Motte and only Motte? And if salary has to go, Garland by way of deduction?
Not long ago, we were discussing how extensive the changes could be to this organization by the March 21st NHL trade deadline.
Ten days out, we’re talking about how quiet it could be after the Canucks played their way back into the playoff race. Just four points back in the division and three back of the second wild card.
So if Jaroslav Halak doesn’t waive his no-move clause — and I still think he will — then that leaves fourth-line winger Tyler Motte as the only unrestricted free agent of note.
It’s probably Motte’s one chance at a decent payday. I can’t see him re-signing prior to March 21st, or at least that would take a significant commitment from a Canucks administration that is looking to create cap space, not consume it.
One could argue that subtracting Motte isn’t a make-or-break move to this season’s playoff push. Even if Motte is a primary penalty-killer for a unit that is already league-worst and not flush with PK forwards.
But I suspect Jim Rutherford could flash his Stanley Cup rings and make that case.
And if salary must go by the deadline, we are getting down to a choice between Conor Garland or Tyler Myers. I add Myers and his 10-team no-trade list only because he was reported as on the block by Toronto’s Nick Kypreos.
Garland was not acquired or extended by this management group, and he’s struggled under Boudreau.
I think he’s more attractive to acquiring clubs than Myers, who is 32 and earns $6 million per year, and more likely to be traded by the Canucks.
While the club could not argue ‘no big deal’ if it moved Garland, at the very least management could say it didn’t touch the core.