HOT TAKES | Canucks are buyers for a Top Defenseman but the solution to make room is EXPENSIVE

Published March 23, 2023 at 9:46

The current Canucks management has been paying the price big on former Benning's management decisions and now they may have to pull the trigger on a crazy expensive buy-out to give themselves a chance to ever get out of it.

As you all know, the Canucks traded to acquire Oliver Ekman-Larsson which is hefty almost $8M AAV. He'll be under contract for four more years at the end of the season and after only two years of wearing the Canucks' colors, this contract and this trade have not been aging well.

The Canucks though are ready to take a big turn in their retooling process and the only thing stopping them is the cap space, due to the non-efficient and costly contracts in OEL and Myers, to only name these two.

Jason Brough and Jamie Dodd were on Halford and Brough this morning and had quite a discussion on the subject. It's not a secret at this point that the Canucks held the upcoming free agent and Dan Milstein client, Vladislav Gavrikov in high esteem. The left-handed defenseman will be free of contractual obligations on July 1st and the Canucks could surely be suitors for him.

The only way the Canucks can make room for him is by buying out OEL. Not only do you need the money, but you also need the roster spot. Gavrikov would surely be better suited to play on the team's second pair along with Hronek or Bear.

However, buying out Ekman-Larson doesn't come cheap. The buyout of the 4 remaining years of his contract would be impacting the team's salary cap for the next 8 years. The actual penalty for the first year is quite low, but it hits harder on the 2nd year with a $2.3M penalty, years 3 and 4 a massive $4.7M, and the 4 remaining years at $2.1M.

That's quite a problem the Canucks have on their hand. However, it is a strategy they have to consider if they want to take steps in the right direction. Is buying out OEL the best strategy for the future of this franchise?

SOURCE: Halford and Brough
March 23   |   374 answers
HOT TAKES | Canucks are buyers for a Top Defenseman but the solution to make room is EXPENSIVE

Should they buy-out OEL in order to acquire a different top4 defenseman in the likes of Vladislav Gavrikov?

Yes, whatever the costs may be14839.6 %
No, too expensive, stuck with him10327.5 %
Trade him an retain salary instead12332.9 %
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