At some point in the last 72 hours, the Vancouver Canucks have given permission to Conor Garland to talk to other NHL teams to seek a trade. Garland, 27, has changed his representation over that time frame – presumably to help facilitate a move that sends him to a favorable landing spot.
In classic Canucks fashion, the biggest obstacle left to clear is Garland’s $4.95 million cap hit that either they or another team will be stuck with for another three seasons, including this one. The veteran winger does not have any movement or trade clauses in his contract, so at least that helps.
A variety of teams could use the services of a great two-way middle-six winger, but few would be ready to commit to a large contract with no clear indications of a salary cap increase. Conversely, the Canucks can soften the blow for their trade partner by acquiring a need of their own, such as a right-shot defenseman.
The following five proposals in this exercise give Vancouver an out for Garland, whilst also helping them on the ice with some immediacy.
#5. Canucks relieve some Blue Jackets bloat
So, the Canucks desperately need help on the right side of their defense, and they need more talent on the blueline in general. At the moment, the supremely talented Adam Boqvist is the odd man out in Columbus with the Blue Jackets instead committing to Andrew Peeke, Erik Gudbranson, and premier offseason addition Damon Severson.
By eating a little over $1 million and offering a failing prospect, the Canucks get that help without compromising any draft capital. From there, Vancouver can keep Filip Hronek next to Quinn Hughes and allow Boqvist to drive play next to Carson Soucy when he’s finally healthy.