Canucks Continue to Bolster Blueline Depth: Sign Jim Vandermeer

Thomas Drance
January 14 2013 12:50PM


Jim Vandermeer fights Todd Fedoruk during the 2011 preseason.

On Sunday the Canucks signed defenseman Cam Barker to a one year deal, and in doing so made a bet that we didn't particularly like. On Monday Vancouver's club added another veteran defenseman, and a good Western Canadian boy, in punchy veteran Jim Vandermeer. Vandermeer will apparently be on a two-way deal according to Iain Macintyre

Jim Vandermeer has been working out with the Canucks for months, presumably in the hope of scoring exaclty this type of deal. At this point in his career Jim Vandermeer is nothing more than a depth defenseman, but he's an NHL defenseman who probably does legitimately belong in the league in some capacity. So that's good news. Read past the jump for more.

One thing that Jim Vandermeer will bring to Vancouver's blue-line is "toughness" and the ability to fight when necessary (Bieksa can fight and I suppose Ballard can here and there - not that it really matters). Over the past two seasons Vandermeer has racked up a 3-3-3 record in regular season fights according to the good voters at HockeyFights.com. None of the old wives tales about having an enforcer on the ice helping you win games or protecting your best players from injury are true, of course, but it's something.

More important is that Vandermeer seems to be able to hold his own, for the most part, on a sheltered bottom pairing in the NHL. In San Jose he battled injuries in his short stint, and his underlying numbers were pretty ugly (despite his +3). But the previous season in Edmonton he was reasonably competent (despite his -15) on an absolutely woeful hockey club. Looking over his WOWY's it seems like he wasn't too much of an anchor when paired with guys like Burns, Braun or Demers on the Sharks last season; and in Edmonton the year previous it's reasonably clear that he was a better option for the Oilers than the likes of Theo Peckham or Kurtis Foster were. That's about what you should be able to expect from a ninth guy.

Vandermeer, at this point in his career, isn't going to handle tough matchups or log top-four minutes; though if the Canucks find themselves in that position they're probably screwed anyway. But I'm pretty comfortable that Vandermeer won't take too much off of the table if he's called on to fill in, in a limited role, in 15-20 regular season games in 2013. 

Update: Here are the terms of Vandermeer's contract, per Ben Kuzma:

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 BrudnySeaby
January 14 2013, 01:37PM
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Just saw his fight with Lucic on the inter webs. Good to know someone besides Bieksa can fight because we don't want Bieksa risk breaking a wrist or some fingers during this shortened season. And having the guts to go up against someone like Lucic is something this team can use, it seems.

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#2 BrudnySeaby
January 14 2013, 01:38PM
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But we still need a 2nd line centre and some scoring in the top 6. Worries me the most.

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#4 KleptoKlown
January 14 2013, 02:42PM
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Maybe something bigger brewing here?

*cough* Ballard *cough*

I still think the Nucks are stuck with Ballard and his contract until they can buy him out at the end of the year, but there are teams looking for help on the D. The return on Ballard would be next to nothing, perhaps even having to take on a bad contract that would expire at the end of the year. With 9 defencemen on the the roster, the Canucks have some options.

Would love to see Ballard moved for cap space which is then used to sign Edler.

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#5 BrudnySeaby
January 14 2013, 04:11PM
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Re: Kleptotown. Dunno... To me it seems that the staff recognizes that Ballard and Tanev work well together. And now with both Salo and Rome gone, AV has fewer options. So hopefully he will give them the trust to bring their game together which would mean a really great bottom pairing.

Of course, if Luongo gets traded, other pieces might be in play as well, and then Ballard would not be necessarily safe.

Then again, perhaps the Canucks are working on something different entirely and trying to bring Jamie Benn in while offering Edler with either Booth or Raymond and some picks!? Can't imagine Dallas trading him but you never know.

If they trade Luongo to Toronto, I hope they go after Kessel instead of one of the young guys. We need secondary scoring and there won't be too many shots at the cup. So better to go all in now.

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#6 loinstache
January 14 2013, 05:37PM
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The Edler to Dallas rumour needs to die, terrible blood between the Stars and Canucks after Aquilini pinched Tom Gaglardi out of a deal to buy the Canucks.

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#7 ChinookArch
January 14 2013, 08:13PM
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"point in his career Jim Vandermeer is nothing more than a depth defenseman, but he's an NHL defenseman who probably does legitimately belong in the league in some capacity"

That's all Vandemwer has ever been. No question how tough the guy is though, when he played for Flames he played 2 or 3 games on a broken foot before te tam doctor put him on the IR.

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