Pros and Cons of The Canucks Trading at The Deadline

By: Trent Leith / March 5, 2022  

As the Canucks approach the trade deadline, it seems as though every option is firmly on the table for the club. Has this team shown enough to add pieces, or at the very least stay the course? Have they shown that they aren’t quite there and need a step back? Well, it depends who you ask. The 2021/22 Canucks are a Rorschach test on ice, you see what you’re looking to see.

That’s the thing about teams like this, there is no right answer, but everyone believes that they have the right answer and will start Twitter fights to prove it. But let’s slow down and take an objective look, let’s make a pros and cons list to try and see both sides of this issue. 

Should they trade any of Conor Garland, Brock Boeser or JT Miller? Should the Canucks be buyers or sellers? I’ll let you decide. 

Garland Should Be Traded


Garland is arguably the most exciting Canuck to watch, just watching him carrying the puck and skate in the offensive zone is so eye-catching with his quick direction changes and spins. But under Boudreau, Garland hasn’t found nearly the level of success that he had with Green as bench boss. 

Garland was 3rd on the Canucks earning18 points with seven goals and 11 assists under Coach Green, which is 0.75 points per game pace. Under Gabby, he is 7th on the team with 15 points (seven goals and eight assists). That’s only 0.54 points per game over his last 28 games. 

While the excitement level is there, he just hasn’t found a place in the lineup the same way other guys have. Garland has 4 years remaining on a $4.95M cap hit, and that is the makeup of a player that a team will pay a lot to get, especially if they believe they can get the Garland from the first half of this season on their team. 


Has Garland had a slow back half of the season so far? Sure. But he is still poised to have his second-highest points earning season of his career based on percentages per game (0.60 points per game pace), he is no slouch for this team. 

Night in and night out, based on eye-test alone, he is almost always the hardest working guy on the ice despite his stature. He is a tone-setter for the Canucks. 

The biggest con to trading Garland is his age and contract. Just as his moderate deal is appealing to other teams, it should be to the Canucks as well. As mentioned off the top, the trick to trading guys is you want to move out the ones that won’t be in a place to help you when you want to contend, and in 2-3 years Garland will be right in his sweet spot to help the Canucks push for a title. Garland is 25 (26 in a few days) if the Canucks want to be a better team in 2-3 years, a 28 or 29-year-old Garland will do that for you. Garland isn’t a player who will age out before his worth can be capitalized on.

The Canucks Should Move Miller


The Canucks should consider keeping Garland based on his age and contract, and Miller is the exact flip side of that coin. While Miller is on a very team-friendly $5.25M deal, he only has one year remaining on it, and when it’s set to expire, he will be 30 years old. If the Canucks are still a few years out from their contention window opening, Miller is likely going to be aging out of an elite role with the team he is on, before Vancouver reaches that window.  

A player of Miller’s calibre is going to command term and money that this Canucks team is not in a place to hand out, especially with some of the larger, less efficient contracts on the books already, like Myers and OEL. The Canucks just aren’t in a position to utilize him on a cup run this year and aren’t in a position to give him the contract he deserves, which leaves one logical option, cash out. 

The haul that Miller will pull back could be huge. Tyler Toffoli was recently traded to the Calgary Flames by the Montreal Canadiens for a protected 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 fifth, a prospect and a player. If that’s the going rate for Toffoli, Miller should have no issue fetching more. If that is the case, the Canucks must pull the trigger for the future of this team. It will hurt in the short term, but Miller is worth more to this team as a trade chip now than he is a player during the Canucks planned contention window.  


JT Miller is the heartbeat of this team. Miller leads the Canucks in points (61), goals (21) and assists (40). He has 18 points on Quinn Hughes, who is second on the team for points. Outside of Thatcher Demko, Miller is the most important part of this Canucks club this season. If you believe the Canucks can do damage in the playoffs, you can’t move him, at least not at the deadline. 

Miller has shown no signs of slowing down, alternatively, he seems to only get better with age despite leaving what is expected to be his statistical prime. Joe Pavelski is another player that seems to have hit his final heat late in his career, and it looks like Miller is poised to do the same. If the contention window is expected to open a couple of years out, Miller might be able to shorten that waiting period for this team. 

The Canucks also have more time left with this player as his contract isn’t up until the end of next season. The Canucks could hold on to him through this deadline to see where the team goes to end this season, and if they can do damage in the playoffs, then that’s an added bonus. There is no rush, they could still move him for picks and prospects in the summer, or even the next deadline. He is too important to the team’s success to move him if you have any playoff aspirations this year.

It’s Time to Move Boeser


The new folks in Canucks management had been clear about a couple of things, the team isn’t fast enough and being capped out and outside the playoffs is a bad place to be. That’s bad news for Brock Boeser. 

Boeser is due for a new contract this off-season, and the issue with that is he demands a $7.5M qualifying offer, or he has the right to free agency. Now deals can be made to get around that, but The Canucks need to plan for that QO as a worst-case scenario. Boeser is having a down year points-wise, with 31 points in 50 games played and that kind of production is hard to pay $7.5M for. Remember, the Canucks are only paying $5.25M for Miller, who has 30 more points than Boeser this season and 54 more since joining the team. 

Boeser also isn’t the greatest skater, his foot speed has never been what makes him the player he is, it was always the shot and goal-scoring prowess. In recent seasons especially, where he lacked outright speed, he made up for it with position and general hockey IQ.

There has been and still is a strong interest in Boeser. Frank Seravalli reported on Sportsnet 650, “It just seems more clear that if the Vancouver Canucks are making a move — and there’s no guarantee that that’s the case — that it seems like Brock Boeser is the most likely guy. That they’ve had enough conversations with teams around the league, that there’s been enough interest as well, that Brock Boeser really appears to be the guy that is the target from Vancouver.”


Is there a high QO? Yes, absolutely, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be the starting point for negotiations. There is a very probable world where Boeser gets signed to a multi-year deal that had a lower AAV than the $7.5M his QO implies. 

Boeser has been a Canuck since his debut in 2016/17 alongside Canucks legend Thomas Vanek. In 303 he put 113 goals in the net and totalled 241 points, he has some injury history and a reputation for goal-scoring slumps, but Boeser has rounded his game out to the point he can contribute beyond goalscoring. 

Boeser makes up for his poor foot speed with a strong hockey mind and anticipation, watching a game you’ll hardly find him too slow to keep up with linemates. Boeser has grown to be strong along the boards and on the forecheck. While he may not have wound up being amongst the best snipers in the league, he is far, far from a player you don’t try to re-sign and keep on your team. 

The Canucks Should Be Sellers


Assets. Assets build contenders, where that is a pick or a prospect that will help your team down the line, or used as a currency in exchange for present-day help. 

The Canucks are on the outside of the playoff picture by four points and have played more games than most teams they are fighting against. While the Canucks are hanging in the race on paper, the numbers don’t lie, it’s a steep uphill climb to not just keep pace, but to attempt to advance in the standings having played more games than their competition. 

In a year like this, the Canucks shouldn’t be going all in, but instead, they should have an eye for the future, this isn’t a rebuild, but a retool, a quick on the fly shuffle of players that may not be on the team, or outside their prime when the Canucks hope to become a perennial cup contender 


Since Boudreau took over the team in early December, the Canucks are seventh in the league in points percentage (.667), in total points earned in the standings (44) and first in both categories in their Pacific Division. 

The team has found its legs post Travis Green and has looked like a bonafide contender since December, at least on paper. When a team is playing like this, and on a run as strong as this one, you don’t want to blow that up. I don’t want to be that guy, but have you heard the story about the St. Louis Blues Cup run?