Marino to the Devils – Could this relate to a JT Miller trade?

Yesterday, we spoke about the benefits of keeping JT Miller on the roster and working to extend him because of the impact he has on the Canucks. Today, we address a potential trade.

Of all the speculation swirling around a potential JT Miller trade, no name has appeared more often than the right side D-man, John Marino. Furthermore, few teams have shown more interest in JT Miller than the New Jersey Devils. On Saturday, July 16th, a trade went down between the Penguins and Devils that saw defenseman Ty Smith heading to Pittsburgh in return for Marino and a 2023 3rd rounder.

So, what does this mean for the Canucks?

John Marino

My initial reaction was; “Well, looks like Marino is off the table”… But upon further reflection and some beer-induced day-dreaming I started to think that maybe… just maybe… something is brewing between the Canucks and Devils that could involve Marino coming to beeeeaaaaauuuutiful Van City.

The Canucks acquiring Marino would tick a huge box on their to-do list – a young (25) and capable right hand defenseman on a sensible $4.4m contract that takes him through to the 2026-2027 season fits the profile of what Vancouver needs. Beyond the fit in Vancouver, New Jersey appears to have been kicking tires on JT Miller for a while now, but lacked the pieces (or willingness to move blue-chip players) to get something done. With the addition of Marino, not only can the Devils dangle one RHD as bait, but toss Damon Severson, a 27 year old right and defenseman, into the mix – things get interesting.

All of a sudden, the Devils (who have $12m in cap space and could likely afford to extend JT Miller) are in a position to offer up two players that Canucks management are very interested in.

Surely, I could be out to lunch on this one, but is it possible that Marino was acquired simply to get a JT Miller trade done?

Let’s assume for a second that those cheeky Devils have a plan. What would that trade look like? You could fathom both Marino (4.4m p/yr) and Severson (4.17m p/yr) heading west for JT Miller – but that would also mean Vancouver would need to shed about 3m in cap space to be compliant by training camp. Maybe you throw in a forward, of which the Canucks have a plethora of, like Tanner Pearson or Jason Dickenson to make the numbers work? Toss in a pick and – who the fuck knows?

Does this swap seem realistic?

To VancouverTo New Jersey
John Marino ($4.4m)
Damon Severson (4.17m)
2023 3rd Round Pick
JT Miller ($5.250m)
Tanner Pearson ($3.250m)

The Canucks add much needed depth on their back end and address the gaping right side with 2 very capable options – either one of which could provide Quinn Hughes with a long-term partner. The Devils add an offensive juggernaut who would be a huge upgrade on the wing on their first or second line, and acquire a reliable middle-6 veteran winger (with a couple of cups on his resume) who can log responsible minutes including powerplay and penalty kill time. The money going either way is more-or-less balanced. Seems to me like both squads could benefit from a deal like this.

This defensive depth chart would look pretty friggin’ solid to me:

Quinn Hughes (22)Damon Severson (27)
Travis Dermott (25)John Marino (25)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (31)Tyler Myers (32)
Jack Rathbone (23)Luke Schenn (32)
Kyle Burroughs (27)Tucker Poolman (29)

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