It officially won’t be a Motte Girl Summer for the Vancouver Canucks.
On Wednesday morning, hockey insider Frank Seravalli took to Twitter, announcing that forward Tyler Motte signed a one-year, $1.35 million deal with the Ottawa Senators.
The 5’10”, 192-pound centre was originally drafted 121st overall by the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Motte went on to play three seasons at the University of Michigan before inking a three-year entry level deal with the Blackhawks at the end of the 2015-16 season.
Motte’s time in the Windy City was short-lived, only played 33 games with Chicago before being dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the blockbuster Artemi Panarin deal in the summer of 2017.
The former fourth round pick found more roster consistency in Columbus, notching 12 points in 64 games across two seasons, but eventually found himself on the move again at the 2018 trade deadline.
Motte, as well as former teammate Jussi Jokinen, were dealt to Vancouver in exchange for Thomas Vanek.
Motte ended up playing 176 games for the Canucks between 2018 and 2022, notching 28 goals and 22 assists over that span, while also becoming a staple and fan-favourite on the fourth line.
Despite numerous injuries, Motte still managed to set career-highs in goals (9), assists (8), points (16) and shots (114) during his time in Vancouver, while also earning a two-year, $2.45 million deal right before the 2020-21 campaign.
As is the case for most cap-strapped bubble teams, Motte became the subject of trade rumours during the 2021-22 campaign, particularly when the 27-year old began to establish solid chemistry with Juho Lammikko and Matthew Highmore.
It was rumoured that Motte and current General Manager Patrik Allvin had serious discussions about a contract extension for the gritty forward but, in the end, the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement.
Motte was eventually dealt to the New York Rangers, where he registered two goals in 15 playoff games. Vancouver received a fourth-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft in return.
Like many depth forwards, Motte was on the UFA market for most of the summer, giving Canucks fans a bit of hope that he could return to the team. However, given the offseason additions of Curtis Lazar, Ilya Mikheyev and Andrei Kuzmenko up front, it was clear that Vancouver was never a front-runner for Motte’s services, especially given their current cap situation.
Vancouver will make their way to the nation’s capital on November 8th, while Motte and his new teammates will head to the West Coast on March 11th.
What are your thoughts on Motte’s new deal? Let us know in the comments!