All through this week Canucks fans have been sweating furiously while the Brock Boeser trade rumours swirled. Word on the grapevine according to Matt Sekeres of TSN 1040 in Vancouver was that the Canucks were having cap issues. To free up some room, a potential Boeser trade was apparently on the cards. Jim Benning has dismissed these rumours claiming he has ‘no intention’ of trading one of his stars. He even went further to suggest ‘someone made that up’.
Benning on Boeser: "It's hard to find guys that can shoot the puck and score like he can. You can find other pieces as you rebuild your team. We've been happy with him since we drafted him. I don't know where this stuff comes from. I have no intention of trading Brock Boeser."
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) July 13, 2020
On the surface, this appears to be the end of the tattletale, but let’s not forget… this is Jim Benning we’re talking about! His word is never gospel and his decision-making skills are frequently scrutinized. Boeser had a notoriously difficult and drawn-out contract negotiation. He signed a three-year deal back in September, but once more his future is under question. While the 23-year-old Minnesota native has dismissed any trade talks, the Canucks need to tread carefully.
Money, Money, Money
Vancouver has not prided itself on giving out reasonably price or sensible contracts in the past. Giving Boeser a 17 million contract was a practical contract for the short term. However, Benning has a habit of handing out expensive ‘no-trade clause’ deals. On the Canucks payroll we have a 35-year-old Loui Eriksson with three years remaining at 6 million per season. 34-year-old Jay Beagle has three years at 3 million per season. Alexander Edler has two years remaining at six million per season, also 34 years young. Plus take into consideration Brandon Sutter‘s 4.3 million two final seasons and Michael Ferland’s 4 years 3.5 million contract- we have ourselves a potential issue.
All of these guys are on ‘no-trade’ deals and right now this has Canucks fans foaming at the mouth. If this franchise loses a top-six winger because of the ill thinking of its franchise then fans won’t be happy. This seems to be a recurring theme in Vancouver, remember when Mike Gillis tried to give an ancient Mats Sundin a $20 million contract!
The Trouble With Toffoli
This name has been on everyone’s lips this week. According to sources, the Canucks are keen to tie up Tyler Toffoli for the future and were willing to part with Boeser to secure him. There’s no doubt that T.T has made an impact in Vancouver with 10 points in 10 games. Should the Canucks sneak the final play-off spot in the West, he will be a fantastic asset. However, would he really be worth throwing away our future for? Boeser is a generational talent who has made an even bigger splash in B.C. during his three seasons.
It’s hard to believe Boeser was only the 23rd pick in the 2015 draft. At 23 he has yet to hit his peak form. If the Canucks make the tough decision to re-sign Toffoli then you sense they may live to rue it. This guy is a prime talent that would be a top 6 winger anywhere and this could be another Cam Neely type situation if they don’t play it sensibly.
I am not saying that Toffoli isn’t a great player. He was a key component of the Kings 2014 cup win and has been one of their top talents in the years since. However, at 28 years old, he doesn’t exactly have youth on his side and his contract won’t come cheap. In my view Canucks will need to make some smart choices for a change to retain the key components.
While Benning has silenced the rumours for now, there is no doubt that this issue will be raised again in the future. Boeser is a generational talent that the Canucks need to prioritize. The fact that they have given out some many large ‘no-trade’ contracts to players who haven’t exactly set the Rogers Arena on fire is baffling. This offseason they will need to make sure the right players are kept and that money is not wasted.
Boeser returned to the ice this week and looked happy and contented among his peers and currently, appears to be playing his in Vancouver for the foreseeable future. Hopefully, this summer won’t see any more unpleasant rumours for Canucks fans, and that this team gets a playoff spot.