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Report: Canucks interested in Bruins' Bartkowski, could set up Kassian trade

Bruce Fedyck / USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning may be setting the table for a trade involving his old employers.

Benning, the former assistant general manager in Boston, is interested in acquiring the services of Bruins defenseman Matt Bartkowski, according to Darren Dreger of TSN.

Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province corroborates the report, adding that two Bruins scouts were in attendance for the Canucks' 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Boston has been in search of a winger for most of the season, and it's believed general manager Peter Chiarelli has his sights set on Zack Kassian.

Benning is looking for defensive help in light of a serious injury to Kevin Bieksa. He's willing to deal Kassian if it benefits the club, and it may behoove the Canucks to reinforce the blue line in order to help secure a playoff spot.

Bartkowski, a pending unrestricted free agent, has recorded four assists while averaging 17:40 of ice time in 20 appearances. Kassian, who has one year left on a deal worth $2 million per season, has recorded two goals and three assists in 25 games.

Based on the teams' needs and the rapport between the two general managers, such a deal could prove to be a boon for both clubs.

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