Speaking for the first time since trade rumours involving Brock Boeser swirled on Friday, Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning was emphatic in his denial that he had looked to deal the 23-year-old goal scorer.
“That’s not true, somebody made that up,” said Benning, speaking to reporters on the first day of training camp. “We haven’t had any sort of conversations internally about that, and I’ve had zero conversations with other teams about moving Brock Boeser.
“He’s one of our good young players. We were excited when we got a chance to draft him. He’s been a big part of our team here. As we move forward, we look to him to be a core piece. He can shoot the puck and score.
“I don’t know where this stuff comes from, but there’s no truth to it.”
The initial report from TSN 1040’s Matt Sekeres, to be clear, did not state that the Canucks were actively shopping Boeser — only that they were “exploring the opportunity” to trade him given his contract and upcoming salary cap concerns.
. @mattsekeres has information of the #Canucks possibly exploring a trade of one of their star players; where they're at in negotiations with Jacob Markstrom and Tyler Toffoli. pic.twitter.com/QzdFhGePRX
— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) July 10, 2020
Still, the report sounded alarm bells with a number of Canucks fans who would be furious if a fan favourite like Boeser was traded.
Boeser didn’t seem pleased about the report, calling the timing of it “unnecessary.”
“I had a chat with Jim and he told me that he’s never said anything with anyone about me possibly being traded,” Boeser said. “I felt I’ve always been pretty honest with the media and I felt like it was really unnecessary. The timing of the [report] too, I thought it was pretty questionable… The trade deadline has passed and no one can get traded right now.”
Whatever the case, Boeser was back on the ice with his teammates today in a practice led by Travis Green for the first time since March.
He was lined up with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson on the second line, with Green not wanting to mess with the successful trio Elias Pettersson, JT Miller, and Tyler Toffoli. Boeser scored 45 points in 57 games this season, but was in a career-worst 12-game goal drought when the season paused.
First bodycheck of training camp from Boeser on Edler
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) July 13, 2020
But now, with the Minnesota native fully healthy, Green said if he had to single one player out that looked good at practice today, it would be Boeser.
Whatever the case, a healthy and confident Boeser would represent the best second-line winger the Canucks have had in a long time.