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Pros and Cons of a Brock Boeser Trade

With the NHLs deadline day coming fast, there are a few names Vancouver Canucks fans are waiting to hear. If the Canucks make a Brock Boeser, trade what is the likely outfall?

What a Brock Boeser Trade Does for Vancouver

With the big names going off the board, a Brock Boeser trade could be on the horizon. With moves being made to free up cap room – well, LTIR room – the Vancouver Canucks have improved the odds of being a concierge. Being the go-between to make cap space work is a painless way to pick up assets. As seen with the Minnesota Wild getting a fourth-round pick in the St. Louis BluesToronto Maple Leafs trade.

If it wasn’t for the timing – there are several teams available to work for tips – it’s great to see. Fans in Vancouver have been pushing for exactly this option as contracts reached their ends, only to see that cap space filled back up again immediately. Now that the team has bitten the bullet on a rebuild, it’s suddenly an option.

Thing is, that’s not very interesting to talk about. Unless actual bodies come to the team, it’s just numbers right until draft day. So let’s put names on those bodies and let the numbers follow, starting with t Brock Boeser trade.

A Bit of History

When Boeser started the 2022-23 season, he promised one thing: goals. He had recovered from hand surgery and was feeling great and said the target was breaking that 30-goal mark for the first time in his career.

He got goal number 10 on February 9th, and it was his first goal in three weeks. But he also picked up three assists that night, which isn’t what Boeser’s known for but he’s on his way to a career-high. It has been an odd season not only for the Canucks but for Boeser himself.

Boeser has an excellent shot, hitting 29 goals in his first full season. A red flag, though it wasn’t known as such then, was that he did it in just 62 games. Boeser has played over 70 games in a season just once in six years. The COVID-interrupted seasons can take some blame for that, but injuries are a big part of his history.

A bridge contract was given to Boeser with the assumption that he would continue to score. But to fit it into the salary structure, it was vertical: that last year ended with his base salary reaching $7.5 million. That sky-high qualifier is why his current deal is where it is: $6.65 million for two more seasons.

The Positive

Sending that salary out the door isn’t a bad move. As we already mentioned, getting some cap space can allow the Canucks to play middleman in other teams’ trades. Even if some of that salary is retained, it can help the new J.T. Miller deal become easier to absorb.

A Brock Boeser trade leaves Vancouver shorter on skill, but they have wingers a-plenty. The last part of this “lost” season can be used for the further experience of young players. They are, in theory, the future after all. There are veterans on the injured reserved list who will be ready for the next year. Get Nils Höglander into the lineup and let the new coach work with him before then.

The Negative

Boeser is a very streaky scorer – and he hasn’t hit that streak yet. Even with fewer than 30 games remaining, it’s entirely possible for him to double his current goals. With five more assists, he’ll break his career-high of 30. And for all the attention his scoring gets, his play along the boards and ability to retrieve and keep pucks are undervalued.

A further risk is how, after years of trade speculation and family pressure, he blossoms in another city. He’s now 26 years old, and with most NHL players that’s pretty much the end of their development. But given everything else around his time in Vancouver, it’s easy to imagine another step happening after a Brock Boeser trade. It doesn’t need to be home to Minnesota, but that would likely be his ideal stop.

To get a decent return for a high-risk, possible-reward player, the Canucks will probably need to retain some salary. Paying $2-3 million to watch him reach his potential for another two seasons isn’t exactly a public relations win. The Canucks are selling low on Boeser right now – odds are good his value increases from here.

But is a Brock Boeser trade the right move? A final risk is another hit to the reputation of Vancouver’s administration. Part of running a team is drawing and keeping free agents. Trading away a player in the first year of a three-season contract is a black mark for agents and players. Frankly, they can’t afford to take too many more hits before the city starts appearing on no-trade lists.


Main Photo: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports


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