Canucks ink Sven Baertschi to 1-year, $900k contract

Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks have locked up their final restricted free agent player, Swiss-born winger Sven Baertschi, with a one-year, one-way deal the club announced on Tuesday.

Baertschi didn’t accept his qualifying offer by the July 15 deadline, and was reportedly told to wait on the club clearing salary cap space. With the consummation of the Brandon Sutter trade earlier on Tuesday afternoon, it would appear that young Bae’s wait is over. 

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The total value of the deal is $900,000 according to Elliotte Friedman (by way of the great Taj1944). That’s about what you’d expect, and continues the Jim Benning era trend of locking up pre-arbitration restricted players to cheap one-year deals in July.

The 22-year-old forward was acquired in trade with the Calgary Flames at the 2015 NHL Trade Deadline, and generally played pretty well for the Canucks down the stretch and into the postseason. He also starred with the Utica Comets on their run to the Calder Cup Final.

A skilled albeit somewhat undersized forward, Baertschi has generally managed to produce points at an auspicious rate in his 69 games in the NHL, although his two-way game will need some work and polish. Based on his production at every level, it would seem that he’s a decent bet to turn into a reasonably productive top-six forward with mostly offensive value – with comparable upside to fellow WHL alumni Joffrey Lupul and Radim Vrbata.

It’s expected that Baertschi will lineup in a depth scoring role for the Canucks next season, and will surely be counted on to help replace some of the even-strength offense the club lost when goal scoring forward Shawn Matthias signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs as an unrestricted free agent.

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With Baertschi’s deal signed the Canucks now have 12 forwards signed to one-way contracts, plus Bo Horvat, who is a shoe-in to make the team. It would seem as if the club’s forward group is essentially in place then, barring something unexpected like one of Cole Cassels or Blair Jones or Alexandre Grenier or Jake Virtanen forcing the coaching staff’s hand with a stellar performance at training camp.

  • NucksJ

    They actually have 13 forward including Horvat, and 7 dmen with the squad, so they have one open spot for a forward or dman from the kids, to fill out the roster. If Virtanen shows up in pre-season, then I think you will see them move Higgins early in the year. That leaves them with the ability to rotate players into the last spot, depending on need. Question I think will be does Horvat jump from line 4 to line 2 or does Sutter take 2 with Baertschi and Vrbata, and Horvat got to 3 with Hansen and Virtanen/Higgins. I am becoming more hopeful despite all the naysayers on this site. In addition, we are going to have lots of cap space next year and it will all be based on performance this year. Vrbata, Higgins, Burrows?, Prust, Baertschi, Kenins, Vey will all be on concluding contracts, play well you stay. Hamhuis if he stays signs for less and all of a sudden you have $10 mill in cap space and a bunch of youngsters with AHL experience.

  • NucksJ

    Sorry. Higgins is getting the rest of his $5M over 2 years ALL HERE IN VANCOUVER. Not because he wants to or the team wants to, but because other teams don’t want to.

    Of course, if I can even do something like
    Higgins for a 3rd Rd pick
    (and retain like a third of his salary)
    Why not.

    Let Virtanen come in if he must, let Kenins step up if at all possible.

  • NucksJ

    Oh my god!!! What an awful move by Lindenning!!! The jokers have no clue how to run an NHL franchise. We’re going back to the dark days of the 1980’s! The sky will be ash black, starving dogs will rip children to pieces on the streets of Vancouver. Mark Messier will purchase the franchise!!

    Oh sorry… I think I got lost on my way to the Brandon Sutter trade thread.

  • Dwj

    This is a good thing. The kid has real offensive skills. He can make people look stupid when they try to check him. The only thing the Canucks need more than some grit, is a young natural goal scorer. Time will tell. My only concern is what happened in Calgary. Why were the Flamers willing to let him go? It could not all be about his defensive habits. If it was ego, im sure his time in the AHL will have shown him that nothing is a sure thing.

    • hulkingloooooob

      Calgary let him go cause they have lots of young prospects who fit in better with how they play the game. Sven is too soft physically and way too soft defensively. Calgary is happy (and lucky) to have gotten a 2nd (1/3rd of the dougie hamilton trade) for him.