showcase his full value. Despite his regression in his shooting percentage, Kuzmenko is still a lethal goal-scorer with a top of the line shot. Any NHL team would be happy to have him in their forward group.

As seen on Vancouver Canucks Coach Reportedly done with former 40-goal scorer
POLL
January 6   |   625 answers
Vancouver Canucks Head Coach Cuts Ties With 40-Goal Scorer

Do you think the Canucks will trade Kuzmenko?

Yes40064 %
No22536 %
LIST OF POLLS
Latest 10 stories