Canucks’ 2023 Offseason Trade Targets: Tampa Bay Lightning


After one more season out of the playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks will likely be seeking to enhance their crew within the offseason by way of free company and trades. Unfortunately attributable to their cap state of affairs, free company most likely received’t yield a whole lot of fruit. So, that leaves the trade market, which as everyone knows, could be dicey particularly in case you’re competing with a bunch of common managers for a similar participant. With that stated, let’s begin the 2023 version of the offseason commerce targets sequence with the crew that’s the closest to a modern-day dynasty, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ross Colton

Over the years the Lightning have needed to say goodbye to some main items from their Stanley Cup rosters. From their uber third-line of Blake Coleman, Yanni Gourde, and Barclay Goodrow to playoff sniper Ondrej Palat and veteran Ryan McDonagh, the wage cap has prevented the crew from staying the identical from one season to the following. Ross Colton could possibly be the following participant to undergo that destiny.

Colton will likely be a restricted free agent (RFA) come July 1, and deserves a elevate on his expiring $1.125 million deal; a elevate the Lightning can’t afford as they solely have a projected $1.6 million in cap house going into the 2023-24 season. Considering their need to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Alex Killorn, that may go away Colton on the surface trying in and probably on a brand new crew subsequent season.

Ross Colton, Tampa Bay Lightning (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

While the Canucks have their very own wage cap hell to take care of, in addition they need to improve their backside six (particularly the third-line middle place) and defence corps. Colton would assist clear up the previous as he’s simply coming into his prime and has proven super potential of changing into a stable two-way third-line pivot that may constantly rating 20-25 targets. He already has a 20-goal marketing campaign beneath his belt – that coming in 2021-22 when he scored 22 – and simply put collectively one other good season the place he scored 16. His shot on the facility play has additionally turn into a little bit of a staple on the second unit, as 4 of these 16 had been sniped on the person benefit.

Now coming into his third full season as an NHLer (he solely performed 30 video games in his rookie season break up between the Syracuse Crunch and the Lightning), Colton is precisely what the Canucks want of their backside six. He’s bodily (188 hits in 2022-23), can win faceoffs (52.1 p.c in his profession, 56.1 p.c in 2022-23), and has robust underlying numbers with a profession 52.9 Corsi For proportion (CF%). On prime of that, he’s obtained the offensive potential to step into the highest six when wanted and make the second-unit energy play a risk as nicely.

As for what it’ll value the Canucks, it doubtless begins with a bundle involving Nils Hoglander and a draft decide. While he’s additionally an RFA come July 1, the elevate on his contract received’t almost be as a lot as Colton’s. He can be within the age vary the place he might assist the Lightning proper now. Apart from him, the Canucks don’t have any second-round picks to supply the Lightning, whether or not or not it’s this yr and even subsequent yr, as they traded one (2023) for Filip Hronek and one other (2024) for Riley Stillman. The earliest they may supply is 2025, which is perhaps too far down the highway, particularly for the reason that Lightning don’t have a range in 2023 till the sixth spherical. BriseBois most likely needs picks this yr in a deal for Colton contemplating how robust the draft is on the prime.

Colton Is Likely the Only Real Target on the Lightning

Looking on the Lightning’s roster, the one actual goal for the Canucks is Colton. They might attempt to go after Nick Paul, however contemplating his massive seven-year contract carries a $3.15 million common annual worth cap hit and the Canucks are already in over their head with long-term offers to J.T. Miller and Oliver Ekman Larsson, it most likely wouldn’t be a good suggestion so as to add one other one. Paul additionally has a no-trade clause that may doubtless throw a wrench into any negotiation Allvin has with BriseBois.

Related: Canucks 2023 Offseason Free Agent Targets: Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Canucks might additionally have a look at a defenceman like Nick Perbix or Darren Raddysh, however since they’re signed to budget-friendly contracts of $1.125 million and $762,500 respectively, BriseBois will most likely hesitate to half with them until it’s for a participant that drastically upgrades his crew. Not to say Perbix and Raddysh confirmed nicely within the playoffs combining for a objective and 5 factors in six video games, and Perbix appeared to fit in nicely alongside Mikhail Sergachev on the second pairing.

All in all, the Lightning and the Canucks’ wage cap conditions will make it tough for a commerce to be consummated – particularly if it entails main items. With previous targets Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak (nonetheless in my thoughts the right accomplice for Quinn Hughes) locked as much as profitable long-term contracts, Allvin must zero in on Colton and attempt to make the very best supply doable. Unfortunately, he received’t be the one GM him, and with the dearth of draft capital and cost-controlled belongings, he can solely go to this point along with his bundle. In the tip, buying Colton is perhaps a pipe dream, however that shouldn’t cease Allvin from making an attempt.

All stats had been from Hockey Reference


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