NHLTR Mock Trade: Vancouver Canucks Deal Conor Garland to the Pittsburgh Penguins

Welcome to NHLTR mock trade series where we will showcase a potential 2023 offseason trade. From minor moves to major transactions, everything will be covered as we try to predict how the chips may fall this summer across the NHL.

For our latest transaction to consider we head to Vancouver to check in with the Canucks who are looking to shed some salary this summer. The team has a number of expensive contracts they'd like to get off the books, the only issue is interest. While Tyler Myers and Oliver Ekman-Larsson will be hard to move, the Canucks will have interest in winger Conor Garland. One team to watch could be the Pittsburgh Penguins as Kyle Dubas is now running the show and is a huge fan of Garland's game. 

Mock Trade: Canucks move Conor Garland to the Penguins for Ty Smith and Sam Poulin

Pittsburgh Perspective: The Penguins have over $20 million in cap space but will be prioritizing a goalie first. Then their attention will be some depth up front and Garland provides this. He's able to play anywhere in the top nine and can chip in with some secondary scoring. He's gritty and plays a style head coach Mike Sullivan would love. If there's money left over in Pittsburgh, look for Dubas to give his pal Jim Rutherford a call this summer.

Vancouver Perspective: Speaking of Rutherford, he drafted Poulin in the first round at the 2019 entry draft and is a big fan of the player. This move frees up $2.5-3.5 million for the Canucks over the next three seasons. Garland is signed through 2025-26 at $4.9 million against the cap. Vancouver is looking to retool while saving money and this trade does it for them. Poulin has a ton of potential and Smith is an offensive defenseman who can battle for ice time. It's all about the cost savings here.

Thoughts on the proposed trade?
Photo credit:  Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports