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Canucks: Tanner Pearson’s Health Fuels Trade Market Speculation

Tanner Pearson’s return to health fuels trade market speculation, making the Canucks a team to watch closely.

As the NHL offseason progresses, discussions and rumors in the trade market are beginning to gain momentum. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shared insights on the evolving trade landscape during the latest 32 Thoughts Podcast, shedding light on increased activity and potential trade scenarios. One team squarely in the trade conversation is the Vancouver Canucks, grappling with roster and cap complexities.

Friedman noted that trade discussions have begun to pick up, primarily involving teams facing roster imbalances in terms of centers, wingers, or players of specific positions. This description neatly fits the situation for the Vancouver Canucks, who are exploring their options to navigate a challenging cap situation.

One crucial factor driving Vancouver’s potential trade activity is the health of forward Tanner Pearson. After a season marred by a persistent and contentious hand injury that nearly jeopardized his career, Pearson is expected to be healthy for the upcoming 2023-24 campaign. However, this positive development creates cap pressure for the Canucks, as Pearson’s $3.25 million cap hit is set to impact their roster construction since he’d no longer be on LTIR.

Friedman expressed relief at the prospect of Pearson playing again for the Canucks, but he noted that it creates the need for a trade. He explained, “The Canucks have a lot of wingers, and it’s another cap thing that they have to deal with.” Among the notable names discussed in trade talks for Vancouver are Connor Garland and Brock Boeser, but there is no immediate action on either front.

When it comes to Garland, his $4.95 million cap hit could return valuable assets to Canucks’ general manager Patrik Allvin, making him an appealing trade piece. He has consistently produced between 40 and 60 points, can slot into a top-six role, and lacks trade protection.

The challenge for the Canucks is the timing of any potential moves. Most teams are set and more have limited cap space available to do anything of significance. The hope is that Friedman is right and that other teams are looking to make changes too. If so, the Canucks might have a shot at moving someone.

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