Photo Credit: Steve Russel/Toronto Star

WWYDW: Free Agency

The draft has come and gone, which there’s just one milestone left before the offseason begins in earnest: the NHL’s free agent frenzy. We know the Canucks are lacking in centre depth, so it’s likely they’ll be in on the action come July 1st. What free agents would you like to see the Canucks sign?

Last week I asked: Who would you draft at 7th overall?

Gino’s 3rd Cousin:

Wahlstrom if he’s there. The prospect of Petterson, Boeser and Wahlstrom on the PP is too good. Otherwise Dobson, Bouchard, Boqvist…in that order based on availability.


The recent series was excellent for giving me a better overview of the top picks, but I still see no convincing argument to change my position that Bouchard is the one they should gamble on. I believe the skating issues are over blown even with that good break down article. I believe even if those issues are a concern they can easily be corrected by coaching. And the rest of what he brings to the table is so much more impressive than any of the prospects that will be available to us at 7.

Having said that, I’m much more sold on Dobson and Wahlstrom than I was before. If they made a choice of Hughes or Boqvist I’d be cautiously hopefully that all that “potential” and fancy skating CA is hedging it’s bets on would come true. I suppose the same applies to Tkachuk as well though CA wasn’t high on him which I agree with. Makes me nervous to hear the canucks are high on him. Hopefully they’re just using Tkachuk as distraction like they did with Glass.

So yeah, Bouchard for me. Pretty much over every single player not named Dahlin…(though your write up on the Russian winger going number 2 was very convincing…but he’s not falling to us so it doesn’t matter.)

Ragnarok Ourobouros:

I would not consider Adam Boqvist because of his concussion history, and Tkachuk’s stats are fine but not as good as other available players.
In order of availability at 7th, I would choose :
Zadina > Hughes > Wahlstrom > Kotkienemi > Dobson > Bouchard > Tkachuk
If Zadina by some miracle fell to the Canucks, I would be so happy.
Benning is only 1 for 3 on his first round picks so far, so I hope he doesn’t blow this one.

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Zadina, Wahlstrom, Dobson, Hughes, Boqvist, Bouchard. I have Zadina and Wahlstrom rated higher because they are projected to be 1st line 30+ goal scoring wingers but otherwise, I’d want to draft a defenceman. We’re guaranteed a shot at at least 2 of these players at #7. If Benning can draft any of these 4 defenceman, I’d be happy. I’d be crushed if Benning drafted Tkachuk.


How about package 7 and 37 for Islanders two picks. Grab 2 D, one of which is Smith.

Defenceman Factory:

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Draft Noah Dobson.

Assuming Olli Joulevi develops as anticipated in 3 years you have a top pair that is defensively sound, great skaters, 12 and half feet tall weighing over 400 lbs.

The Canucks might still lack that dynamic offensive defenceman but that top pair will put up a lot of points. Both will put up more points than any current Dman. With very strong goal scoring forwards goal differential will be much more important than getting a lot of goals from the Dmen.


  • Sandpaper

    I would like too see them sign Jake Virtanen, Svem Baertschi and Troy Stecher.
    Then whenever the window is for signing the undrafted players from this year, sign the Topping brothers and Eggenberger along with the 2 Russian defensemen whose names escape me at the moment.
    While we are at it Adam Samuelsson also.

  • If he would sign a 1 year deal, I would bring back Dan Hamhuis. His metrics are still excellent and he’d probably like to come back. In retrospect, we should never have let him go. The idea was to play the kids and get younger but instead we signed Del Zotto and Weircioch.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      I would love to see that happen. For all the talk about having the youngsters learn from experience, how could you beat a hard-working, well-respected vet like Hamhuis who could be available for the price of his contract and who was (and may still be) actually good at hockey.

  • Burnabybob

    I would sign a short-term rental player at center for a 2-3 year deal. The Canucks are likely to be near the bottom of the standings again this year, and there are likely to be several good centers available to them. Even if they don’t hit the jackpot and land Jack Hughes, there are players like Dylan Cozens and Raphael Lavoie. The important thing is that the team’s focus needs to be building for the long term, not on short term fixes.

  • wojohowitz

    They need leadership and they need grit. Once again Benning has made the comment that his leadership group consist of Tanev, Edler and Sutter which is laughable if not pathetic.

    • Sandpaper

      Why is it pathetic?
      Just because people may not like someones playing style or contract, doesn’t mean they aren’t leaders.
      Do you think that the leaders are Boeser and Baertschi?
      This is a transitioning team, that will look totally different in a couple seasons, so let’s not get too worked up over who is in the leadership group for now.
      Anpther bottom finish anď things will be looking much better for the 2020-21 season.

      • wojohowitz

        It is pathetic because it is wishful thinking on Benning`s part and not reality. On top of that if the people around him agree with him then they are only bobbing heads – the kind of grovelling people Trump surrounds himself with.

        As for the players; Tanev is a leader and it shows but if he is going to miss 30-40 games a season thru injury then he doing a good job only half the time – in the room but not on the ice.

        Have you seen Edler give an interview. He doesn`t want to be there – in the spotlight. He is an excellent defenceman and has had a great career but don`t ask him to stand up and give a speech.

        A part of leadership is to never criticize a team mate in public and never blame a team mate for his own limitations and that is where Sutter fails. It`s not his fault but always someone else`s. What is really ironic is that Sutter comes from a family of great leaders – from Brian to Darryl to Brent and Ron and yet which Sutter is probably the highest paid of the whole clan – Brandon. You know why Benning sees leadership in Brandon? Because he played against his elders and understands what Sutter leadership means to a team but it is wishful thinking on Bennings part to see Sutter leadership in Brandon Sutter and that is pathetic.

        • jaybird43

          Leadership is a lot more than the ability to give a fine speech, or even comfort under the camera lights. I agree that excellent leaders rarely (emphasis on rarely here) criticize in public – that’s usually a sign of bad leadership, at least on the day it happens. Whether that’s indicative of a person’s overall leadership skills – statisticians would grumble about your sample size ….

          • wojohowitz

            Absolutely. Like Yzerman showed leadership qualities and was captain at 21. Toews was named captain at 20 and carries the monicker `Captain Serious`. With the Canucks it should be Horvat assisted by Boeser and Stecher but are they all too inexperienced?

        • crofton

          You are doing exactly what you say Trump supporters do…calling people down and calling names…just because they don’t agree with you. Or perhaps you don’t agree that “bobbing heads” and “grovelling” are not name calling at best and otherwise a pathetic attempt to make yourself bigger by making other people smaller

  • Sign a couple of inexpensive depth centres and depth defencemen to 1-2 year deals so they can plug holes and be traded at the deadline if necessary. With the Sedins gone, help on defence a year or two away, this team is going to be bottom-5. Embrace it, go after the other Hughes, prepare for another brotherly duo to carry the Canucks to the Stanley Cup Finals in a few years’ time.

  • Bruuntuun

    I think the best option is to play it out and hope we get decent years from existing players and sell at the TDL for more picks.

    If we do try and insulate our young players, I would like to see them aim for Riley Nash or Jay Beagle. If its longer then two years then I would be hesitant…

    Create competition but do not keep trying to sell us the “foundational player” spiel in free agency. Those players are drafted or traded for.

    • Cageyvet

      Yes and no, because I wouldn’t hesitate to go 3 years at all with a decent free agent. That goes hand-in-hand with your comment of selling at the TDL for picks, if you get a slightly better free agent, who says they have to play the full 3 years? Trade them at any time, short deals aren’t hard to move. Free agent trades should be even easier, who cares what you get back for a pick?

      I’d move MDZ for a 4th or 5th right now, and I’d have moved Patrick Wiercoch at the deadline for a 6th or 7th if somebody wanted some cheap playoff insurance, etc. Any pick is a win, and if you get nothing, it’s not a loss.

      I think the days of selling any free agent as a foundational player are over, thankfully. I have zero problem with fringe signings, as long as you’re content to sit them/trade them/waive them as required. As much as I’d have tried to move Weircoch, I’ll give the management team props for just using him as AHL depth, it proved that not every signing is destined to bump someone more deserving just to prop up the merits of their decision.

  • apr

    I posted in other article, but I would PTO a bunch of guys. Matthias, Vey, Buoma, Brodziak. I would not commit any huge dollars or terms to Bozak/Nash/Ryan – we already have Gagner and Granlund. Wait it out because there are more free agent centers next year (Anders Lee, Henrique, Brassard. Marcus Johansson, etc).

    As uneventful as it would be, I would re-sign Dowd and sign Flipulla for C depth. Sign Reaves to a 2 year $4.5 mil contract. PTO Roussell, Matthias, and Bouma. Re-sign Wiercoch and another AHL d-man with NHL experience when spring D injuries happen. This lets guys like Goldy, JV, and Leipsic to have an opportunity to have an impression. Give Gaudette some competition to beat Matthias for a 4th line, or develop in AHL. Give an opportunity to Sautner, Brisebois, and Chatfield to be viable d injury replacements so they start getting experience, and not block Hughes and/or OJ if they prove themselves in camp.

  • Moosekayak

    Re-sign the RFAs

    Sign Beagle for 2×1.5M, which frees you up to trade Sutter at the deadline if not sooner.

    Honestly, there isn’t much to do with this team right now but wait. If there’s been interest in Gudbranson then sign Hamhuis for a year or two and flip Guddy. Sign Burrows to a one-day contract so he can retire as a Canuck – him being traded to the Sens for Dahlen, re-signing, then getting bought out at 100% cap hit is an all-time jerk puck move.

    • Moosekayak

      Feel free to replace Beagle with any other UFA centre if he wants more than 2M. Keeping 13M free to pick up a poison contract should be an objective, and actively look to use that as an asset.

  • NSB

    I’d look to add someone like Jay Beagle or Mark Letestu at 1.5-2x market rate on a one-year contract. Teams are always looking to add defensively reliable depth at the trade deadline, especially at center. If we can entice one (or both!) to give up term, they can be a culture-carrier/reliable veteran/teach the kids how to be pros/whatever cliche you want to insert here and we can harvest assets for just the cost of cap space. If Gaudette shows he can handle a bigger role it might even free us up to pull the trigger on a Sutter trade.

  • TheRealPB

    I don’t want to block the development of young players but I also think about how much the Canucks’ got stomped the last three years whenever injuries hit and that was with the security blanket of the Sedins. With that in mind I’d avoid any and all of the high priced wingers who’ll be getting the max deals and go for one of the Cs who can be signed for a 3-year deal to absorb the punishing defensive roles and to free up Horvat and Petersson for relatively sheltered deployment. I don’t really want Bozak or Filipulla because I think they’ll get undeserved monster deals but if it’s limited to 3 years I guess it’s ok (though I still hate the MDZ and Gagner deals for the same reasons). My ideal would be a 3 year deal for Riley Nash, Letestu or Beagle at about $2 million per year. Good checking/defensive centers who can chip in some offense. Sutter would play some kind of 2-way role, Horvat’s centering the #1 line and not having to take every single face-off that’s important, and one of the young guys leads the fourth line. I’d prefer Gaudette to have at least half a season in the AHL.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I generally agree with your comments and see a serious need for centre depth. I don’t want to rely on using Granlund, Gagner or Gaunce as regular centers. After Gaudette and Pettersson there is very little else in the pipeline.

      I wonder why people are convinced that a quality NHL UFA should be limited to a 3 year deal. A 4 year deal should have a lower annual value and can be structured with signing bonuses in the first year or two so that the annual cost in years 3 and 4 could be only $1-2 million. This is a very tradable value and inexpensive to buy out. Assuming the player signed is of value the longer term mitigates more risk if Gaudette or Pettersson don’t evolve into top 9 centres, extends to when a 2019 draft pick could reasonably be expected to move into the line-up and better facilitates moving Sutter sooner rather than later if there are decent offers coming in for him.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Nash is going to get more than 2 mill per. For me though, he’s the most intriguing, and the best fit, because he can move up and down the lineup. I’d give him 2 years at 2.5-3 mill per. I’d also waive Gagner, because he is utterly useless.

      • Defenceman Factory

        I agree on Gagner and Nash but I didn’t say Nash should get more than $2 mil. Go to 4 years and front end load the contract to make it more tradable or easy to buy out. 2-2-1-1 with signing bonuses of $2 mil in year 1 and 1 to 2 mil in year 2. Once that 2nd year bonus is paid a budget team could take him on for very cheap increasing his trade value.

  • TD

    I would not sign anyone. In the past, the Canucks have had question marks about their line-up with no prospects that could legitimately be considered as options. They still have some holes at centre, but have some possibility that the prospects could fill the holes. In a perfect situation, our centres would be Horvat, Pettersson, Sutter and Gaudette. Personally, I don’t know if Pettersson will be ready, but give him a shot. Gagner, Granlund and Gaunce are already on the roster and could play centre if needed. The Canucks are not going to be a good team if the prospects aren’t ready, so why sign some free agent that will not really make a difference. The Canucks probably won’t be very good even if the prospects are ready, but I don’t want some free agent plug to block the prospects who would be gaining experience.

    Sign some PTO’s and there will always be players available on the waiver wire at the end of camp. The Canucks will not be good unless the prospects are ready to contribute so why fill up the roster with low end fringe players as we already have a bunch of those signed. If the kids aren’t ready, players will be available from other teams when training camp closes.

    • Cageyvet

      Your PTO’s and end-of-camp waiver wire players are exactly the low end fringe players you don’t want, I don’t see the logic here. Sure, a more veteran player can block the kids more than those players, but they should also have a hell of a lot more value to the team. It’s not just about stats, you do need some experience in the lineup.

      Still, I’m on board with your centers and general philosophy, I just don’t think one or two veterans for the bottom 6/bottom 9 as depth is a bad idea.

  • Chris the Curmudgeon

    The team has two major positional needs at C and on D. In both cases, they are better off in not committing long term to someone who either won’t move the needle in terms of future playoff success, or who is “mid-prime” and whose best days will likely have passed by the time our team is a contender again. That means instead of focusing on low-ceiling types in their 20’s, better to look for bargains in their 30’s who still have the ability to contribute and who might fetch a pick at the deadline. At C, I’d look at a guy like Antoine Vermette or Matt Stajan: both will be cheap as they are coming off down years, both can still help, especially on the defensive side, and both are the type of experienced vet who can help mentor the youngsters and who could have some value at the TDL. On D, why not bring back a former fan fave in Bieksa or Hamhuis, either of whom would provide a bit of toughness and could help offset potential trades of Tanev and Hutton, and hopefully act as elder statesmen from a period of team success as the team brings Juolevi, Hughes, Woo, etc along (I am also hoping against hope that one of Brisebois, McEneny and Chatfield can beat the odds and show NHL-calibre chops, and any of them would also likely benefit from “rubbing shoulders” with Ham or Juice).

  • Dirty30

    Maybe go off the farm a bit and dangle a one year, big money deal in front of Joe Thornton. SJ needs to move on, sign their young guys etc and Vancouver needs a solid centre for a year.

    Reality is Thornton is no longer the guy who will get you to the SCF and having a contender pay him 8 mil for 80% of what he was doesn’t seem like a great deal.

    I wouldn’t put him out there with Loui and Gagner, but centring a second line of Pettersson and Virtanen or Goldobin could look interesting.

    And if by some miracle he turns into the best centre of the year, trade him then to a contender for a nice pick.

  • Another option is Austin Czarnik. Although he’s small and still relatively unproven in the NHL and at centre, he’s only 25, is excellent at the AHL level, and has lots of potential. That being said, I nixed a trade for Lucas Wallmark in another article because he’d compete with Gaudette for ice-time. Same issue here with Czarnik but at least he’s a player that would be worth looking at (ignoring all other factors).

  • argoleas

    Start with what Canucks have. Their current lineup and 13th forward may look as follows:


    Here, Horvat and Sutter take the hardest minutes, whereas Pettersson line takes most OZSs. Archie slots in for heavier games.

    Now, how to reasonably upgrade this? First, anyone new means someone has to leave. And it has to be a player that fits the line structure and role. So no, Gagner would not drop to Sutter’s line if a Riley Nash takes his place. It likely means some kind of move where a Nash comes in and Gagner leaves.

    Speaking of a Riley Nash, he represents that type of versatile forward that can play mid-6 minutes, take draws. But #canucks must determine if for this role he is actually an upgrade to Gagner. But if Gagner alongside Pettersson in a very sheltered role rises his stock to his Columbus days, he could be a good TDL option. Then bring up Dahlen from Utica to take is place on that line.

    So I guess I’m okay if they stand pat and let their youth grow, but if they have to, then upgrade Gagner and/or Archibald.

    As for the Defense, we know that Edler will be extended, Tanev will be retained to help Hughes and Juolevi along, Guddy will remain for his apparent Meat-And-Potates role, and Stecher is here to stay. So it’s all about the youth stepping up. I see no room for any obvious external upgrades.

    • Defenceman Factory

      I follow your logic and it makes sense however I think it is based on a number of assumptions I just can’t get past.

      Pettersson will play centre this year. He won’t. Gaudette is ready to take Henrik’s place on a secondary scoring line. He isn’t. Nash may not be an upgrade on Gagner at centre. He is. Tanev, Edler and Guddy are here for the foreseeable future and will be effective. They won’t be. There is actually some depth in Utica to call up when injuries occur. At centre and RD there is virtually no one. There is no one who could step into Horvat’s or Sutter’s role if/when one of them is hurt.

      It’s all well and good to think the Canucks can put a weak and shallow line-up out with an eye to high 2019 draft pick. The Canucks fan base, media and ownership will not abide. There are massive holes and Benning has no choice but to plug them.

      • argoleas

        Lack of depth at RD and Center is a definite issue, but I fail to see how you propose to fix them without taking slots away from the youth. They will have 4 RD on the roster (Guddy, Tanev, Stecher, Biega).

        Pettersson is a big wildcard, and you are probably right that he wont start there. But at some point he will transition. Anyone betting against Pettersson has so far lost that bet. You say that Nash is better than Gagner, and I have nothing to dispute that, but it is up to the team to assess that for the desired role, and any implications of money and term. All fine with upgrading Gagner.

        I got Gaudette in as 4LC, not third as Henrik was. I see zero issues with him starting there, and that seemed to be Green’s and Benning’s view too. The trouble may be if injuries would force him into a higher role. Hence the issue of more Center depth. But again, at whose expense?

        This is not a playoff team, and if anyone in the fan base thinks it can be with some expensive UFAs, that’s delusional.

        We can circle back about Tanev, Edler and Guddy, once we are into the season.

        • Defenceman Factory

          I’ll start with right D. The Canucks only have 8 under contract assuming Biega is resigned and Brassard is signed at all. The best and only real option Vancouver have for a call up is Chatfield. Some depth must be signed.

          At forward it should be Gagner that is the odd man out when a centre is acquired. Pettersson should play wing on a secondary scoring line. He needs a centre and it should not be Gagner or Sutter. Get him someone decent he can learn from and that can get him the puck. I agree Gaudette is probably fine on a 4th line but if Pettersson isn’t playing centre does Gagner, Gaunce or Granlund play ahead of Gaudette?

          I don’t want to block the path on Pettersson or Gaudette but there is about 0 prospects behind them. Only Horvat and Sutter can match up against top 6 centres on other teams. Sign another centre who can. When Pettersson and Gaudette reach that level trade out Sutter or the guy you sign.

          Extending Edler and Tanev and having them as part of the medium term plan isn’t going to be successful. Injuries and age related decline leaves a very weak defence. Those two, with Sutter are the best options to acquire additional picks. That should happen before that value is gone. Left side depth is fine but a right side player should be signed so the Canucks can capitalize on an opportunity to trade Tanev or Guddy. I’m not a Guddy hater but I do want to see a better puck mover take his place before too long.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Where’s Gaunce? He’s gonna be on the team, and is not exempt from waivers, and might be in the Archibald slot. I assume that Motte is Utica bound in your scenario too? I also think Goldobin is unlikely to line up on the 4th line (while acknowledging that line numbers can be somewhat arbitrary), and would probably flip him and Eriksson in your scenario. Otherwise, you’re right, that is probably what the roster will look like barring a Baertschi trade. A lot hinges on how much Pettersson can hack it at C.

      • argoleas

        I just do not see a spot for Gaunce in the current setup, nor is there one for Boucher. They will be waived, if if claimed, oh well. Motte is still waiver-exempt (barely).

        That is, unless there are more trades involving someone from that list. The Archie or his replacement provides something that Gaunce does not, which is why I have him, not Gaunce, as 13th.

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          Don’t think I agree. Gaunce is an effective bottom 6 forward, with one of the best Corsi Against rates on the team (ie: very effective at suppressing opposing team chances), despite his deployment being the most highly skewed towards defensive zone starts of any regular player on the team. So, Gaunce also brings something that Archibald doesn’t (though in fairness to him, Archibald is also respectable in those areas). It’s very unlikely Gaunce will be waived. I agree on Boucher, though, and on Motte. I wouldn’t mind seeing them bring Archibald back, but it would be preferable if he were on a two way deal. Boucher, Motte and Archie could all be potential injury callups, though my hope is that they’re competing with Dahlén and maybe even Jasek for that shot.

        • Chris the Curmudgeon

          Also, I am not sure that Gaudette’s roster spot is completely set in stone either. I know we lack centre depth, but if the team thinks he could use some seasoning in the AHL then he might be there instead.

    • TD

      Here’s my lineup, not different.

      Baertschi Horvat Boeser
      Eriksson Pettersson Goldobin
      Gaunce Sutter Granlund
      Leipsic Gaudette Virtanen

      Sutter will play a lot of minutes again in the shut down role. I think the other two lines could do some damage. If Pettersson can’t play centre I would go this way.

      Baertschi Horvat Boeser
      Goldobin Granlund Pettersson
      Gaunce Sutter Eriksson
      Leipsic Gaudette Virtanen

      I have Gagner on the bench waiting for the inevitable injuries as he could sub in anywhere. I liked Archibald at first, but he really tailed off at the end of the season. I would be okay with him coming in and out of the lineup if we get rid of someone or they decide to keep 14 forwards. As KM always points out, someone may be injured out of camp.

      There are a limited number of Canucks who could play the shut down role, Sutter, Gaunce, Granlund, Eriksson and Archibald. I like Granlund’s defensive responsibility to be a centre if Malholtra can teach him to take a draw and he has a decent shot as does Goldobin to be fed by Pettersson. Baertschi plays on the top line to bump his value at the trade deadline if it looks like some of the prospects could fill in next year. If the line stays healthy, Baertschi could have good value at the deadline.

      • Kneedroptalbot

        Motte played really well in the checking/shutdown role last year. He could slide into the checking line with Sutter/Granlund very easily.
        That frees up Eriksson who can play throughout the lineup.

      • I’m not the biggest Gagner fan but you can’t possibly think Granlund is going to be a better top-six centre. Granlund has topped ten goals once in his career, and ten assists twice, and that was in a year where he played on the wing, had a massive shooting percentage spike and choice deployment alongside the Sedins (and he still only his 32 points).

        Last year was a down year for Gagner and he still managed twice as many points as Granlund adjusting for games played, and has averaged over 40 points per season for most of his career.

  • Kootenaydude

    Stastny for 3 years. Overpay him and we have a centre that can help the coach and our new young guys. I do like Reinhart as well. I’m not concerned about having too many centremen as we can always keep the best and trade the rest. I’m not interested in plugs to fill a roster spot. We have had enough plugs over the last few years. I’m ready for some entertaining hockey now. Not in another 5 years.

  • Rodeobill

    Just for a fun consideration, I wonder what FAs we could get that would make the team fun to watch without sacrificing TOO much skill and speed.
    Like bring back Vanek, I love watching him put the petal to the metal to slowly break up the ice and then give up and do his half clapper and actually sometimes score with it, Reeves could be fun just because you see anyone playing against him has this look on their faces in scrums like “I wanna show my grit, really just not with him” Or Patrick Maroon bully his way to the net and have Boeser or EP bounce pucks in off him. I agree with the Joe Thornton comment, I think people rally around him, he still has skills and hockey IQ for days, and he could really take up the Sedin’s vacancy in leadership for a year. I know it’s impossible, but try to bring back Tryamkin, I loved watching people bounce off him or pin people on the boards like a bug with a fly swatter, he always seemed to squash them parallel to the ice so they would splat down after he let up.

    Consider who would be fun to have on the team, as long as it’s not at the expense of youth and said parties still brought a useful element to the game. I don’t need them to contend for the cup next year, I want to see the young guys grow and find confidence and have fun.

    • Holly Wood

      I don’t see a scenario where Jumbo Joe would sign here unless if it was for a boatload of cash and a promise to find a trade to a contender at the deadline. If he goes weeks without being signed he may consider coming

      • Dirty30

        What are his options? Is he going to take a big cut in pay to stay in SJ? Or a cut in pay to play for a contender that likely would need to spend money on other players?

        Van is close to SJ … has lots of cap room -/ can trade him and retain salary to get a decent pick and can afford him for the whole season — not many other teams can make that offer.

        Maybe he goes to Anaheim if Kessler goes on ltir … but the Canucks are one of the few teams that could carry his salary until the deadline.

      • Rodeobill

        I doubt it too, I don’t necessarily recommend these signings either, just thought it might make for a fun year while we wait for the eggs to hatch.

        I read somewhere that the canucks have expressed interest in Grabner and Neal too, those guys make me nervous, seem like buy high/ get stuck with options. I can’t see them “elevating their game” by coming to a team stuck in the bottom for the last several years.