So what do the Canucks do now?
Do they sign a couple of free agents? Are they going to offer up a big trade? Do they re-sign Mats Sundin? Are they counting on Cody Hodgson making the team? What do they at backup goalie?
Does Mike Gillis have some master plan for filling out the rest of this team?
As far as free agency is concerned, there are definitely some defensemen that I would target, if I was Gillis.
Marc-Andre Bergeron, Martin Skoula, Dennis Seidenberg and Christian Backman would all fill specific needs for the Canucks. They’re all solid puck-moving defensemen and available at a very reasonable price (with the possible exception of Backman).
As for trades, there is a LOT of buzz that the Canucks and Leafs are on the verge of making a trade, which would send Kaberle out west. Reports differ on what the Canucks would send to Hogtown, but most rumours involve Cory Schneider. I offer Schneider and Raymond for Kaberle. This trade serves the need of both teams, but only if the rumours of the Luongo contract extension are true.
As for Sundin, I think he still serves a specific need for the Canucks, especially on the powerplay. However, recent contracts to aging veterans have to send a signal to Sundin that he is not going to command the money he got last year. Mark Recchi signed for 1 year at $1 million and arguably had a better season than Sundin. Mats has to understand that his value has dropped dramatically. If Gillis can sign Sundin for $2.5 million or less, I would take him. Otherwise, there are other free agents available for that price that can offer as much input as Sundin.
Yes, Cody Hodgson will play for the Canucks next season. Done.
Finally, at backup goalie, this is largely dependent on the trade rumours. If Schneider is going to be traded, then the Canucks will have to go out and scoop up a free agent backup. Marc Denis would be the main target on this, if it was up to me.
If he isn’t traded, then Cory Schneider will be the Canucks backup goalie next season. I have no doubt about that.
The next move that Mike Gillis makes will either renew my faith in him, or crush it entirely.
Your move, Mike.
– Cam Davie
As soon as I published this story, Canucks announced the signing of Mikael Samuelsson. Ok – my faith is being restored. This is a really solid signing for the Canucks.