Canucks GM says Beauvillier trade creates 'flexibility' moving forward

VANCOUVER — Trading Anthony Beauvillier to the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday cleared US$4.15 million of cap space, giving Vancouver Canucks GM Patrik Allvin some flexibility in developing his team as it enjoys a hot start to the season.

Vancouver announced the trade shortly before the Canucks faced off against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

In exchange, the Canucks will receive a fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft.

"I felt there was an opportunity for him to move on to get his game back to where it belongs," said Allvin on Wednesday. "I think he deserves more ice time and is a good player."

The Canucks had acquired Beauvillier from the Islanders as part of the trade that sent captain Bo Horvat to New York last season, but he struggled to make an impact.

The Canucks have also seen the emergence of players such as Phil Di Guisseppe and Nils Hoglander, which allowed the move to happen.

"Obviously, it definitely played into it,' said Allvin when asked about the impact of depth players on the Canucks' offensive output.

"Hoglander, Di Guisseppe, (Conor) Garland, (Dakota) Joshua, all those guys have been playing pretty well. That being said, we want that competition."

Beauvillier had eight points this season.

Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet supported the roster move when speaking to reporters after the game.

“It’s business, right? We need the cap space. He’s a guy who was tradable," said Tocchet. "We now have the cap space to get the stuff we need down the road."

Vancouver's players said after the game that they hadn't had much time to digest the news.

“It’s hard to get into the emotions of that," said forward Brock Boeser. "You feel for Beauvy, he’s worked so hard for us.”

Allvin was coy on what the cap space would allow the Canucks to do, maintaining the team is "always looking to get better."

"This (trade) gives us a little bit of flexibility," he said.

But he didn't rule out the possibility of re-signing defenceman Ethan Bear.

Bear sustained a shoulder injury playing for Canada in the World Championships in the spring, requiring surgery later in the year.

The Canucks opted not to qualify Bear as he was set to make $2.2 million as a restricted free agent.

Allvin said he's had conversations with Bear's agent but it would be a case of waiting to see when he returns for more serious discussions.

"We check in frequently. Ethan is a (unrestricted free agent) and I'm sure he will reach out to us and other teams when he's closer to being ready," said Allvin.

The Canucks also announced they have recalled defenceman Matt Irwin and forward Linus Karlsson from Abbotsford and assigned Akito Hirose to their AHL affiliate.

Irwin, 36, has two assists in 13 games with Abbotsford while Karlsson, 24, has three goals and 12 assists in 17 games.

Allvin said he's pleased with the Canucks' start to the season as they sit second in the Western Conference, one point back of the Vegas Golden Knights.

"Their mindset is 'How do we get better the next day?'" Allvin said on what he's liked from the coaching staff.

"We're still working to get better and that's a mindset we have here with the coaching staff and players."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2023.

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