Looking at the Vancouver Canucks’ roster and their salary cap situation for next season, it’s clear that something has to give. With a roster that only shows 16 players signed to deals but the team $100K over the salary cap ceiling already, someone has to be traded. For the Canucks, that someone is likely a player with a hefty salary, which makes the J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser storylines from this past trade deadline so intriguing.
Vancouver didn’t move either player, despite there being plenty of rumors the team was shopping both forwards. There was also talk that Tyler Myers, Conor Garland, Thatcher Demko, and other big names were out there in trade discussions, even though none of those names moved. Instead, the Canucks brought in a player with salary in Filip Hronek and it’s likely they’ll be committing to paying him even more money in future years as Frank Seravalli noted during the DFO Rundown podcast this week that he would “bet his house” any long-term deal for Hronek starts with a 7. He even makes the argument that Hronek’s camp will shoot for close to $8 million per season and they could get it.
So, how do the Canucks intend to manage this cap situation?
According to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, watch for a big-name player to be moved this summer and for trades that started ahead of the deadline to kick off again. He writes in a recent article that there were meaningful trade discussions with Pittsburgh before the deadline about J.T. Miller, to the point where at least two third-party teams were approached by the Canucks and asked if they would take a player from Pittsburgh to make the whole thing work cap-wise. Miller has trade protection starting before next season and it’s notable they didn’t have that trade protection kick in immediately when the deal was signed, which they could have opted to do.
He writes, “There’s still a decent chance Miller is part of the Canucks’ opening night lineup next fall, but I also believe management will keep listening prior to July 1, just in case. Miller hasn’t been promised anything either way.”
LeBrun also believes that the team will actively try to trade Brock Boeser. If Myers can’t be traded, a buyout is possible on his remaining years and if the Canucks can find a home for Garland, they’ll look at that as an option too.
The question moving forward is who makes the cut in Vancouver to keep this team competitive? The addition of Hronek proves the club isn’t rebuilding. So, if they’re retooling, that means moving star players with big contracts out for good players with affordable deals. That could be easier said than done.
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