Prediction #3: Tanner Pearson gets traded
Tanner Pearson hasn’t been scoring at the rate he used to.
However, he has been useful in other ways such as winning puck battles, especially on the forecheck. Pearson isn’t a bad middle-six forward.
But he is earning 3.25 million dollars for the next two seasons and given his age (Turning 30 this August) and production (14 goals and 20 assists for 34 points this season) that is kind of an overpay. Again, the Canucks need to clear cap space and unloading him will help.
I think a contending team could use him in a bottom-six role. I do see him traded but there will likely be some salary retained. I should also note that starting this summer, Pearson’s no-trade clause becomes a modified NTC. What is going to change? Pearson has to submit a seven-team no-trade list.
I think Pearson will be traded to a contending team or team that wants to move into contention and he can try to provide secondary offence wherever he goes.
Don’t expect, a ransom offer, however. Pearson will be traded for a mid-round pick and. or a mid-tier prospect and/or perhaps a young bottom-six forward. To avoid retaining salary, the Canucks might have to throw in a pick of their own or a prospect as a sweetener to get rid of Pearson.
Prediction #4: Juho Lammikko, Kyle Burroughs and Brad Hunt come back on one-year deals
Juho Lammikko has thrived under Bruce Boudreau but has kind of slowed down offensively ever since Tyler Motte was traded to the New York Rangers.
Lammikko’s underlying numbers aren’t the best but he has shown he can be a good forechecker and is good at winning battles along the boards. He has also shown to be decent on the face-off circle and has provided some fourth-line offence by creating opportunities.
I think the Canucks do bring him back on a cheap one-year deal. He won’t cost much and has shown he can be effective.
I also think Kyle Burroughs and Brad Hunt deserve to come back on one-year deals and I say they do. Burroughs has displayed physicality and has been decent in his own zone while Hunt has been a reliable stay-at-home defenceman for chump change.
Bringing back Burroughs, Hunt and Lammikko aren’t big moves but they could provide depth for the Canucks next year as they had this year. If they don’t do well, they can always be sent to Abbotsford without taking much cap space.