Ramblings: Boeser, Paul Signs Extensions; Coaching Carousel Continues; Hits League Option Marchment (Jul 2)

Ian Gooding

2022-07-02

Hope your Canada Day was enjoyable, for those who celebrate. Might as well wish my American friends an early happy Fourth of July while I'm at it.

The Vancouver Canucks took care of some offseason business with one player while possibly hinting at which direction they will go with another player, signing RFA Brock Boeser to a three-year contract worth $6.65 million per season. This is below the $7.5 million qualifying offer that the Canucks would have had to grant Boeser if they wanted to keep him but could not agree to a new contract. The Canucks now have an important top-6 winger under contract for three more years, so this is a good piece of business from new Canucks management.

Boeser had a down season by his standards, as he saw his points-per-game average dip from 0.88 PTS/GP in 2020-21 to 0.65 PTS/GP (46 PTS in 71 GP) in 2021-22. He (like many Canucks) experienced the Bruce Boudreau bump, scoring 19 goals and 36 points in his last 49 games. Boeser had a difficult season personally because he was also dealing with the illness of his father, who recently passed away. His signing should also help Elias Pettersson, who has clicked with Boeser in the past and also improved under Boudreau.

By locking up Boeser, the Canucks appear one step closer to trading J.T. Miller this offseason. Miller's value may never be higher than it is now coming off a 99-point season as a top-10 scorer. With one season remaining on Miller's contract (at a very affordable $5.25 million), the Canucks cannot afford to lose Miller for nothing, considering they could use immediate upgrades on the right side of the defense and also have a relatively bare prospect base (how it got to that point is a rant for another day). If Kevin Fiala can return a first-round pick and defense prospect Brock Faber, then Miller should return at least the same. Although Jim Rutherford has stated that they will try to re-sign Miller, my money is on the Canucks trading him.

The Canucks also signed Jack Rathbone to a one-way contract. Rathbone is the Canucks' top prospect, and he should be in the NHL full-time this coming season. He showed tons of promise in the AHL last season with 40 points in 39 games, which was fifth among AHL defensemen in points per game (1.03). The left side of the Canucks defense appears to be in good hands with Quinn Hughes, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, and Rathbone. For more on Rathbone, see his Dobber Prospects profile.   

The Lightning really liked what they saw in Nick Paul after acquiring him at the deadline, signing him to a seven-year contract with a $3.15 million AAV. Paul also made some noise in fantasy leagues late in the season, recording