With the trade deadline come and gone, teams for the most part are finalized and ready for the final push of the regular season. Some organizations were viewed as having a successful day, while others weren’t so fortunate. With all of the rumours that were surrounding the Vancouver Canucks leading up to the 21st, they got the best possible outcome after the trade deadline.
General manager Patrik Allvin had himself quite the first deadline in the Canucks front office. He found a way to create cap space while simultaneously upgrading their blue line, all while keeping three of the biggest names on the market in J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser and Conor Garland. Vancouver did lose a player in Tyler Motte, shipping him to the New York Rangers, but for the most part, it was a very successful day.
Cap Space Alleviated
One of the main reasons the bigger names were on the block to begin with, was the cap complications that were ahead for Vancouver. Miller is set for a hefty pay raise after next season, and Boeser’s bridge deal is up after this year, so the Canucks needed to alleviate some cap space to a certain degree.
They did just that by sending defenseman Travis Hamonic to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a third-round pick. What’s most impressive about this move was that teams knew the cap situation in Vancouver, and usually offloading a player has a draft pick attached. Not only did Allvin not have to do that, but he also acquired a third-round pick in return, and added another defender for half the cost (we’ll get to that in a minute).
Now with over $5 million in cap space according to CapFriendly, Vancouver is sitting pretty heading into the offseason.
Miller, Boeser and Garland All Staying Put
Some of the big rumours heading into the deadline were the Canucks getting calls on three of their biggest players. Despite weeks of build-up, and reports of teams being linked to all three guys, Miller, Boeser and Garland all stayed put in Vancouver.
Miller has already hit a new career-high in points, amassing 26 goals and 76 points in 62 games. The big incentive for teams acquiring him was the fact he had an extra year on his current deal with an average annual value (AAV) of $5.2 million. Now, with a little money moved out, and more money coming off the books in the offseason, there’s potential to extend Miller after next season and keep their most productive player in the process.
Related: Canucks’ 3 Up, 3 Down: Bad Homestand, Motte Traded, Hughes Hits 50
Garland is in the first of a five-year contract with an AAV of $4.95 million while putting up 34 points across 59 games. It was strange seeing his name out there having just signed long-term and emerging as a fan favourite, but now he’ll stick with the organization and continue to have a prominent role within the top-six.
Boeser was an interesting case. He was drafted in the first round (23rd overall), back in 2015 and has developed and grown with the Canucks, but again, the issue wasn’t his play on the ice, as he has 37 points, including 19 goals. He’s in the final year of a three-year, $17.625 million contract with an AAV of $5.875 million and will likely require a slight raise in the offseason. His qualifying offer is set at $7.5 million, but if Vancouver and Boeser’s representation can find a happy medium, somewhere around the $7 million range, it would only be a pay raise of $1.15 million.
With the $1.5 million cleared with the Hamonic and Dermott swap, along with Motte’s $1.225 million gone as well, there’s a good chance all three remain Canucks for the foreseeable future.
Blue Line Upgraded With Dermott
This was one of the more tidy moves done by Allvin. With the departure of Hamonic, Vancouver had a slot to fill on the back end. Out east, the Toronto Maple Leafs went out and acquired Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken, which meant there was an odd man out on their defensive unit. The Canucks took full advantage and upgraded its blue line in the process, trading for Travis Dermott.
The Canucks acquired Dermott from Toronto on Sunday in exchange for a third-round selection (via the Winnipeg Jets). Dermott can play both the left and right side, and at just 25 years of age, there’s still room to grow in his game. He’s averaged 14:45 time on ice (TOI) per game, while he has just five points on the season, his analytics are quite strong, averaging a Corsi for percentage (CF%) of 51.8 percent. Given his versatility, age, and reasonable cap hit of $1.5 million through the 2022-23 season, it was tidy work for Allvin and company.
Throw in cornerstone players like captain Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Thatcher Demko, along with youngsters Nils Hoglander and Vasily Podkolzen, and there is a really solid group to build around moving forward.