#4. Canucks help the Rangers get older and wiser
At this point, it’s not an NHL season (or offseason) without Alexis Lafreniere trade speculation. The 2020 No. 1 overall pick hasn’t lived up to his draft status, nor has he been given the on-ice resources to do so.
The New York Rangers have less than $1 million in cap space, so they’ll need some help from the Canucks to make this work. Let’s call a spade a spade – if the Rangers want to continue contending, they need someone they can rely on, and Lafreniere hasn’t been that.
The 22-year-old did not record a point in their seven-game Round 1 loss to the New Jersey Devils, and the Canucks can instead offer the Metropolitan Division heavyweight a forward with a history of producing in a middle-six role. Garland is the kind of player that just fits the Rangers’ identity on the ice, and he’ll also provide a sense of security.
For the Canucks, it’s about taking a big gamble on a player that has a path to a huge opportunity next to Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko. If Lafreniere can’t cut it next to those two, well, nothing changes and Vancouver is back to square one.