The Vancouver Canucks are looking to move Conor Garland in order to clear cap space and build toward the future. Garland, who was acquired in the 2021 offseason, was signed to a five-year contract worth $4.95 million annually just days after his acquisition. Garland still has three years left before he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Since Garland’s arrival in Vancouver, he wost post a career-high 52 points and 33 assists. Garland would take a minor step back in the 2022-23 season, posting 46 points, which is his second-highest point total.
There should be many teams lining up to acquire Conor Garland, especially if Vancouver retains some salary. Garland, who plays both wings, can be a solid bottom-six piece to any of the following teams listed below.
It’s no secret that the Winnipeg Jets are in for a ton of turbulence this offseason. Multiple top players and significant assets have voiced their frustrations and informed the club of their intention not to re-sign with the team. Conor Garland can provide some stability in the short term to a team that doesn’t want to rebuild. It’s just up to Kevin Cheveldayoff to see what Garland can offer to the Jets roster now.
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The Colorado Avalanche have a ton of players they need to re-sign and just under $13.5 million dollars in cap space to do so. Acquiring Conor Garland with retained salary could prove to be a sneaky good pickup for the 2022 Stanley Cup champions. Colorado will look for established players with high ceilings to fill in their roster to go back on the Stanley Cup hunt.
The Edmonton Oilers are a talented team with some areas to improve in. Conor Garland can play a middle-six role with the Oilers while moving up and down the lineup as needed. Edmonton, who have under six million in cap space and a lot of players to sign, will look for bargain bin contracts that can pay off in the short term. Conor Garland checks off those boxes for what Ken Holland might look for.
The Ottawa Senators have what it takes to become a contender, they are just a young team figuring out the NHL. Conor Garland can come into the Senators organization, provided Vancouver retains some salary, and become a key piece in the middle-six that could push them into a playoff spot.
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The Chicago Blackhawks will be looking to fill out their roster with talent that they can surround Connor Bedard with. Conor Garland can play a high level of hockey, given the opportunity presented, and help the struggling franchise be competitive in the long run. Chicago’s cap situation is unique, and they can afford to take the entire Garland contract off of Vancouver’s hands, but there may be more moving pieces involved than we might think.
Detroit Red Wings
Detroit certainly has a solid core of players, and they will certainly be looking to become a stronger team. Conor Garland can provide stability in Detroit’s depth and move up and down the lineup as needed. Detroit has more cap space and fewer players to sign, though with players like Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond due new contracts soon, it might not be wise to add just under five million dollars to the books for three years.
Kyle Dubas will be looking to make a splash as President of Hockey Operations and interim General Manager for the Pittsburgh Penguins. With the final years of players like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Kris Letang starting to unfold, Dubas may acquire competitive players now and worry later.
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While it is unlikely that the Vancouver Canucks can move Conor Garland’s contract without retaining any salary, teams might see a bargain pickup for the short term and be rewarded in the long term.
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