2: Find a trade partner and retain max salary
This is surely the preferred option for everyone involved. If the Vancouver Canucks could find a willing trade partner, retain the full $3m of Loui’s salary, and forget anything coming back in return, could they rid themselves of both their financial AND on-ice headaches?
The issue here comes down to finding said partner. You would think that the options would be limited to cap basement teams such as the New Jersey Devils, Ottawa Senators or perhaps the Arizona Coyotes. The problem with this idea is that Eriksson’s contract also holds a trump card: the pesky No-Trade Clause. If Loui doesn’t want to be traded to a basement-dweller like the Sens, or simply doesn’t want to uproot from Vancouver having made a long-term commitment, then there is nothing the Canucks can do to force his hand.
This will likely come down to some frank conversations with Loui after the season has ended, perhaps with Jim Benning highlighting some of these other, less attractive options to Loui and impressing upon him that if he wants to reach the magic 1,000 games played – which he would next season if he played 80 games – then he may need to consider agreeing to a trade.