Photo Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Canucks discussed deal with Blackhawks for third overall pick

The Canucks reportedly discussed a deal with the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2019 NHL Draft that would see them move up to the third overall selection and be able to take top offensive blueliner Bowen Byram of the Vancouver Giants. The Blackhawks would get Vancouver’s 10th overall pick in return.

The deal reportedly fell through due to Chicago wanting Vancouver to take on veteran blueliner Brent Seabrook’s expensive contract in the trade. The 34-year-old has five years remaining on his current deal that pays him an AAV of $6.875M.

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Byram is an incredible talent and was perceived by almost all scouts as the best blueliner in the 2019 Draft Class. You have to respect the Canucks for looking at options to try and move up to select him. Byram is an elite skater from Cranbrook, BC who projects to be a top-four blueliner at the NHL level. Byram ended up going to the Avalanche at fourth overall, while the Blackhawks took Kirby Dach with the third overall pick.

It’s unclear what (or if) there were other pieces involved in this potential deal, but Seabrook’s contract is among the worst in the NHL. The veteran is on the decline after putting together some outstanding years in Chicago. He’s managed just 28 and 26 points respectively in the last two seasons and seen his defensive play dwindle.

If the Canucks elected to trade for the third overall pick, they would have landed a top blueliner in Byram, but they also would’ve missed out on getting Russian forward Vasili Podkolzin at 10th overall. Many scouts believe the Canucks stole the 6-foot-1, left-hand shot winger at 10th. You can read more about the pick here.

It’s interesting the Canucks tried to make a move to land a world-class defenseman, but that Seabrook contract would’ve been hard to stomach, especially when you consider the aging blueliner has a no-trade clause in his contract.

  • Goon

    “He’s managed just 28 and 26 points respectively”
    Which would have made him the second-highest scoring defenceman on the Canucks for the past two seasons.

    Don’t get me wrong, Seabrook’s contract is terrible, but 25-30 points per season is perfectly respectable output from a defenceman.

    The only way taking back Seabrook on that contract would make sense is if the Canucks bought it out; however, Seabrook is another of those goofy buyout-proof contracts, and would still be a cap hit of between $4 and $6.5 million for the next five years (and then $800,000 for several years after that), so a buyout, other than a compliance buyout, makes no sense.

    • I am Ted

      You have your head up your anus if you look at points players get on another team and think they will repeat on a different team.

      If the Hawks offered that pick to take on the contract (and giving up something like our 4th or 3rd round pick) then it would be tempting.

    • Captain Video

      This is why you don’t waste cap space on long term deals with 30+ year old UFAs. If we didn’t have Eriksson’s contract on the books, this sort of a deal might have been workable. And yes, landing a potential first pairing defenceman would have been worth it.

  • Dan the Fan

    I would have done it, if it was Seabrook and the 3rd for free. The Canucks aren’t going to be a contender for at least 3 years. He could be on LTIR by then, and if they’re close to competitive and need to dump his salary then, they can buy him out or trade the last couple of years.

    But if it was the 10th for Seabrook and the 3rd? Hard pass. The last year of Marleau’s contract was worth a likely late first round pick. Seabrook’s contract should be worth 5 late first rounders. And 5 late first rounders is worth more than moving up 7 spots.

  • ned

    Like Benning to get Barrie for a package of forwards and picks on condition that he resigns. We would be a surefire playoff team and perhaps borderline contender. I want playoff hockey again. Bo won’t stay young forever.

  • Burnabybob

    If Seabrook has a NMC, couldn’t he have just nixed the deal anyway?

    Seabrook could arguably have improved the Canucks pathetic defense in the short term, but over the long term Canuck fans would regret it. Good non-trade by Benning, if this is actually true.

  • 51Geezer

    Why isn’t this on the main page???

    I too would have done it; Byram could have become the best Canucks defenceman in their history, and Seabrook is only money – not my money.

  • Gino über alles

    If there was a way to make this trade without including the 10th or 40th picks (seeing as I love whom we got with those) then this could have been worth it. Seabrook would have to waive his NTC and that nullifies the NMC for the expansion draft. There is a really good chance Seattle takes him merely to reach the cap floor at that point, if not then he would have value for 2 years and then you can consider a buy-out then.

    Bowman is no dummy but if he was more desperate to move this contract (and he should be) then there would be a way forward to make it happen. As it stands then they made the no-brainer call of not making this deal just to move up 7 spots, it worked out extremely well.