Vancouver Canucks rookie Brock Boeser has come out of All-Star Weekend with an MVP title to his name, and some pretty awesome bonuses. The Pacific Division pulled out a victory over the Atlantic in the 2018 NHL All-Star Game, and the 20-year-old was named the MVP of the tournament thanks to his two goals. Alongside the honor and the All-Star win, Boeser was the winner of Saturday night’s shooting accuracy contest. All that winning comes with quite a bonus to his paycheck, as the $25,000 for the skills competition win and the $100,000 cut of the winning prize pool is a swell add-on. Not only that — due to being named the All-Star MVP, Boeser has picked up a $212,500 entry-level bonus that will kick in thanks to his contract with the Canucks. In total, Boeser scored $337,500 in additional money to his paycheck for the outstanding performance. Boeser also activated the clauses in his contract for hitting the 20-goal mark and being named to the NHL All-Star Game, for a final total of $637,500 extra cash to his bank account this year. That’s quite the haul! Of course, being the NHL All-Star MVP also meant Boeser nabbed himself a complimentary car from the league. Talk about a relaxing weekend of fun turning into a cash grab. This season, Boeser has put up 24 goals and 43 points in 46 games for the Canucks. If you haven’t heard of his name before today, take note, because Boeser is likely going to be a star in the NHL for years to come.
The Montreal Canadiens are looking to reshape their roster for the 2018-19 season and GM Marc Bergevin has been active exploring the market. While Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty has taken most of the trade rumour spotlight, his asking price is extremely high and there are no guarantees the team moves him this season, or at all. But Pacioretty isn’t the only player the Canadiens are willing to listen on. Canadiens forwards Tomas Plekanec, Paul Byron and Andrew Shaw, and defencemen David Schlemko and Jordie Benn are among those available in Montreal. Plekanec, 35, is a pending unrestricted free agent. He comes with a $6 million salary cap hit and the Canadiens will most certainly be asked to retain a good portion of that figure in order to facilitate a trade. Bergevin has been dangling Shaw since early on this season, while Byron and his modest $1.167 million salary cap hit have recently attracted interest from other clubs. Byron has one-year left on his contract beyond this season. The Canadiens have plenty of salary cap space to play with and could add a significant contract to their roster, but such a move may be more likely to occur in the off-season.
The Nashville Predators are battling for first place in the Central Division and hope to make another appearance in the Stanley Cup Final this June. Predators GM David Poile has been rumoured to be in the market for a top-six winger for most of the season, even after acquiring centre Kyle Turris in a three-way deal with the Colorado Avalanche and Ottawa Senators in early-November. Pierre LeBrun reemphasized Poile’s desire to add a top-six winger, though the team has not made a decision on which player they plan to target leading up to the trade deadline. The Preds have been linked to such players as Ottawa Senators sniper Mike Hoffman, Montreal Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty and Buffalo Sabres left wing Evander Kane, though talks have merely been exploratory, at best, so far. Kane is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, while Hoffman and Pacioretty are signed beyond this season. The Predators have a decent amount of salary cap space to play with, and can add upwards of $13 million in pro-rated salary by the Feb. 26 deadline.