The Vancouver Canucks are halfway through the 2020-21 season and are still somewhat far out of a playoff spot, trailing five different teams by points percentage for that last wildcard spot. The early season struggles under former coach Travis Green left this team a massive hole to dig themselves out of and despite a long winning streak upon the arrival of Bruce Boudreau, there is still plenty of work to be done.
This has left the Canucks in a confusing spot heading into the trade deadline as their roster is constructed as if they should be buyers, but their place in the standings screams seller. The lack of prospects in the pipeline for a team that doesn’t resemble anything near a true contender is concerning and by selling some of their valued players at the deadline, they could begin to work towards solving that issue.
Newly hired president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford has never been one to shy away from trading in the past and it’s extremely unlikely that the Canucks end trade deadline season without making a move. Adding to the pressure to sell is a looming series of difficult decisions that will need to be made as several core players will require extensions over the next few seasons, a complicated situation considering the Canucks’ shaky cap situation.
One name that has surfaced in trade rumours is Tyler Motte. The fan-favourite grinder has been a crucial part of the Canucks’ bottom-six over the last few years and has 8 points through 24 games so far this season. Motte’s effort and energy are always evident whenever he’s on the ice and he stepped his game up in the 2019-20 playoffs, displaying that extra level in the playoffs that teams covet.