It was announced this afternoon that the Canucks have signed 33-year-old forward Thomas Vanek to a one year deal for $2,000,000. The full press release is as follows:
The Canucks have been linked to Vanek for the better part of week and it appears that Austrian forward opted to go with Vancouver.
It is a peculiar signing simply because it means that another young Canucks forward will be pushed down to Utica. This isn’t to say that it’s a bad thing, as it will allow those players more opportunities in bigger roles. But on the flip side, it doesn’t allow them any reps at the NHL level.
The one year deal is beneficial as the Canucks could choose to trade Vanek at the trading deadline with hopes of acquiring more draft picks. If that is the hope, then the signing is justifiable as it insulates the Canucks youngsters.
But if the hope is that Vanek will help push this Canucks to the playoffs, that optimism may be misguided.
We obviously don’t know the full plan for the signing and will have to see how it shakes out.
With Vanek on the books, the Canucks now have 46 contracts on the books for the 2017-18 season with RFA Bo Horvat left to sign. Assuming that deal gets done, that gives the Canucks 47 contracts out of the 50 contract limit.
The Canucks are well below the salary cap and will create more space once the forward situation is sorted out.