Even though Vancouver Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning has vehemently denied that young forward Brock Boeser is on the trading block, the rumours still persist. Benning told thescore.com,”I have no intention of trading Brock Boeser. I haven’t had one conversation about that, so I don’t know where this stuff comes from,” Benning said Monday as the club officially opened training camp.
Yet, reports from TSN say otherwise.
— Chel Squared (@ChelSquared) July 10, 2020
Arizona Coyotes Should Consider Trading for Brock Boeser
When things are evaluated, the Coyotes (as well as a slew of other NHL teams) could really use the talents of Boeser. Their offence is their weakness, while the Canucks could use some reinforcements on their blue line. While they have Quinn Hughes to bolster their defence, a solid top-four defenceman may give them some force to move forward.
The 23-year-old Boeser was the 23rd overall pick of the Vancouver club in the 2015 entry draft. Even though the talented forward has missed 45 games over his short NHL career, his offensive upside could certainly help repair the offensive woes of the Coyotes.
He has 75 goals and 86 assists for 161 points in 197 games. That’s 0.82 points per game that the Coyotes would desperately use. He has also been a contributor to the power play showing 23 goals and 31 assists. Boeser is a clutch player too adding 11 game-winning goals to his resume.
He has a workable contract that he signed in September of 2019 worth an AAV of $5.875 million for the next two years.
When you consider that the Canucks need to re-sign Tyler Toffoli before next season, and that he could very well replace the offence missed if Boeser leaves, things may fall into place. Toffoli exhibited how valuable he will be by scoring six goals and four assists in the 10 games he played since being traded to Vancouver.
What the Coyotes Could Offer to Get Brock Boeser
With the uncertainty of whether the Coyotes will be able to sign Taylor Hall lurking in the dark, adding Boeser would give them a younger forward should Hall seek greener pastures. The fact that the Coyotes could offer a solid defensive defencemen like Niklas Hjalmarsson may interest the Canucks. The drawback to ‘Hammer’ going north may be his age. He just turned 33-years-old and the team already has Jordie Benn at 32, Alexander Edler at 33, meaning they need to get younger on the blue line.
One option could be to offer Victor Soderstrom in a proposed trade. The likelihood of the Coyotes doing that may be slim. Yet, in any deal you must give up something to get something in return.
Another proposal could be dealing Oliver Ekman-Larsson which would give the Canucks the top-four D-man they seek. OEL is signed until 2026-27 at a hefty AAV of $8.25 million. The Coyotes may want a replacement defenceman like Tyler Myers, who commands a $6 million salary. To make a proposed deal like this work, the Coyotes may need to also include another defenceman like Jordan Oesterle or a prospect like Hudson Fasching to make it more feasible.
Salary Cap Issues
If the two teams could agree, the salaries are only $1.48 million apart. The Coyotes are up against the cap and may allow restricted free agents Brad Richardson ($1.25M) or more specifically Carl Soderberg ($4.75M) to move on to another team to free up some cap space.
The Canucks have about $17 million in cap space and need to sign some of their expiring contracts.
The key questions which are pertinent in any trade transaction is will each team improve in the areas they need to improve upon?
There’s no doubt the Coyotes would improve their meager offence and gain some size with Myers on the blue line. He stands 6’-8” and is 229 pounds. Adding Boeser to the young guns in Arizona would put their offence into a new category. And that can finally transform them into an elite team.
If the Yotes lose Soderberg’s salary of $4.75 million and gain about $1.5 million from this Boeser deal, they will obtain some much needed cap space breathing room. They will also have the LTIR salary cap of Marian Hossa which amounts to $5.275 million to help them along. They have two restricted free agents in Vinnie Hinostroza and Christian Fischer to consider.
The Canucks have three unrestricted free agents and and two RFA’s they need to pay. If they retain all of them it will cost them more than the $17 million in cap space they have for next season. We all know that Toffoli and Jacob Markstrom are going to get a big portion of that money. Not to speak of Chris Tanev gobbling up more of it.
So, from Vancouver’s perspective, they may be more inclined to want Soderstrom and could perhaps send newly signed Jack Rathbone to the desert. They both earn $925,000. That would mean that the Coyotes would need to ship Derek Stepan ($6.5M) in the deal to grab Boeser. Their salaries almost match with just $625,000 between them. Whether the Canucks are interested in Stepan is debatable. He is a good veteran leader but is declining in his production lately with just 63 points in the last two seasons.
Like any trade in the NHL, it’s complicated. Each team has a different perspective as to what they should give up and what they should receive in return.
There’s no doubt that Brock Boeser is a very skilled forward with an upside still to come. Would he contribute significantly to the Coyotes’ offence?
That unfortunately does not mean it is imminent. Both teams want to improve. In the end, Boeser may very well remain in Vancouver but it sure was fun playing armchair general manager.