With rumors swirling that either Matt Dumba or Aaron Ekblad could be on the move this offseason. The Canucks find themselves in the middle of these rumors. Although Vancouver is in salary cap troubles a deal for either could work. What would a potential deal look like? Who is the better fit? Is a trade for a top-four defenceman worth it?
With the Minnesota Wild clearly shedding cap after trading Eric Staal to the Buffalo Sabres. Rumors have started Dumba could be the next one out of Minnesota. Many would wonder why Dumba, well the Wild have resigned fellow defenceman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year $42 million extension. The Brodin extension left Dumba as the odd man out without a no-movement clause.
Where does Dumba fit in Vancouver? Last season the Canucks right side was occupied by Chris Tanev, Tyler Myers, and Troy Stetcher for most of the season, but come to this offseason Tanev and Stetcher need new contracts. Although the Canucks are in a cap crunch a Dumba deal could work in order to replace either Tanev or Stetcher. Dumba would be a great addition to the first defensive pairing with youngster Quinn Hughes. Dumba brings physicality and the ability to score making him a perfect fit with Hughes.
How could the Canucks land Dumba? A deal with Minnesota could be tough for Vancouver. With the Wild not seemingly wanted to take on big contracts and the Canucks not willing to move anymore picks things will be complicated.
A deal would likely include the right to one of Vancouver’s restricted free-agents, Troy Stetcher comes to mind. Stecher would be a replacement to Dumba on the right side at a lower cost which is a good start. For this to work the Canucks would need to send some salary the other in either Antonie Roussel or Jay Beagle who both hold a $3 million cap hit with two years left on their contracts. This may not be enough to reel in Dumba so they may have to include a prospect.
The Deal: Matt Dumba in exchange for Troy Stetchers (RFA rights), Jay Beagle, and Lukas Jasek.
The former first overall pick could find himself on the move this offseason. As it seems Vancouver is the front runner for Aaron Ekblad’s services. Ekblad is entering his fourth year of an eight-year contract where he earns $7.5 million per season.
How does Ekblad fit with the Canucks? Like Dumba, Ekblad is a big right-handed defenceman standing at 6-4 215 pounds. Although the former Calder winner is bigger than Dumba he is not as physical. Ekblad does bring another strong defenceman into the fold. Ekblad finished the shortened season with 41 points including 36 assists. He would compliment Hughes on the first pairing tremendously.
What would a deal look like? With Ekblad’s big cap hit and Vancouver’s lack of money, things will get complicated. Money aside Ekblad will also fetch a major player. If the Canucks want to pry Ekblad away from Florida they will have to send a skilled forward to Florida, maybe Brock Boeser. From Florida’s point of view, it does not seem worth the one for one so Vancouver would have to include a sweetener. Potentially the rights to Jake Virtanen or Troy Stetcher.
The Deal: Aaron Ekblad for Brock Boeser and Troy Stetcher (RFA rights)
Either Dumba or Ekblad would be a great addition to the up and coming Vancouver Canucks. Both players bring strength and skill to the defence with a few question marks, but who is the better fit. Although Vancouver and Florida’s trades seem to workout for Vancouver, trading for Dumba makes more sense. Dumba has a cheaper contract per season and should come at a lower cost. Although Vancouver needs blueline help a trade may not be a great idea with the expansion draft fast approaching.
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