Brock Boeser appears to have had a change of heart, but will it be enough to keep him in Vancouver?
The 26-year-old winger was the subject of trade rumours for most of the 2022-23 season, with news leaking back in December that Boeser’s agent had been granted permission to seek a trade for his client.
A trade never materialized for the Minnesota native, due to the hefty contract that pays him $6.65 million per season, for two more years.
On Saturday, the longest-tenured Canucks player called it a “blessing in disguise.”
“I don’t want to be traded,” Boeser told reporters at the Canucks’ end-of-season media availability. “I’ve expressed to you guys how much I love it here. Obviously it was a tough year, personally, with my game and stuff this season.
“I think it was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t get traded. Really thought I started to find my game after the trade deadline and the last bit of the season there.”
Boeser scored 16 points (6-10-16) in 21 games after the trade deadline.
“[Rick Tocchet’s] been great, the whole coaching staff’s been great. Like [my teammates] said, everyone knows the direction that we’re going. Setting the standard and becoming better — I want to be a part of that.”
A possible “change of heart” is exactly what Tocchet mentioned to reporters last month. The Canucks head coach wants Boeser to play differently away from the puck, but ultimately he’ll need to be a more consistent goal-scorer going forward.
Tocchet had alot of positive things to say about Boeser, but added he’s been inconsistent & needs to get in on the forecheck. Talked about him potentially having a “change of heart” about staying with #Canucks. “He’s gotta get better. Regardless of if it’s here or somewhere else”
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) March 11, 2023
Boeser’s goal production dried up this year, with just 18 goals in 74 games. He had his eyes set on scoring 30, though a preseason hand injury clearly threw a wrench into things early.
While it was a disappointing season for his standards, Boeser’s point totals were actually respectable.
The Canucks winger finished the season with 55 points, which was just one point off his career high. He has never tallied more than 37 assists in a season, which he accomplished this year.
Just how keen Canucks management is to move Boeser, and what his value is to other teams in the offseason, remains to be seen. The Canucks want to clear cap space, and have too much money tied up in wingers.