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During Insider Trading on TSN on Tuesday night, Darren Dreger reported that “there is strong market interest” in both J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser and that the Vancouver Canucks are “interested in listening.”
However, it does not mean a trade will automatically take place.
“It seems like it’s open season for the Vancouver Canucks; it’s not a fire sale so don’t misunderstand that – we’ll talk about J.T. Miller and we’ll talk about Brock Boeser. Miller has one year remaining on his contract and then he’s an unrestricted free agent and Boeser is a restricted free agent this off-season and there’s going to be a strong market for both of these players. Boeser is 25 years old and he’s a goal scorer, Miller is coming off a career year and he’s a gritty forward – there isn’t a Stanley Cup playoff team (including the Tampa Bay Lightning and Colorado Avalanche) who wouldn’t consider Miller a good add on top of what they already have.”
Dreger also revealed what the Canucks might seek in return if they find a trade partner willing to pay the price.
“The Canucks are interested in listening, [Canucks GM] Patrik Allvin has been very busy but the Canucks aren’t just in the market for draft picks. They need good, young players [and] if they’re giving up NHL players in return it’ll be a very interesting off-season for them.”
Trade chatter emerged ahead of the 2022 trade deadline when the Canucks were believed to be shopping Miller. They ultimately kept the versatile forward, hoping to clinch a playoff spot. He put up 32 goals and 99 points in 80 contests in Vancouver this past year.
As for Boeser, he is a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer of $7.5 million. The sniper recorded 23 goals and 23 assists while playing a career-high 71 games last season.
Per Cap Friendly, the Canucks project to have $9.7 million in cap space this offseason. Their depth up front is looking good, especially since they signed KHL star Andrei Kuzmenko - but they could use some help on the back end.
Vancouver also has to look ahead: with captain Bo Horvat and top forward Elias Pettersson due for raises in the coming years, the Canucks will have to make tough choices seeing that it will be difficult to keep all four of Miller, Boeser, Horvat, and Pettersson under the hard salary cap moving forward.
The tough decisions might be made this summer with trade rumours surfacing about Miller and Boeser…