Pittsburgh Penguins trade targets for Vancouver Canucks

This is a great storyline. The Vancouver Canucks are eliminated from the playoffs. Jim Rutherford is president of hockey operationsThe trade deadline is reached and the Penguins are involved. Some stories write themselves, so we’ll have to wait a couple of months before it potentially comes to fruition, as the Canucks have only played 36 games. Six points are all they need to be in the playoffs, with four teams still ahead. Let’s look at a couple of Canucks who could help the Penguins make a push for the Stanley Cup.

Tyler Motte

The 26-year-old winger is a pending unrestricted free agent, and he’s one Canuck who won’t cost a boatload to acquire. Motte, a depth option for Penguins, plays a rough game and loves mixing it up. That’s something the Penguins could benefit from more of their bottom six.

Tyler Motte is a Vancouver Canucks fan favorite (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images).

The Michigan native has chipped in a little bit offensively this season with three goals in 20 games, and he’s been a staple on the Canucks penalty kill units. Motte’s not flashy; he’s the chip-and-chase type that loves to keep things simple and muck it up in the dirty areas of the ice. He’s a gamer, who battles, plays hard, and could flourish under head coach Mike Sullivan. While the Canucks winger isn’t known for his highlight-reel goals, this one was as pretty as they come:

The Penguins management team duo of Ron Hextall, Brian BurkeThey have made it clear that there won’t be many assets going out of Pittsburgh’s windows. The sense is, if they do make moves before the March 21 trade deadline, it’s going to be depth moves where major prospects and high draft picks aren’t being touched. Another scenario is the potential of a “hockey trade,” which sees two players under contract for the foreseeable future traded for one another. The Canucks have legitimate options when it comes to the depth department and hockey deals, but let’s stick with the bottom-six for now, and that brings us to another forward who loves to mix it up.

Alex Chiasson

Chiasson, who is 6’4″ tall, is an athletic player who loves to play an aggressive style of hockey. He is known for his ability to piss off his opponents and would be a great addition to the Penguins forward team. So far this season, he’s collected 27 hits in 28 games and three power-play goals. It’s rare to see a forward who only averages 10:24 of ice-time a night average almost 2:26 for the man advantage.

Alex Chiasson while he was with the Ottawa SenatorsAmy IrvinThe Hockey Writers

Chiasson was positive for COVID-19, as have many other league players. She is currently in protocol. The Canucks have been performing better recently. It’s worth noting Burke was with the Calgary Flames are back in 2016They acquired Chiasson as a trade and signed him again after the playoffs. A player the Penguins president of hockey operations is very familiar with and another addition that wouldn’t break the bank.

Related: Penguins’ Trade Targets on the Buffalo Sabres

Canucks winger Chiasson is a bit of a skeptic. He loves to blur the lines between acceptable and unacceptable. Chiasson can be a bit wild on the ice, and has had a few successes. history that isn’t all pretty.He loves to be a force for good by making opponents lose their minds. He is a dangerous target for the Penguins.

Brock Boeser

Back to that “hockey deal.” This is the type of player that would cost assets, but someone who is a restricted free agent and could be locked up long-term. Boeser is having a down year in Vancouver, and he’s heard his name mentioned in trade rumors throughout the early part of the 2021-22 season. In the final year, the Canucks’ former first-round pick in 2015 makes $5.87 and has only nine goals.

Brock Boeser Vancouver Canucks
Brock Boeser is an interesting choice in PittsburghAmy Irvin/ The Hockey Writers

Boeser would cost more than the Penguins if he was not acquired by the deadline. First off, there’s money to worry about. Boeser makes almost $6 million, and for a team that’s cash strapped like Pittsburgh, money in means money out. Jason Zucker’s $5.5 million salary for this season and the next.

Worth noting, Zucker’s best season as a pro came back with the Minnesota Wild in 2017-18 when he scored 33 goals and recorded a career-high 64 points. The boss in Vancouver happens to be his head coach that season, along with three other Wild players. This was something I found interesting as I researched the trade more.

Zucker is a possible fit, but Kasperi Kapanen is also a possibility. The Canucks are likely to be more interested in the younger Penguins forward because they are four years older and $2.3 million cheaper. Kapanen plays the game hard, skates like the wind, and has shown decent chemistry with Evgeni Malkin, however, he doesn’t project as Boeser does.

This would be a major upgrade for the Pens. The Canucks forward is a former 20-goal scorer and has the potential to reach 35-40. Adding him to Sidney Crosby’s line could move Bryan Rust back with Malkin and give the Penguins several different lineup options. This gives management an additional piece to help them in the future, once their current stars retire.

While certainly fun to ponder, we know the Canucks would want a couple more pieces included in any Boeser deal, and at this point, it’s unlikely the price gets met by the management duo in Pittsburgh. Motte and Chiasson seem to be the more likely targets from Vancouver. If the Canucks are not in the West, these two teams could be open to trade discussions closer to the deadline. One thing we do know, Rutherford knows Hextall’s extension.

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