Although the Vancouver Canucks were supposed to take a step forward this year, their disappointing early results have put them in a very difficult position, a position the Montreal Canadiens should investigate.
Canucks head coach Bruce Boudreau had originally planned to make Brock Boeser watch the game against the Arizona Coyotes from the pressbox, which raised several brows around the league.
Boeser, who lost his father, Duke, to cancer in May, was clearly upset by the shortsighted decision.
“It was a very important game for me and my family, so when I came in this morning and my name wasn’t on the white board it hurt – it hurt bad,” says Brock Boeser of being an almost healthy scratch on Hockey Fights Cancer night. #Canucks
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) December 4, 2022
As for Boudreau’s reasoning, he simply did not consider the importance of the night and did not factor in Boeser’s tragic history with the disease that has impacted almost every family around the world.
“Didn’t even know” – Bruce Boudreau on if he weighed the fact it was Hockey Fights Cancer night in the decision to scratch Brock Boeser.#Canucks
— Noah Strang (@noahstrang_) December 4, 2022
Boeser did end up playing, but only since Dakota Joshua, who has produced almost three times fewer points than his counterpart, missed the game due to a minor injury.
The 25-year-old forward ended up scoring the game-tying goal, which set up his team for a late 3rd-period win.
The fallout of the decision, not to mention the seemingly stagnant mess in Vancouver, was impossible to ignore.
Boeser, who is on the first season of a three-year, $6.65 million contract, requested a trade.
He’s in the midst of a decent season from a production standpoint, with four goals and 11 assists in 19 games. Throughout his career, Boeser has maintained a very respectable production rate, with 125 goals and 146 assists, good for 271 points in 343 games played.
One thought on @FriedgeHNIC report that Brock Boeser’s agent has permission to find trading partner. That is usually the last resort to getting trade done — after the team has been unable to find a fair deal. Believe the Canucks looked last season and this one.
— Iain MacIntyre (@imacSportsnet) December 4, 2022
The Canadiens aren’t in a position where they should be actively looking to add veterans to the roster, but Boeser’s frustration with the Canucks could lead to an opportunity for Kent Hughes and Co.
At 25 years old, Boeser could become a player that could cover two very important factors for a team amid a rebuild.
Not only can he act as a mentor for some of the upcoming stars, but he’s also young enough to take part in the long-term vision of the team.
With veterans like Josh Anderson, Jonathan Drouin, Sean Monahan, Evgenii Dadonov, Christian Dvorak, and Mike Hoffman on their trade bait list, the Canadiens could potentially replace them with a younger forward that could provide the team with much-needed secondary scoring.
The Canadiens will have to mind their current salary cap situation, but as they say, where there’s a will there’s a way.