This has to feel like the longest trade deadline ever for members of the Vancouver Canucks.
Multiple players have been involved in trade speculation for weeks already, including names like J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Tyler Motte, Luke Schenn, and Jaroslav Halak. Remarkably, there are still 26 days to go until the March 21 deadline.
That means there’s enough time to add another player to the rumour mill: Tyler Myers.
According to NHL insider David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, the Canucks are looking at the possibility of dealing Myers before next month’s deadline.
“They’re exploring the market on Tyler Myers,” said Pagnotta. “He’s a guy that’s going to be talked about a little bit more as we approach the deadline over these next three-plus weeks.”
The new Canucks management team, led by Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin, has made it clear it’s looking to clear cap space. Management doesn’t appear to be fooled by a short run of success the team has had under Bruce Boudreau.
The Canucks are spending a lot on their defencemen right now, including Myers, who makes $6 million per season. Only the Colorado Avalanche is projected to have a higher cap hit for blueliners this season than Vancouver, according to CapFriendly.
The Canucks are one of just three teams that employ three defencemen making at least $6 million, in addition to the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild. The Canucks also have Quinn Hughes at $7.85 million and Oliver Ekman-Larsson at $7.26 million.
Myers might not be easy to move, though.
Though his combination of size, speed, and skill is hard to find, the 6-foot-8 rearguard is prone to poor decision-making. He’s also paid like a top pair defenceman, when in reality he’s more well suited to playing on a second pairing at best.
Myers, who is signed for two more years after this season, turned 32 earlier this month. His contract includes a 10-team no-trade list, which also complicates matters.
Working in Myers’ favour is the fact that he can play big minutes, as he averages 22:26 per night with the Canucks. Playing on Vancouver’s shutdown pairing with Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Myers has helped the Canucks give up the second-fewest goals against per game in the league at five-on-five — though, Vancouver’s excellent goaltending deserves much of the credit for that stat.
Myers is having a down year offensively, with no goals and 11 assists in 52 games, but he also hasn’t received much power-play time (0:26 per game) this season.
Is there another team that’s willing to take his contract? Perhaps not without the Canucks holding back some salary or accepting an anchor contract in return. But worse contracts have been moved.