Canucks Qualify Five; Decline Offers on Weber, Stanton

The Canucks announced Monday afternoon that they had tendered qualifying offers to five players, including Sven Baertschi, Adam Clendening, and Frank Corrado, while declining to tender offers to seven more would-be RFAs, including Yannick Weber.

Let’s look at what this means after the jump.

In all, aside from re-signing Linden Vey, the Canucks elected not to tender qualifying offers to all players who hadn’t already received one. We knew going into today that Sven Baertschi, Adam Clendening, Frank Corrado, Alex Grenier, and Jacob Markstrom had all been qualified, and they remain the only qualified players after the 2:00 PM QO deadline.

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This means that the Canucks will relinquish their rights to first refusal and compensation to Peter Andersson (signed in Europe), Cory Conacher (signed in Europe), Joacim Eriksson (signed in Europe), Brandon McMillan, Ryan Stanton, Mike Zalewski, and Yannick Weber.

I’m not surprised to see the European-bound players leave, nor am I shocked to see Stanton and McMillan walk. Both performed like sub-replacement level players in 2014-15, and if the goal is to get younger, then there’s really no sense in bringing either player back. Either Clendening or Corrado should be able to replace what Stanton brought, and nearly anyone in the organization should be an upgrade on McMillan, especially offensively.

I am moderately surprised to see Zalewski go since he always appeared to be an effective forechecking and defensive presence to my eye, but his offensive totals weren’t really there in his AHL rookie season. I was a fan of Zalewski’s, but it’s not a huge loss to the organization.

Of course, the big one here is Yannick Weber. I wouldn’t have been shocked if the Canucks were simply not in a cap situation to give Weber what he wanted and were forced to let him walk. But it sounds like the team and player ate still working towards a deal:

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This seems like a move designed to avoid arbitration more than anything. If the Canucks really want to get Weber signed, they will get it done in the coming days before free agency. On the other hand:

Not qualifying Weber opens up the risk to losing him for nothing in just a couple of days, and the player has zero incentive not to play the market. It’s a risky move for sure, and not one that necessarily reflects well on Vancouver’s desire to commit to keeping Weber in the fold for 2015-16. 

Either that, or they’re just that confident a deal will get done. I’d be skeptical of this, though.

    • Orville Wright

      Any arbitration award under 3 million, the team cannot walk away from. So if Weber were awarded 2.9 million then the Canucks would have to accept. Obviously they felt it was not worth the risk.

    • WTF2

      To qualify him would mean borrowing some money from Sbisa. (where’s the dang roll-eyes emoticon)

      Quick poll: What would you rather have, (using dollar equivalency)

      1 Sbisa or,
      3 Clendenings/Corrados/Stantons (insert cheap prospect here)

  • WTF2

    Benning is not making sense on the defensive front. He says he wants defensive depth, like 11 defence available but he doesn’t qualify Weber or Stanton and is actively trading Bieksa now that he’s burned that bridge. Plus he’s re-signed Sbisa so that’s like being down another D. He can barely field a game day roster, is he sniffing glue?

  • WTF2

    “Arb would have been tough.”

    I must be missing something. If a player elects to go to arbitration the team has the right to walk away from any arbitration award, so why does the possibility of arbitration matter?

  • WTF2

    If Weber is not re-signed then not qualifying was a bad move. Let’s wait and see before we pass judgement…

    I think Benning sees that his numbers benefited from playing on the PP with the Sedins, but his defense is a liability due to his size. Calgary exploited this in the first round.

  • WTF2

    Not a shock here. I always thought it was best to let Weber walk. We have too many small D. It looks like Corrado and Clendenning are locks for next year. We’ll also have Tanev and probably Hamhuis. Then you guys wanted to retain Weber? Are you insane?

    Let’s not forget Subban is also in the pipeline. Weber had a good season but there’s no reason to hang on to him. Canucks are way, way to small on the back end.

    • d.sampson56

      That doesn’t make sense. It’s ok to let Weber go because he’s too small (5′ 11, 200 lbs) but don’t worry because we have Jordan Subban in the pipeline (5′ 9″, 185 lbs). Subban is way smaller than Weber.

    • d.sampson56

      Its all about managing assets and not letting them walk away for nothing. Although the way this mgt team is shooting itself in the foot with the Lack trade, I would suspect that they are the ones who are insane…

      • andyg

        I had no problem with the Lack trade. None. We had to move a goalie and Lack was the only one that could be moved and get something in return.

        I am betting Weber would not get much in return. Canucks are up against the cap and not much room to sign players.

        • d.sampson56

          Its bennings missteps that are the reason we are here.
          bennings pride should have been swallowed on miller , vey , and the handling of beiksa. TRAVIS KONECNY is gonna hurt the Brock Boeser pick for years to come.

        • YouppiKiYay

          My problem is that we shouldn’t even be in that position at all if they didn’t put themselves into the hole with that stupid contract. As to Weber, what is wrong with qualifying him and bringing him into camp as insurance? Let the kids prove themselves and fight for a spot instead of being handed one (like they have been saying all along…).

          • Ca-nuckle head

            Qualifying Weber doesn’t mean he is signed. Still have to bang out a contract and as mentioned before he has arbitration rights. My guess is he will be more than Benning can afford with so little cap room.

    • andyg

      Agreed, Weber doesn’t make sense long term, especially if you want Clendenning to step up and take over the PP. I’d rather have qualified Stanton who I agree got a bum rap last year but then he was always borderline.

      Makes more sense to see if there are other teams out there who would actually pay more for him. I would guess no but who knows.

  • ikillchicken

    Bieksa’s and Sbisa’s GF% and CF% last year when together -> 41.5/48.4

    Contract Status: Sbisa given long term extension. Bieksa trade allowed to fall apart. Combined 8.2M cap hit next year.

    Stanton’s and Weber’s GF% and CF% last year when together -> 53.8/48.6

    Contract Status: Neither even given a qualifying offer.

  • Steampuck

    I like Weber, but I can live with this. Assuming Bieksa is on the way out, too (not a sure thing, I suppose), does Hamhuis play on his weak side with Sbisa? He seems to have the magical ability to make any of his partners look better (see: Bieksa, Kevin; Weber, Yannick). That leaves two righties in Corrado and Clendenning as the third pairing, but they played much of this past season with the Comets together. Chemistry? I can live with that six, but assume we might get back a depth D in return for Bieksa. Or Bieksa stays and Corrado and Clendenning platoon?

  • I kind of like that we are not qualifying Stanton or Weber. We only had $6,000,000 or so for free agents including our other RFA’s. So now resign the 5 we qualified and we can see if we can find some bargains out there. Also apparently we are still trying to trade Kevin Bieksa so that’ll clear up another $4.6 millionish. Maybe we can sign Matt Bartowski and/or Matt Irwin. Also this really does give some spots to our kids on defense.

    I have it figured out to 13 forwards who would need to clear waivers next year, that’s including Bo and Keinans. Though Keinans may not. So not much room up front. But on defense we got Tanev, Edler, Hamhuis, Sbisa, Corrado, and Clendening. I hope we resign Richardson more than Weber honestly. I think we will miss him if he is gone. I don’t expect much more than a Bartowski, or Irwin type. And hopefully resign Richie. And some AHL’ers like a goalie for sure. Anyone know if we are looking to resign Biega, Acton or Dafazio? Do we still own the rights to Miles Liberati? I can’t find anything on him. I thought if we didn’t sign him he was going to re-enter the draft? Also what’s the deal with Anton Cederholm? Is he going to be playing for Utica this year? Or can he go back to the WHL?

    I have it figured out to 42 contracts of the 50 filled approximately. That’s with a pending Bieksa trade, and not signing Weber or Richardson.I figure we probably don’t fill more than 47 or 48 of them. So we may see 4 or 5 signings between NHL and AHL. Also I think that would have to include Boeser and Brisebois, though maybe we wait until next year. Anybody shed sone light on any of these issues?

  • YouppiKiYay

    Between the hand-wringing over Santorelli last summer and over Weber this summer, I have come to believe the fastest way into some Canucks fans hearts is to play well for half a year.

    As stated above, Weber was targeted by Calgary and exposed as a defensive liability. I’ll guess the plan is to have Clendenning replace him.

  • allsportsfan

    I posted this in the earlier thread but still wonder why this doesn’t apply?

    Disappointed to see that Weber wasn’t qualified. He tied for the 10th most goals by all Dmen in the NHL with 11 and the Nucks don’t want that? Instead we have to sign Sbisa to that ridiculous contract.

    Let’s hope they can iron out an agreement to have him on the fold and a full year on the powerplay. He can skate and gets his shot through, which seems to be lacking the last few years for the Nucks.

  • allsportsfan

    Let Benning finish his roster construction. There are definite holes, but they will be filled. I expect we’ll see improvement from Vey, Horvat, Markstrom, Baertschi and Kassian. Maybe even Sbisa. Some will be promoted from Utica – Corrado and Clendenning almost certainly – to learn to play at the next level. A few veterans will be moved. Those who remain will keep games competitive and help the young guys get better.

    We might make the playoffs, but might not. We will see a younger, quicker team. Miller will handle the pressure of difficult starts in front of a young team that makes mistakes. Markstrom will continue to improve as a backup, and will emerge a better starter than Eddie (though not nearly as adept at Twitter, which seems extraordinarily important in Van).

    The next season players like Virtanen, McCann, Hutton and maybe even Subban will begin working into the lineup (or at least playing in Utica). A few more veterans will be moved to make room. Now there are actaul assets to trade, including draft picks. There is balance in the organization, and Benning can deal from a much stronger position.

    Sounds like a rational development plan to me, even if only some of it comes to pass. A lot more realistic than pie in the sky trades when we don’t have the assets.

  • Vanoxy

    The 2 Canucks who stepped up last year and exceeded expectations were Weber and Lack.

    I’m sure nobody will make the mistake of overachieving next season, now that they’ve seen the consequences.

  • yvr_guy

    Since their playing style doesn’t involve defenders joining the rush I don’t see why 4 D can’t chew through 50 to 55 minutes a night of games that matter, and for the rest develop D5&6 so they can play more against the bottom feeders and be ready to take on a more prominent role in the event of sickness or injury.

  • rallen621

    Getting rid of Zalewski was a big mistake yeah not many goals but they would have come this kid is a work horse skates with the puck great just a good hockey player period I don’t get it at all dump him and give Vey a million WTF!

  • rallen621

    Not offering Webber a qualifying offer is another sign of Bennings imcompetance. Weber was likely the biggest factor late in the regular season the powerplay was off life support!

    His bigtime right shot meant that opposing teams had to come out to the point instead of just collapsing in front of the net to prevent the sedins downlow plays. He is quickly proving to be worse than Gillis,no dubious honor at all.
    Great we get to see Miller let in soft goals, the poerplay rank at the bottom of the standings yet again, our team get manhandled all while Dorsett and Hamhuis play too many minutes and produce nada. This comming yr is going to be painful for sure. After all this idiotic managing by Benning he probably does not go after that fine duck left winger in free agency,right?

  • rallen621

    So what do the defence pairings look like now? Is it something like:

    Edler – Tanev
    Hamhuis – Clendening/Corrado
    Sbisa – Corrado/Clendening

    Honestly, I’d be happier with Stanton – Clendening as the bottom pairing. I still can’t understand the Sbisa signing.

  • argoleas

    Why would management want to paint itself into a $2.9 million corner on an undersized defender with only half a season’s worth of performance above that of a 7th defenseman?

    We need to see a broader body of work from Weber before that sort of potential payday.

    (If only Benning had taken this sort of sensible approach on Sbisa.)

    • argoleas

      My guess on the rationale for the Sbisa contract is this:

      1. Physical play: His signing may have been an early indication that Bieksa was already assumed to be gone next season. Without him, he comes our most physical D-man. And there is no one to take his place. The counterargument would be whether there is someone they can get in FA that can take his place in the left position but be cheaper. Because that cap hit sucks.

      2. Projected improvement: Can his play improve? I believe we had many articles on this site that showed that the Bieksa-Sbisa combo did not work. Nor did almost any other combination. Someone suggested above that his numbers when paired with Corrado were some of his best. Maybe they are hoping that this will continue next season.

      3. Pedan? Seems to me that Lindenning are hoping that Pedan will be ready to play sometime next season, before jumping full-time the following year, which would time it with the Hamhuis departure. But if Pedan works out, will an upcoming prospect make Sbisa expendable before his three years are up?

  • argoleas

    The sad truth is while teams like the Flames are making huge moves we are trading Eddie Lack who is better than Miller and cheaper amd younger, Benning drafted Miller and favours him and that is yet another Benning mistake, I am trying to see some positive in this but am absolutely baffled at what or if there’s any kind of serious plan for the Canucks, while the Western teams are all getting stronger we are going the opposite way? Why is Burroughs Higgins bieska Miller still here? Bring in the kids so what if we lose, it means Austin Mathews sweepstakes, I’m still pissed we didn’t get Hamilton, This never ends with Vancouver, I’m thinking there’s a Organizational commitment to mediocrity, how embarrassing

  • BrudnySeaby

    Mismanagement all around. By not trading Bieksa (so maybe you didn’t get the second round pick you wanted, you ‘d at least have freed up cap space), they have no cap room to qualify/sign Weber. He will now walk for free.

    I’m pretty sure that trading Bieksa for a slightly lesser pick, then filing for arbitration for Weber and consequently trading him if the contract would be too expensive, would have generated us more in return then how the current situation is going to play out.

    Maybe Benning can trade himself as part of a deal?