Looks like Shane could be seen at the establishment above this season.
The Vancouver Canucks announced the signings of restricted free agents Shane O’Brien, Tanner Glass and Alexandre Bolduc, as well as the signing of goaltender Tyler Weiman.
While this helps shore up the bottom half of the Canucks forward lines, as well as help finalize their defensive lineup, the Canucks are officially over the salary cap, and still have not yet signed Mason Raymond or Jannik Hansen.
So what do the Canucks do?
It is now a forgone conclusion that Kevin Bieksa will be traded. The Canucks have made it clear but acquiring two free agent defensemen and re-signing O’Brien. It makes Bieksa expendable. He has a decent salary cap number and still carries some cache around the league. The problem for Gillis is that the longer he waits to trade Bieksa, the more his price will drop, now that the Canucks are over the salary cap. Why? Because it is obvious that the Canucks need to shed his salary in order to fit in both Raymond and Hansen.
I am not a fan of re-signing Tanner Glass. They still have Rypien and Hordichuk for one more year, and unless they move either or both of them, Glass is redundant. If they do move Hordichuk and Rypien, then Glass will have a place on the fourth line. Same for Bolduc, although I imagine Bolduc will be a frequent call-up, but based in Manitoba, or he’ll be a healthy scratch. There is a crowd developing on the fourth line. They are going to have to demote players or trade them away.
The last signing the Canucks announced was Tyler Weiman, who will likely be the starter down in Manitoba and could be called up to the Canucks if there are any injuries to Luongo or Schneider. The Manitoba Moose also signed former Panthers daft pick and Flames property David Shantz. Shantz played part of last season with the Abbotsford Heat and proved himself a worthy AHL goalie. Shantz and Weiman should have a healthy battle going for the top spot in goal for the coming season.
The Canucks have until the day before the season starts to sort out their salary cap issues. However, the longer they wait, the quicker the price will drop for trade bait, and the more desperate the Canucks will get to unload salary. So far, the strategy Gillis has used has paid off. Let’s hope he knows what he’s doing with the salaries on defense.