Vancouver Canucks Sign Loui Eriksson


Photo Credit: Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks have made their first big splash in free agency, signing Loui Eriksson to a six-year contract valued at $36-million. Which means that Eriksson will carry a $6-million cap hit. This signing should come as no surprise, as the Canucks have always considered Eriksson to factor largely into their free agency plans as a primary option to add scoring and two-way acumen to their top line.

While the cash invested and the term attached might be a difficult pill to swallow for Canucks fans, such is the price for acquiring premier free agents on the first day of the frenzy. The market for Eriksson’s services was likely enormous and if his negotiations with his previous club, the Boston Bruins, are any indication, he had no desire whatsoever to take a hometown discount. For Eriksson, who turns 31 in two weeks time, this was his last chance to cash in and you can hardly blame him for seizing the opportunity.

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It will be interesting to see how well Eriksson meshes with the Sedins. Surely that’s where the Canucks intend to play their prized acquisition. Without the benefit of With or Without You data for the international tournaments they played together, it’s fair to wonder just how much chemistry the trio had playing for Sweden. Intuitively, one would think that Eriksson’s ability to process the game should make him an excellent fit.

Eriksson, 30, just finished a hugely successful season with the Bruins, scoring 30 goals and adding 33 assists for 63 points in 82 games. His two-way game remains solvent and generally speaking, Eriksson has a positive impact on his linemates ability to control the run of play. For the Canucks, who aim to compete for the playoffs as soon as next season, Eriksson’s offence and two-way play will prove immensely valuable.

Though there is concern, some of it reasonable, that the Canucks will come to suffer the latter years of this contract, there is no debating that Eriksson makes the club considerably better now. The hope is that Eriksson, who doesn’t play the most physical game, will age better than most. That’s a reasonable bet, too. Eriksson’s played less than 79 games in a full season just once over the last eight seasons.

A good signing for the Canucks, who’ve taken a positive step towards meeting their goal of the playoffs next season.

  • Suzycue123

    hockey warrier you think oilers are going to be great wow look at the changes they have made not much haven’t dealt with real needs at least canucks have gone after their needs and had a real legit excuse with all the injuries for place in standings what was oilers excuse competing for first draft pick has been important for oilers nothing has changed as that has been their goal build through the draft

  • Foximus

    best signing we could make. We had no choice with the term if we wanted him. He was going to get it somewhere. I think the Sedins will agae gracefully and be impact players for a few more years at least. Eriksson should be a great fit.

    Now lets develop our young talent properly!

  • Whackanuck

    Great signing. We now will have a productive first line while we rebuild lower down the lineup. Just need a second winger to play with Sutter and we will have three real solid lines. Horvat, Baertschi, Virtanen as a third line will be smoking.

  • Whackanuck

    Good article, quick response J.D.

    I admit Lucic was my first choice but he’s a better fit in his natural LW position in Edmonton, as Eriksson is at RW in Vancouver.

    I too wonder if it includes a full NMC. Unlike most I dont care what will happen in the 5th and 6th year. Effectively the Canucks took off 4 years of age to go from Vrbata to Eriksson. Vrbsy had a pretty good year at an age most posters are worried about Eriksson.

    A few tweener project players for Utica including a defenceman and perhaps a rugged 3rd line LW and thats a wrap.

  • bigdaddykane

    Would have preferred bigger cap hit fewer years, but that wasn’t in the cards. Will we be any more competitive? Maybe. Will Erickson put us over the top? Probably not. But…..watching the twins and Erickson kill it for Sweden the year the won gold was really least the Canucks will be more entertaining to watch and who knows, maybe the aquilinis will be able to sell high and we can get a new ownership group who might finally stay the Hell out of the GM chair. The worst that happens is we continue to suck and collect high draft picks. This contract hurts less than the Dorsett/Sbisa/Sutter contracts

  • Whackanuck

    yes Erickson will definately help us and give the twins alinemate they have not had since Vrbatas 1 hit wonder 2 yrs.ago But we need a winger with grit/size/toughness to add because we are going to get manhandled by the oilers/ducks/jets/kings. And Dorsett is not the answer. though amore mature Virtanen,a healthy Sutter, Tryamkin,Gubbranson are real upgrades in the skill and size dept. from what we iced regulary last year. Maybe Pedan as a left winger just for certain games is an answer?

  • JuiceBox

    Im ok with AAV Im not ok with the term. He can realiatically keep up the 30 goal pace for maybe 3 more years, 4 tops. So we have another mid thirty year-old who cant score making 6M…. Oi…. a 4 year deal would have been much more preferable but you gotta do what ypu gotta do. Short term gain long term pain.

  • Almo89

    Eriksson isn’t coming to vancouver for 4 years. It was always only going to be at least 6. That’s the nature of getting a very good asset for nothing – you have to pay the price somewhere. Why would he be cutting sweetheart deals for the Canucks? Every team has a few contracts where they’re overpaying. Many of our overpaid players now will be off the books by the time Eriksson is declining. Put this in it’s proper perspective. Many other teams probably tendered similar deals to Eriksson but he chose Vancouver. We should be counting our blessings, if anything. He’s obviously by far the best player we could have overpaid for today. Much rather be a Canucks fan these past few days than an Oilers, Canadiens and (always) a Leafs fan.

  • JuiceBox

    Lucic was my preferred UFA, because of the Canucks’s need for more size and physicality up front.

    But, Eriksson’s not a bad second prize. He brings the most offence of any of the available forwards, isn’t a midget, is great defensively and provides the team with a lot of options and flexibility both on special teams and 5-on-5.

    While everyone’s talking about Louie’s chemistry with the Sedins – he could easily play with Sutter to form a pretty responsible shut-down line as well.

    All-in-all, the Canucks are a better team today than when they ended the season. Can they contend for the playoffs? That’s really up to Bo, Bae, Jake, Hutton and Groot stepping up their game. It’s probably a season or two away still.

  • Almo89

    Does this thing have a no trade clause?

    The twins will retire in a few years. I hope that we’ll be able to trade this guy, especially after Linden and Benning are fired (after what should be several years of poor fan interest) and the owners finally authorize a true rebuild.

    I’ve been a Canucks fan since 88-89. I know how these things go.