Kicking things off bright and early, TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger tweeted out their early expectations for free agency. Both Dreger and McKenzie have pegged the Canucks as favourites to land forward Loui Eriksson today:
No locks, but early expectations: Lucic goes to Oilers. Nielsen goes to Red Wings. Ladd goes to Isles and Eriksson goes to Canucks. #hunch
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 1, 2016
There may be no better fit for a free agent today than Eriksson with Vancouver.
The Swede fits the bill of the top six forward the Canucks desperately need and has history with both management and players. Erkisson is an excellent 200 foot player that has been a very consistent scorer throughout his career, and would provide a desperately needed offensive punch at the top of the Canucks’ lineup.
Also, as mentioned in Eriksson’s free agent profile, he has performed considerably well with the Sedins at international tournaments and Jim Benning was the assistant general manager for the Boston Bruins when they acquired Eriksson in the Tyler Seguin trade with the Dallas Stars.
While the Canucks are favourites to land Eriksson, it appears as though they are also out of the running on all three of the local forwards. However, as it stands right now, Eriksson is likely the best fit for the Canucks out of the five names McKenzie mentioned given his repertoire and history with Canucks players and management. He will likely get a raise from his $4.25 million cap hit and is going to be 31 by the time the season starts, so keeping the term short is important.
Outside of the Eriksson news, McKenzie also reported that teams are ready to commit to secondary targets since they feel the primary targets are off the board.
It will be busy day with many signings. Teams sense primary targets are already off board so they’re ready to commit to secondary targets.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2016
As mentioned yesterday, the Canucks are interested in forwards Sam Gagner, Josh Jooris, and Corban Knight. With just under $11 million in cap space, the Canucks cannot make too big of a splash, but they have enough room to land a couple of the secondary free agents on top of Eriksson. There are some good young forwards available this year that would fit the retool quite nicely, as well as some potential bargains available in veteran forwards. Teams cannot officially sign free agents until 9 AM PDT today.
Also, be sure to join us for our Reddit AMA during free agency later today!
Join us for Free Agency tomorrow and our Reddit AMA! We’ll be hanging out and answering questions all day! pic.twitter.com/StRRKZwKX8
— CanucksArmy (@CanucksArmy) June 30, 2016