The Vancouver Canucks have begun to explore the possibility of trading forward Brock Boeser, according to a report from TSN1040’s Matt Sekeres.
To be clear, Boeser is not on the trade block and is not actively being shopped by the team — there’s little reason to panic or start to wonder what you’re supposed to do with the Boeser jersey you just bought this year.
That being said, it’s important to examine why the Canucks would even want to move out a player of Boeser’s calibre in the first place. This is a player they drafted, developed, and nearly saw win the Calder Trophy.
Although it will undoubtedly be an added bonus, the Canucks needing to clear out cap space isn’t necessarily the primary reason for moving Boeser. The financial relief will certainly help the Canucks navigate the dreaded waters of their cap crunch this offseason, but when you look at the team’s movable assets, Boeser is arguably the one who holds the most value of all.
That means that the Canucks will be getting something of high value in return. Whether that’s a mid-late first round pick, or some legitimate help on the back end, this report shouldn’t come as a shock.
If the Canucks plan on trading Boeser for a young and competent top-4 defenceman with top-pairing upside, that’s not a cap dump, that’s fixing a weakness of your hockey team — and in turn, making your hockey team better.
This is something good teams do, they get better.
Every team has a few untouchable assets. They’re the players that every GM in the league knows is almost completely off-limits. For the Canucks, these players are unequivocally Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, but not Brock Boeser.
Boeser is a solid player but the Canucks can live without him, especially if they’re going to improving the weakest part of their team in turn.
But if you take Pettersson or Hughes away from this team? Well, the results aren’t going to be pretty, even if you’re fixing a need elsewhere.
Another reason the Canucks would explore trading Boeser is because of how badly they want to re-sign Tyler Toffoli, who, admittedly, performed exceptionally well in his 10 game stint with the Canucks.
The only issue is that Toffoli is five years older than Boeser and is also due for a new contract this offseason, which will likely come in around four years at $5 million.
That will take Toffoli into his 30s and likely past the prime of his career, whereas with Boeser, there’s still a chance he develops into a legitimate threat to score 30+ goals for many seasons to come.
It’s also important to note Boeser’s value isn’t exactly high right now, meaning now may not be the best time to trade him. He’s battled various injuries over the first three seasons of his career and it’s very possible that the Canucks haven’t seen the best of Brock Boeser yet.
The Canucks aren’t going to be rushing to move on from Boeser, but if they do decide to pull the trigger on a deal this offseason, it will be with the intention of re-signing Tyler Toffoli, clearing out cap space, and improving the back end — all as the result of one move.