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Photo Credit: Ross D. Franklin/AP

Report: Canucks “leaning towards” not qualifying Granlund

Adding to the earlier report that the Vancouver Canucks will not send a qualifying offer to defenceman Ben Hutton, it appears like they will have another free agent walking away in Markus Granlund.

Per Rick Dhaliwal, the Canucks most likely will not qualify the 26-year-old forward, therefore making him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

Acquired in a one-for-one trade with then-prospect Hunter Shinkaruk heading the other way to Calgary, Granlund’s presence in Vancouver has always been contentious. In his four years on the Canucks, Granlund has played 215 games, scored 41 points and 28 assists, while averaging over 16 minutes per game throughout those games.

Just last season, Granlund played the most games of his career (77), while only scoring 12 goals and 10 assists. His most common teammates were Jake Virtanen and Tyler Motte — not the most skillful linemates but Granlund was a non-factor to say the least.

With Granlund and Hutton departing, the Canucks now have just over $17.5-million in cap space left, with still big-time restricted free agent Brock Boeser to sign, Nikolay Goldobin to re-sign, and Josh Leivo holding arbitration rights.

Beyond those three forwards, Vancouver has only minor restricted free agents to sign, and none will really have an effect on the NHL roster.

Whether they find his replacement internally or via trade or free agency, the Canucks are now in need of finding a forward to take the 11 minutes that Granlund averaged at even-strength this past season. But considering that Granlund really didn’t add any offence or defence — that replacement won’t be tough to find.

Teams all around the NHL and the Canucks especially will be re-signing their restricted free agents in the coming days, or risk them to offer sheets throughout the summer. There will most likely be contract news around July 1, where the floodgates of contract and cap hell open.

  • Defenceman Factory

    Not making a qualifying offer does not necessarily mean Granlund or Hutton walk for nothing. The Canucks could just be avoiding the potential ruling of arbitration. A contract offer for them as a UFA may well be on the table which they can take or find a better offer elsewhere.

    I believe the Canucks have tried hard to move Granlund for any type of pick with no takers. As the author states, not hard to replace.

    The potential arbitration ruling on Hutton is too high. Better to offer him 3 as a UFA than risk him getting 4 out of arbitration. I can’t imagine there is a line-up to pay Hutton more than 3.

    • elvis15

      It’s possible we’re just trying to sign them for a slightly lesser deal, but it doesn’t happen very often that a team goes this route. That’s partly because the player has to agree, but free agency is also tempting for both sides. Bringing in someone new who can hopefully do better is sometimes worth the gamble. In any case, I don’t know that this is a route they’d take with Granlund, although I could see it with Hutton.

  • Kneedroptalbot

    I would sure like to see the Canucks re-sign Granlund. He skates well, can play wing or center and is valuable on the PK as well. A very versatile player, that is even more valuable when injuries occur.

    • Cageyvet

      That’s my worry. I feel like a guy who put up 19 goals, even if only once, and a defenseman like Hutton (in today’s d-starved environment) should at least grab you a late pick. Nothing seems like a pretty piss-poor return, doesn’t it? I know neither player is a huge loss, but ffs, can’t we at least qualify them and waive them to the minors until someone gets desperate due to injuries?

  • wojohowitz

    It`s not about the money when he makes $1.5m so it`s got to be Benning has a plan including roster spots for specific players. Maybe a deal with Vegas like Miller and Reaves. Granlund is a decent utility player at a very good price.

  • Kanuckhotep

    Agree with the notion the Granlund situation can’t possibly be about a paltry $1.5M for a useful utility forward. Again one perceives Benning has other plans for his forwards. Would rather dump the Sutter and Eriksson contracts as they do about as much as #60 does but at a far better price. Management must really be setting their sights on the post season next year but could run into danger with cap dishing out all this money on a team who last made the play offs when Willie was coach. Rabbits better be pulled out of hats on this salary cap issue meaning keeping it down. I mean what does Benning want for a million and a half for one year?

  • Rich Dawson

    Have to admit…..these guys had to been shopped….no takers….lots of ELC guys to fill these roles on the rosters…..probably in that player pool of short term, insurance guys now….

  • canuckfan

    The Canucks will not have a problem finding someone who will fill the 11 minutes of average ice time that Granlund played as they already have enough centers and wingers signed to make up the four lines they will ice with players to spare.
    Pearson, Horvat, Miller
    Brock, Petey, Sven
    Rousel, Gaudette, Jake
    Eriksson, Beagle, Sutter
    Plus a few others like Lievo there will be some moved out such as Eriksson and Sutter. The article says the Canucks will have a hard time filling the ice time Granlund played I think they already have.
    But with Hutton I think they will still sign him but for less money.

  • Nuck16

    Granlund is a useful player and good value for $1.5 million. Over the past fews season he’s been every bit as good or better than guys like Eriksson, Sutter, Beagle, Schaller who are all making a lot more than that. Problem is all those contracts are terrible and therefore unmovable so now there’s no room for Granlund, especially considering we continue to acquire more contracts (JT Miller)

  • harpdog

    Grandlund uses up a roster spot so fringe players can’t get enough ice time to show their skills. How many slary forwards does this team have singed already and with the addition of JT Miller, another roster spot gone. Now with Eriksson, Sutter, Beagle, Schaller and Baertschi all on the same level, room has to be used for injury replacement players but because they are vets with contracts means few options if they can’t be moved. Vancouvers only wild card in this is if they all have solid seasons with little loss of injury games. As far as forwards would go with that scenario, The Canucks seem to be in a good place. The issue is Defense and with hutton going, this leaves a very light weight D corp in size, skill and scoring. This what will determine Bennings future with the team and it seems he is already in desperation mode knowing if they do not make a significant team improvement, Some one else will be starting over. Right now I think Benning may get 1 more year extension to finish his implementation of a rebuild. Remember, the last 2 seasons, this team lead their division going into November but injuries was the fall and the rebuild players needed more time.

  • Hockey Bunker

    He’s be a good cheap pick up for a contender because in the playoffs I see him as a useful forechecker. Canucks have to make room for cheap young players to take a spot and Miller has the same versatility at a much higher level. Bottom line, Benning has found someone better.
    Can’t improve the team without changing some players.
    Later this summer maybe JB finds taker for Loui. Sutter will probably be part of a more significant trade.
    Toronto could use him for PK ( Leafs were awful in playoffs) and for face offs. Unless Leafs want Beagle as a cheaper option.

    • Cageyvet

      To my mind he can’t, no matter what happens. The best he can do is re-shape this team for the better and make this a distant memory. It still doesn’t mean he handled this particularly well, and I like JB overall. They all make mistakes, moving on and taking the heat is part of it, but this wasn’t exactly stellar asset management. Hutton at Granny’s salary is tradeable. End of story, because he signed the contract that was an overpayment. I get more trashes these days than most because I’m not defending JB’s every move, and that’s fine.

      I’m an ardent fan, and I don’t nitpick their every move, but facts are facts. Denying them means the glasses are getting a touch too rosy.