Tyler Motte may have only fetched a fourth-round pick for the Vancouver Canucks in Monday’s deadline deal with the New York Rangers, but he was worth so much more than that to the team, the fans, and the city.
Motte came to Vancouver back in 2018, essentially serving as a throw-in piece in a trade that sent Thomas Vanek to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Jussi Jokinen to the Canucks. Little did we know that Motte would have more impact on his team than anyone else in that trade.
At the time of the trade, Motte had 64 games’ worth of NHL experience to go along with 12 points to show for it. He played a severely limited role in both Columbus and Chicago, the team that originally drafted him, while also spending lots of time in the AHL.
Fortunately, things would soon change.
Mostly due to the Canucks’ limited roster at the time, Motte instantly became a full-time NHL player. Over the next two seasons, he would cement himself as one of the most important players on the roster.
Motte was never an offensive giant in the NHL, only notching 62 points in 260 games, which doesn’t exactly shout MVP.
But Motte’s impact was so much more than goals and assists.
Motte played every game with a fire that many of his teammates lacked in the past few seasons. Every shift seemed urgent to him. He finished his checks. He blocked shots. He created turnovers. Simply put, he was the perfect bottom-six forward.
Hockey fans across the league really started to recognize Motte’s name because of his contributions to the Canucks’ playoff run in the 2020 bubble – specifically his multi-goal performances against the St. Louis Blues, earning the Canucks a comeback win that would eventually lead to the elimination of the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
As a result, head coach Bruce Boudreau trusted them in key situations, both offensively and defensively – something not a lot of coaches can say about their third line.
Perhaps even greater than Motte’s on-ice contribution, however, was his advocacy for mental health. Motte was diagnosed with anxiety and depression shortly after he turned pro. To this day, he is still open about his struggles and wants to help others in the same situation.
In 2021, he joined forces with Canucks for Kids to create “Motter’s Mental Health Fund”, which raises money for various mental health initiatives and foundations. He was also nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes players for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey.
Of course, many Canucks fans do feel disappointed for not having re-signed Motte but, at the end of the day, that should be outweighed by the excitement of him having a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. We hope he does well in the playoffs and that he gets his money in free agency.
Tyler, thank you for everything!
What are your thoughts on Motte’s career in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments!