Like all NHL teams, the Vancouver Canucks will soon be getting all of their significant management and scouting personnel together for what are informally known as the mid-winter meetings. These usually occur in mid-January, give or take a few days or a week.
It’s at that point that the organization decides where it’s headed between the meetings and the NHL trade deadline on March 3rd.
In the case of the Canucks, there’s a strong likelihood the club will be looking to shape itself for future campaigns … a.k.a., a seller. Barring a 5-and-2 or better record in the first half of January, unlikely if you take a glance at the schedule, then management will start seriously looking at deals. They already are, but trigger-pulling time will move closer.
There’s plenty on the plate. Unsigned captain Bo Horvat needs to be signed or moved prior to the deadline, and if the club decides on the previous, then other names need to move out.
Brock Boeser’s name has been in trade rumours in perpetuity since Jim Benning was still general manager of the club. Early last month his agent was given permission to find a suitable landing spot for the 25-year-old right shot winger who’s off to the worst start/first half of his career. That’s a $6.65-million cap hit for the next two years off the books provided they can find a suitor who won’t be asking for Vancouver to eat some of that salary or add in a sweetener.
The same could be said if they try to move big, right-shot D-man Tyler Myers, his deal a bit more tenable at $6-million for one. He has some limited say in where he can be traded.
They could easily keep him into next season given he eats minutes and plays the right side, the club’s biggest weakness. If that happens he’d likely be a strong candidate for trade deadline 2024.
Although the circumstances would be bizarre, J.T. Miller’s name still floats. Conor Garland is out there, as is Oliver Ekman-Larsson despite his no-move clause.
This is what happens when you have 35 points after 36 games, and as much as it’s about math, it’s more so about chemistry, commitment and coaching (buy-in). Just ask anyone who’s ever won a Stanley Cup.
Winger Andrei Kuzmenko is a keeper and needs a new contract. Ching, ching!
These are the decisions Canucks management will be confronted with. They’ll also put together a wish list and decide which players their pro scouts like are actually obtainable and at what cost.
By the way, do they need to think about adding another goaltender for next season and beyond? The plot thickens.
Right now, they’re planning for their planning sessions. Stand by. That’s when the real fun begins.
Jimmy R and Patrick know the time is right in the next 2 weeks to deal some players before injury possibilities to a tradeable player might occur.
Looks like Bruce will stay the season though.