Can Canucks find cap space?

Vancouver Canucks have a salary cap problem and they need to fix it stat!

At this current time, the Vancouver organisation is the only member of the NHL franchise with ZERO cap space.

While the projected salary cap for the new season 2023/24, sits at $83.5M, Canucks are projected to be $668,750 over. Tot it up and that gives them a projected cap of $84,168.750.

They are by no means the only team which could face difficulty with cap space but Canucks are in the red and Patrik Allvin has some tough decisions to make about personnel before October.

The question is… who and where?


The first place for Allvin to look could be in defence. Two of Canucks’ veteran Defencemen could be targets for creating more space; Tyler Myers and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Tyler Myers

2HRTPPY Calgary Flames’ Brett Ritchie, back, checks Vancouver Canucks’ Tyler Myers during the third period of a pre-season NHL hockey game in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

At 33 years old, he’s one of the team’s old-timers and in the upcoming season, is expected to have a cap hit of $6M.

Myers will also be coming into his second to last season of his FIVE-year $30M contract with Canucks.

While he currently retains a no-trade clause in his contract which affects which teams he can be traded to, there are still 22 which Allvin could stir up a bidding war with, provided the Canucks’ offer is enticing enough.

Myers is a nifty right-shot defenceman with physicality that can still deliver 20 or more minutes on the ice to a future suitor.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson

September 23, 2021, ABBOTSFORD, BC, Canada: Vancouver Canucks’ Oliver Ekman-Larsson, of Sweden, takes part in the NHL hockey team’s training camp in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, September 23, 2021. (Credit Image: © Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via ZUMA Press)

This is going to be a tricky one for Allvin and Canucks to chew on.

The 31-year-old is half-way through his EIGHT-year contract which comes with an eye-watering $7.26M cap hit per season. That means that it’s unlikely that a team will trade for his contract, which leaves a contract buyout as the remaining option.

For context, the defenceman was originally signed with Arizona Coyotes on a $66M EIGHT-year back in 2018 with an annual cap hit of $8.25M. In 2021, he was traded to the Canucks for the remaining SIX years.

Coyotes retained 12% of Ekman-Larsson’s salary.

Should there be a buyout on his contract, Canucks could save $7M in 2023/24, the first season of the buyout. This would shrink to $4.9M in the next year and $2.49M in the two seasons which follow.

In the FOUR years after his contract was supposed to expire, Canucks will only be paying $2.127M per season.

Then there’s Boeser

Vancouver Canucks’ Brock Boeser skates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks in Vancouver, B.C., on Thursday February 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

This might be an easier one for Allvin to consider seeing as the star winger does not have a no-trade or no-move clause in his current contract.

Brock Boeser’s cap hit for 2023/24 will be $6.65M, the same throughout his Three-year contract with the Canucks.

However, should there be a buyout, it’s going to cost $8.8M across FOUR years.

In the hinge between 2022 and 2023, Boeser’s grievances with the Canuck’s performance were documented but there were no official signs of his desire to move on.

He’ll be a Free Agent after the 2024/25 season though.

Doing nothing is not an option

The 2022/23 season was one of the Vancouver Canucks’ worst since the organisation was founded and a repeat of this season from October, is not desired.

Shedding for the sake of the cap space is critical but it could also open new options for rebuilding.

That’s something that had been discussed but considered a dirty word uttered at a time when the Canucks weren’t performing.

Perhaps it’s not such a bad idea after all.

Posted on: 26 May 2023