The Canucks and Free Agent Frenzy


The Canucks did the expected to the relief of many fans in Vancouver and have locked up the Sedins for the next five years.

And that’s pretty much all they did.

So are Canucks going to be satisfied with a team that’s essentially the same as last year?

This Canucks fan right here is definitely not going to be satisfied, if that’s the case.

The Canucks are still missing a top 6 forward and a puck-moving defenseman, and have less than $10 million in cap space remaining. In total they have seven roster spots to fill. Now, let’s assume for the time being that Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner do make the roster, and that Kyle Wellwood and Shane O’Brien accept their qualifying offers. If those all happen, then the Canucks have approximately $5 million to sign three roster spots (1 F and 2 D).

Now, given that I said that the Canucks still need a top 6 forward and a puck-moving defenseman, they are going to have to trade to get one of those two. To make that trade, they’re going to have to do one of two things.

1. Package up Cory Schneider and either Bieksa or Salo and get a top-tier puck-moving defenseman in return.

2. Make a multi-player deal to get either the defenseman or top 6 forward that they need and fill the remaining roster spots with UFAs.

Right now, the Canucks simply don’t have the projected cap room to fill their two main needs with a UFA signing. So with that said, I’m glad in a way that Gillis didn’t go after some of the UFAs who were signed on Wednesday, because then the Canucks would REALLY be in trouble.

Some of the more surprising contracts were Gaborik 7.5m/year deal with the Rangers, Cammelleri’s $6m deal and Gionta’s $5m deal both with the Canadiens, and Hossa’s 12 year deal with the Blackhawks. Do you think the Canucks should have signed ANY of those deals? I certainly don’t. No part of me thinks that those deals would have been good deals to sign. The only deal of the day with which I’m mildly impressed is the Wild signing Martin Havlat. It’s a great move for the Wild, but I don’t understand Havlat’s desire to play for the Wild. He’ll be the next Gaborik there – a truly talented offensive player stifled by a lack of a supporting offensive cast around him.

I am marginally holding faith that Canucks GM Mike Gillis has his plan figured. But be warned, if you don’t make this team better than last year, I’ll lose faith quickly.

This summer will be a telling one for Mike Gillis.

Go Canucks!