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Photo Credit: © Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Recapping and evaluating the Vancouver Canucks’ trade deadline weekend

Monday didn’t bring the fireworks that many fans wanted to see but the weekend as a whole should still be looked at as a win.

The Vancouver Canucks made three trades over two days and picked up Brad Richardson off of waivers. On top of those deals, Patrik Allvin papered down Nic Petan and Vasily Podkolzin to boost the Abbotsford Canucks’ playoff roster.

After taking it all in, it’s a win for the Canucks.

They weren’t able to bring in a massive haul for one of J.T. Miller, Conor Garland, or Brock Boeser, but the team shed cap space and added Travis Dermott, who may end up being useful for the defence core.

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It sure wasn’t a homerun weekend for the Canucks’ front office but it didn’t feel like Patrik Allvin was taking an uppercut swing. Instead of folding to other general managers’ interest in players like Miller and Garland, Allvin kept a watchful eye and walked his big moves into the offseason.

Moving on from Travis Hamonic was a no-brainer and the Canucks shocked the fan base when they announced that the return for Hamonic was their own third-round pick. Hamonic was a part of the log-jam of bottom-pairing right-shot defencemen that the Canucks possess. Getting anything for a player who accounts for $3 million on the cap for this season and was on waivers just a few months ago is a type of hockey logic that I will never understand.

It was a great start to Sunday for the Canucks. They were able to monetize off a player who was not trending upwards at all.

Speaking of trending upwards, that is the hope for the Canucks’ second move on Sunday. The team traded Winnipeg’s third-round pick for 25-year-old, left-shot defenceman Travis Dermott.

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The young defenceman who showed potential at a young age was given the green light from the analytics department as well as the pro scouts.

Travis Dermot was a guy that we talked about getting a little bit younger here,” said Allvin on Sunday after the two trades were completed. “Travis can play both the left and right side. Our pro scouts and analytic department were excited about him and I’ve had the opportunity to follow him for a couple of years in Toronto.”

Dermott will likely slide into a bottom-pairing role for the Canucks and could be in the lineup as soon as Wednesday when the team travels to Colorado to face the powerhouse Avalanche.

Expect Dermott to be a good skater who uses his feet to create space and break out the puck. Many were hoping for him to reach a higher ceiling over his career and the overall feeling from the Maple Leafs’ fanbase was well wishes for Dermott, who left the team after playing in 251 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dermott will be aggressive and it may cost him at times but he will bring a dynamic feel to the back end. If he can thrive under head coach Bruce Boudreau’s aggressive system, he may find another level to his game and that is the hope from Canucks fans.

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The Canucks then picked up Brad Richardson off of waivers on Monday.

This one came as a bit of a shocker.

The 37-year-old, 17-year vet rejoins the Canucks organization after leaving in 2015. Richardson drew into only seven games with the flames since the turning of the calendar and had under 10 minutes of ice time in five of those seven games. Richardson will help secure up the penalty kill and has won 58.8% of his faceoffs this season.

It’s a fun story to have Richardson back in Vancouver but it feels very Jussi Jokinen-like to me. Hopefully, Richardson can score as Jokinen did at the end of his 2017-18 season with the Canucks.

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Then came the Tyler Motte deal.

The fanbase had seemingly accepted that Motte was going to be traded to a contender on Monday. Contracts talks weren’t progressing between the two sides and the best option for the Canucks was to move on from the pending unrestricted free agent. Motte will be missed in Vancouver but it feels like we may have been overvaluing him this whole time.

Motte returned a 2023 fourth-round pick from the New York Rangers. This came after the market was beginning to heat up on Friday and Saturday and began to look like Motte could potentially return a second-round pick if a team did want to make a move for the bottom-six winger with upside on the penalty kill.

This high expectation of a return simply did not come to fruition as Motte only returned a fourth-round pick on Monday. This was a bit shocking after seeing some of the returns from earlier in the weekend but Motte’s value made more sense once the dust settled and Vladislav Namestnikov returned a 2024 fourth-round pick, Zach Sanford was swapped for a 2022 fifth-round pick, and Derrick Brassard was flipped for a 2023 fourth-round pick.

I still believe that Motte’s penalty-killing ability is better than these three players mentioned but when it comes to ice time and point production, they do all seem to be in the same ballpark.

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In the end, the Canucks walked away from the weekend (plus Monday) by shedding $1.5 million from their cap next season and added a fourth-round pick to their 2023 draft. The team held on to their big trade chips and will look to circle back on conversations with potential trade partners in the offseason.

This team is destined for change under the new management group but fans will have to wait until the offseason. For now, the Canucks have 18 games remaining and will continue to push as hard as they can under their new leader Bruce Boudreau. Players still have something to prove to the new management group and they are being evaluated on a nightly basis from their performances.

We may not have gotten the trade deadline fireworks that some hoped for but the Canucks didn’t let their UFA walk for nothing and cleared up some cap space while getting younger on their defence.

It wasn’t flashy but there was some good done by the organization over the past two days.

There just happens to be a lot more to do…

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Quads and I broke down the 2022 Trade Deadline live from Rogers Arena. You can watch that video below!