The Toronto Maple Leafs shut out the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night. On the Canadian broadcast of the game, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped some more info on the ongoing Brock Boeser and Vancouver Canucks situation.
Last week, Friedman reported that Boeser’s agent had permission to talk to other teams about facilitating a potential move.
The hockey insider now says that the Washington Capitals could be one of those teams and are a “darkhorse” suitor.
Elliotte Friedman links two teams to Brock Boeser as potential matches on Maple Leafs broadcast: Minnesota Wild (though says unclear if they can make it work) and calls the Washington Capitals a "darkhorse".#MNWild#ALLCAPS
— Jori Negin-Shecter (@JNeginShecter) December 7, 2022
The 25-year-old Boeser has 16 points (4g, 12a) in 20 games this season. Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau had announced his intention to make the Minnesota native a healthy scratch for Saturday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes before an injury to forward Dakota Joshua led to him being slotted back into the lineup.
That game was also Vancouver’s Hockey Fights Cancer night, a fact of which Boudreau says he was unaware until later in the day. Boeser’s father Duke passed away last May after a long battle with lung cancer and dementia.
“It was a very important game for me and my family, so when I came in this morning and my name wasn’t on the whiteboard it hurt – it hurt bad,” Boeser said.
Boeser would go on to score a third-period tying goal against Arizona and the Canucks would eventually win the game in overtime.
A Brock Boeser tying goal. You can't script it better. pic.twitter.com/mvbdIdCBb9
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) December 4, 2022
This is not the first time that the Caps have been brought up in some sort of Boeser conversation. In March of last year, Sportsnet hockey insider Jeff Marek named them as a potential trade deadline candidate to acquire the scoring winger’s services.
All of this noise surrounding Boeser comes just months after Vancouver re-signed him to a three-year, $19.95 million contract as a restricted free agent. That contract likely complicates things for a lot of teams, including the Capitals.
“Teams are gauging whether they can get into a trade conversation with the Canucks for Boeser,” TSN’s Pierre LeBrun said Tuesday. “His contract is the issue, with two more years after this one at $6.65 on the AAV. Now, there are teams that I’ve talked to that have interest, but [they are hesitant] for the simple fact that they have no wiggle room cap-wise, not just for the rest of the year but past this year.
“There is one team I believe that is pretty serious about getting involved if the Canucks [are] willing to eat part of Boeser’s contract,” LeBrun continued. “But at this stage of the process, I don’t think Vancouver wants to do that. Clearing some serious cap space has to be a very important part of any trade involving Boeser from the Canucks’ perspective.”
When speaking to the media on Saturday, Caps general manager Brian MacLellan said he doesn’t think his team will be capable of adding any help offensively due to lingering salary cap questions around long-term injured reserve forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson.
“It is tough for an LTI team,” MacLellan said. “[Backstrom and Wilson] are making progress. We have to make room to have them in the lineup. To help our team you would have to add a high-end guy, top-six guy but they are $5 million, $6 million. You can’t add that player while you are bringing two guys back from LTI. That’s why we say our top guys have to carry us to that point.”
Screenshot via @Canucks/Twitter
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