Trade speculation dogged Vancouver Canucks forwards J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser up to the March 21 trade deadline. While the duo finished this season with the Canucks, they remain fodder for off-season rumors.
Miller, 29, is coming off a career-best 99-point performance. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent eligibility but Canucks can sign him to a contract extension when this summer’s free-agent market opens on July 13.
The 25-year-old Boeser is a restricted free agent with arbitration rights who will cost $7.5 million for the Canucks to qualify his rights. An injury, a bout with COVID-19 and his father’s failing health limited him to 23 goals and 46 points this season.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported the Canucks are willing to entertain trade offers for Miller and Boeser. He noted they’re not just interested in draft picks but also good young players in return.
Cap Friendly shows the Canucks with $9.6 million in salary cap space and 17 players under contract. Hockey Operations president Jim Rutherford and general manager Patrik Allvin have publicly indicated their need for cap flexibility and to add more NHL-ready youth to their roster. Moving Miller and/or Boeser could help to achieve both aims.
Listening to offers and acting on them, however, are two different things. It will take a substantial return to tempt the Canucks into parting with either guy.
The Canucks aren’t in danger of losing Miller or Boeser to this summer’s UFA market. They have time to sort out new contracts for both players. Their cap limitations could make Boeser a target for an expensive offer sheet but that remains a rarely-used tactic among NHL general managers.