The Vancouver Canucks traded part of their reformed fourth line today, sending Tyler Motte to the New York Rangers. Returning to Vancouver is a fourth-round pick in 2023.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) March 21, 2022
Tyler Motte Traded
One of few Canuck free agents with some value, Motte has been integral to a reasonably effective fourth line for Vancouver. He is fast, forechecks well, is a lively hitter, and has a hint of scoring in his game. Unfortunately, he also has a history of injuries, only once passing 46 games in a season. He has a good chance of reaching that number this year, which his new team is counting on.
Before the 2021-22 season, Motte played 211 NHL games with 28 goals and 47 points. He made one trip to the playoffs with the Canucks in the “Edmonton Bubble” and there scored four goals and five points in 17 games there. This year he’s averaging around 14 minutes per game, having earned the trust of both Bruce Boudreau and Travis Green. He is versatile enough to play on either wing as needed and can move up beside skilled players in a pinch.
What This Means
Trading Motte hurts Vancouver for the rest of the year. He was most likely moved because of his contract coming due. While the cap is $1.225 million, the actual payout is $1.45 million. As useful as he has been, the team needs to drop their payroll considerably between this year and next. Having been burned by expensive bottom-six forwards for several years, they’re looking to keep that cost in control now. Less expensive, if not younger, players in Vancouver’s control will get their chances in the lineup.
One thing that could be hard to replace for the Canucks is Motte’s speed. But that is going to be tomorrow’s problem. For now, his cap space is the team’s primary return.