News broke Monday afternoon that draft day acquisition Linden Vey will accept his 1-year, $735k qualifying offer from the team.
Considering the vast number of connections – his name is Linden, he played for the Medicine Hat Tigers for 5 years (4 of which were under Willie Desjardins), his name is also Linden – and the fact that they went out of their way to land him in the first place, this was a no-brainer move for the Canucks. Most importantly, though, he seems like a solid bet to help make some things happen offensively next season for a team that desperately needs it wherever they can get it.
This just goes to show you that where there’s a will, there’s a Vey. More on the two-Vey deal just past the jump.
It’s difficult to imagine that Vey, despite the terms of his contract, will wind up playing anywhere but the NHL next season considering the fact that he’d have to pass through waivers in the event that he got sent down to Utica.
Where he’ll wind up on the Canucks depth chart, is an entirely different dilemma. For all of the team’s many question marks, one thing they do have going for them is the flexibility in their bottom-6 that they’ve accrued, making it difficult to pinpoint exactly which capacity Vey will be used in. For whatever it’s worth both Benning and Linden (the *other* one) mentioned Vey as a player that they expect to chip in on the offensive end when asked about the team’s scoring woes during the summer summit just last week. He was even cited as a reason the team was able to walk away from Mike Santorelli this offseason, letting him walk in free agency.
Even though Vey spent most of last year playing down the middle in Manchester, with players like Matthias and Richardson around it appears that he’s destined to slot over to the wing next season. Considering he’s just turning 23 years old and has a grand total of 18 NHL games under his belt, that’s not the worst thing in the world. Neither is having ample options down the middle, as we painfully learned throughout last season. Being able to ice skilled players in situations where they can make other teams that may be hoping to get away with utilizing players that aren’t necessarily up to snuff pay is a luxury in and of itself.
Regardless of where he slots in at 5v5, his playmaking ability figures to at the very least be a weapon that’ll be relied upon with the man advantage. If he gives the team anything he’ll wind up being a value based on how much he’s being payed, really.
I’ll leave you with this handy compilation of Vey highlights from this past season – which include two beautiful plays to set up goals against the Canucks both times they saw him – put together by Canucks Prospects on Youtube: