Canucks re-sign Alex Biega, according to Alex Biega

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 11:27AM

We expected the Vancouver Canucks to make some moves in free agency that would shore up their NHL and AHL-level defensive depth, and they've got at least some of their shopping done before the rush.

On Tuesday, Utica Comets defenseman Alex Biega - who played in seven games for the Canucks during the 2014-15 campaign and cashed in a dramatic game-winning goal - broke the news that he's re-signed with the organization. That news has since been confirmed by the team.

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Canucks Free Agent "Frenzy" Preview: Defensive Depth

Thomas Drance
June 30 2015 09:45AM

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Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday marks the start of a new league year and the opening of the unrestricted free agent market, with all of the frenzied activity and the bloated deals that come with it.

With 19 players already signed to one-way deals, four restricted players left to sign, and less than $4 million in available cap space, the Canucks are not expected to be major players; having failed to carve out some additional flexibility under the upper limit at the NHL draft. Canucks general manager Jim Benning more or less confirmed as much in a conversation with Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sunthis week.

"We don’t have a lot of cap room,” Benning said. “We’re going to try to be maybe in the trade market. We’re looking at some free agents. I don’t want to say we’re totally out of the free agent market, but we’re not going to be in the high end of it.

With that in mind, here are a smattering of affordable pieces that the Canucks might target to shore up their NHL and AHL level blue-line depth.

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The Canucks and the 2015 qualifying offer deadline

Thomas Drance
June 29 2015 11:48AM

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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

Monday, July 29 is the deadline for NHL teams to submit qualifying offers to their restricted players.

A qualifying offer is the equivalent of a one-year deal tendered to a potential restricted free agent. It's not very often that a pending restricted player accepts their qualifying offer, though it happens, but teams have to submit the offers by the end of the business day on Monday if they hope to maintain their right of first refusal and the protection of draft pick compensation for any potential restricted player. The value of a qualifying offer is subject to arbitration if a player is eligible to file for it.

So what we can expect from the Canucks in terms of tendering qualifying offers to their potential restricted players on Monday? A brief rundown after the jump.

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Report: 'approximately' 10 teams still interested in Bieksa after scuttled Sharks deal

Thomas Drance
June 28 2015 12:30PM

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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Bieksa is still a member of the Vancouver Canucks following a stalled trade with the San Jose Sharks during draft weekend, but it seems unlikely that he'll begin the season with the club based on both the painful way this situation has played out and the high-level of interest in acquiring Bieksa around the league.

On Sunday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman shed some light on how the Bieksa situation unfolded  - or, more accurately, didn't - and also reported that there are as many as 10 teams with interest in completing a complicated transaction for the veteran defender.

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Report: Bieksa trade hit a snag when Sharks wouldn't offer pick in 2015

Thomas Drance
June 27 2015 08:23AM

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Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA TODAY Sports

The second-day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft opened with the San Jose Sharks trading up from the 39th pick in the draft to the 31st by leveraging their 2016 second-round pick in a deal with the Colorado Avalanche. The Sharks then used that pick to select defenseman Jeremy Roy out of the QMJHL.

It was an interesting deal from the Canucks' perspective, and not only because it emphasized the high cost of moving up in a second-round that's widely seen to be loaded with talent. It's also interesting because it would appear to put the final nail in the coffin that was the widely expected Kevin Bieksa to San Jose trade, which reportedly fell apart on Friday afternoon.

Read on past the jump.

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