Few teams have the cap space to add Myers in trade with Canucks

Sep 5 2023, 10:11 pm

Tyler Myers is about to get paid. The Vancouver Canucks defenceman’s much-talked-about $5 million bonus is set to be delivered on September 15, his agent confirmed today.

That’s 10 days from now and less than a week before training camp begins in Victoria.

Myers will be owed just $1 million on his contract, which expires after this season, once the bonus is paid.

That clearly makes the 6-foot-8 blueliner a more desirable player to other teams, despite the fact he’ll still carry a $6 million cap hit. The question is, does it make him attractive enough to trade for?

It’s not a straightforward question.

In theory, a non-cap team could use Myers, given they would pay him just $1 million in real dollars. The problem is there are very few teams that fall into the category of a non-cap team if they add Myers.

Only four teams are projected to have more than $6 million in cap space next season, according to CapFriendly: Nashville ($7.9 million), Buffalo ($8.8 million), Chicago ($12.9 million), and Anaheim ($16.6 million).

Two more teams, the Florida Panthers ($9.8 million) and Philadelphia Flyers ($9.2 million) could have the necessary cap space for Myers depending on the status of their long-term injury candidates. Florida will be without Aaron Ekblad ($7.5 million) and Brandon Montour ($3.5 million) to start the season, while Philadelphia will be missing Sean Couturier ($7.75 million) and Cam Atkinson ($5.875 million).

The Canucks could retain salary or take a bad contract back in a Myers trade, but either way, they shouldn’t expect teams to suddenly view Myers as an asset given the cap implications.

Vancouver was rumoured to be talking to the San Jose Sharks about a trade involving Myers and winger Kevin Labanc earlier this summer. San Jose has enough cap space to make that kind of deal work, given that Labanc is set to make $4.725 million next season. But the Sharks aren’t swimming in cap space, even after the Erik Karlsson trade.

Another thing to consider: Myers has a modified no-trade clause. The defenceman can submit a 10-team no-trade list, further limiting Canucks GM Patrik Allvin’s options.

It may make sense for the Canucks to simply hang onto Myers until the trade deadline, at which point only a fraction of his cap hit will remain on the books. That’s when Myers could have real value to other teams.

Also relevant to the conversation is the Canucks’ lack of depth on the back end. Vancouver has only six established NHL defencemen under contract and one of them is Matt Irwin, who isn’t guaranteed a spot on the team. The team could well be in a spot where if they trade Myers, they need to replace him.

If recent comments from Myers’ agent J.P. Barry are any indication, the 33-year-old veteran will be extra motivated next season.

“It’s a big deal for Tyler. He has to play for everyone. He has to play hard,” Barry told Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal on Tuesday’s edition of Donnie and Dhali on CHEK. “He’s in his final season. If he wants to continue to get another contract, which I know he does, he wants to show the rest of the NHL that he can help and it’ll figure out where his market value is.

“If he has a good year, it’s important to him. I think he’s going to do everything he can to have the best year possible and that’ll help the Canucks. They’ll either decide to keep him at a different number or move him to another team.”

 

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