The Vancouver Canucks are yet to find an amenable trade solution for Conor Garland and his new agent, and the player’s audition on the first line alongside Andrei Kuzmenko and Elias Pettersson has seemingly concluded. Garland now frequents the third line, and previous suitors – like the Nashville Predators – are now out of the equation.
The Washington Capitals, however, have maintained interest in Garland throughout the saga, but they don’t have the cap space to facilitate such a trade. Veteran right-shot defensemen like Nick Jensen and Trevor van Riemsdyk were floated around as potential options for the Canucks, but the Capitals are still trying to move embattled winger Anthony Mantha first. Mantha has a $5.7 million cap hit, but only has one year remaining on his contract. Garland, on the other hand, is signed for three more years at a $4.95 million cap hit.
The Chicago Blackhawks are another team said to be sniffing around Garland, per The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta. The Hawks could easily fit the 27-year-old into their team with $13 million in cap space, and they also want a top-six forward to help support superstar rookie Connor Bedard. They lack a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft, while the Canucks have both of theirs – if that’s all it takes.
Although Garland does carry a hefty price tag with term, he’s also not some junk forward either, so the Canucks shouldn’t be willing to pay to offload him for the sake of creating a bit of money. What could happen, though, is that Garland is sent to Chicago first, and then the Capitals move for the Garland, and then sweeten the deal for the Blackhawks by adding something with Mantha for taking on the extra salary and the worse player.
Want your voice heard? Join the The Canuck Way team!
To this point, there’s been no official confirmation that the three teams have engaged in talks for a trade, but it does seem that all three teams are willing to strike an apt deal if the opportunity presents itself. With Mantha just scoring his first goal of the season, this is now a situation to watch for the Canucks.