The Canucks announced this afternoon that they’ve signed Darren Archibald for the remainder of the 2017-18 season and then immediately recalled him:
As mentioned in the media release, Archibald has 7 goals and 9 assists in 25 games with the Utica Comets this season. He was named the Comets most valuable player last season, under now Canucks head coach Travis Green, after starting the year in their bottom six. He worked his way up to a first-line role throughout the year, using his physicality and size to create offence. The line of Archibald, Curtis Valk, and Alexandre Grenier were very good throughout the latter half of last season.
Prior to this season, Jeremy Davis speculated that Archibald was worth a contract. He had played well throughout the pre-season and gave the Canucks another physical element that was clearly missing before the season began.
With Dorsett suffering a career ending injury, the need for physical players was even more prevalent. It has been something talked about over the last couple of weeks, as many pundits suggested that the team lacked pushback.
Some had suggested making a trade for toughness, but that seemed like a poor plan given that the organization already had Archibald sitting in the minors (on an AHL deal) and aren’t in a position to give up assets to address that type of issue. Signing Archibald fixes both of those issues – the toughness and retaining assets.
It could also be the first step before the Canucks move out some other grit, but we will have to wait and see.
On a personal level, excited to see Archibald get another chance at the NHL level. As Jeremy illustrated through his post, Archibald did well in his limited time in the NHL and could have more to give. He isn’t a prospect anymore, but being given a sustained run in the bigs could shed light into what his full value is.
With the signing on Archie, the Canucks have 46 contracts on the books for the season. If the Canucks do ever decide to send Archibald back to the Comets, he would have to be subject to waivers.
They also had 23 players on the roster before Sam Gagner left with a sprained ankle, so it’s fair to assume that he has been placed on IR to make room for Archibald.