The wheels are starting to churn on the decisions to be made for next season and the first one was reported yesterday.
The #Canucks have made the decision to not qualify Derrick Pouliot ’ s contract. Pouliot will be a ufa and can get a fresh start with another team starting July 1st.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) May 7, 2019
This report isn’t shocking in the slightest as the Canucks were needing to make changes on the back-end and Pouliot hadn’t exactly seized his opportunity. There were flashes of Pouliot throughout his time with the Canucks that made you believe the organization was right in thinking that he might be able to get back to being the player that made him a can’t miss prospect in junior hockey.
Unfortunately, his play in the AHL over the few years before joining the Canucks was a clearer indicator of the player that he was. Which was a defenceman who gave up too much in his own zone but didn’t create enough offence to counteract it:
Canucks moving on from Derrick Pouliot: the obvious move. pic.twitter.com/jOVaGqgMxH
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) May 8, 2019
Which given how dominant of an offensive defenceman he was in the WHL, was a bit of a surprise. But not every player works out and Pouliot just couldn’t quite take that step forward.
The Canucks will be inserting Quinn Hughes into the lineup on a full-time basis, so there was going to have to be changes made. Furthermore, if this team had any designs about taking a step towards the playoffs, changes had to be made. Pouliot was the easy first decision as it opens up a roster spot, contract spot, and allows them to use the ~$1.0M towards another player.
It will be interesting to see how the organization continues to make changes and if we get any more information over the coming weeks.