Photo Credit: NHL.com

Canucks extend qualifying offers to eight players

The Canucks have extended qualifying offers to Brock Boeser, Reid Boucher, Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Leivo, Tyler Motte, Francis Perron, Brogan Rafferty and Josh Teves. This means Vancouver will retain their negotiating rights.

The Canucks did not issue qualifying offers to Brendan Gaunce, Markus Granlund, Ben Hutton,Yan-Pavel Laplante and Derrick Pouliot. These players will become Unrestricted Free Agents on July 1st.

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The most notable name the Canucks didn’t qualify was Hutton. The 26-year-old was coming off a two-year, $5.6-million deal with Vancouver. He had five goals and 20 points with a minus-23 rating in 69 games last season. While the team appears to be giving up on Hutton, there have been rumblings the Canucks may look to sign Hutton on a cheap deal once he becomes a UFA.

The Canucks also didn’t qualify Granlund, who was a solid supporting scorer for the team last year. The 26-year-old had 12 goals and 22 points in 77 games last season. He had signed a one-year contract worth $1.475 million prior to last season.

The most important player the Canucks need to sign before 2019-20 is Boeser. The latest is that talks are ongoing and the Canucks expect to get him locked up at some point in the near future.

With the Canucks moving on from a few supporting players, Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet 650 he heard from one Canuck at the end of the year that the team “could have 6-7 new players next year.”

Based on what we’ve seen from GM Jim Benning thus far, it certainly looks like the Canucks will have a healthy dose of fresh faces in the lineup on opening night.

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  • Goon

    They’d damn well better have a plan to re-sign Hutton as a UFA. Losing a guy who is 25, played over 22 minutes a night and put up 20 points for nothing would be bad at the best of times, but with such a stunning lack of depth at the position it’s utterly inexcusable.

    • Locust

      Dude – its not like there arent another twenty Hutton clones around.
      He didnt exactly ‘light it up’, he played, on a poor team.
      With his history maybe they don’t want to move forward with him because of attitude or fit. No one outside of management knows that and if they are kicking him to the curb due to that, I 100% agree.
      Goldy needs an attitude adjustment as well. If not he’ll be gone by Christmas. Canucks are building character here, just like what the Blues showed this year. Worst to first is unreal and only possible with character and leadership.

        • TD

          Unfortunately, Hutton’s big minutes to raise his average to 22 minutes per night came when Edler was out. It also led to big losing streaks because Hutton is a bottom pairing guy that can play middle pairing when needed because of injuries. With the Canucks he was a middle pairing guy that played first pairing minutes with Edler down. The minutes he played could lead to a large arbitration award that would be ridiculous to risk paying. I don’t mind if they sign him again, but it has to be at a third pairing rate or the whole salary structure will be a mess when Pettersson and Hughes need new contracts. They already have too many overpaid players, they can’t afford another.

          Apparently, they’ve tried to trade him, but no other teams want to risk an adverse arbitration award either.

          • Goon

            According to Friedman, Colorado wanted Hutton as part of a package for Tyson Barrie and the Canucks declined.

            Hutton was definitely playing over his head as a #1 defenceman – that shouldn’t be his role. But he’s a passable #2 LHD and a very good #3, and given the Canucks lack of depth at the position (he was playing as the #1 guy when Edler was out because the Canucks had no other options), he shouldn’t be abandoned. Yes, this year they have Hughes and Juolevi, but both are rookies and shouldn’t be shoved into a #1 role when the inevitable Edler injury strikes.

        • CamBurke

          Hahaha – Freud b*tchslaps Low-cust the snowflake like a redheaded stepchild again.

          This cowarly clown thinks ‘toughness’, ‘character’ and ‘leadership’ turned the Blues around when in reality it was Binnington’s other world goaltending that did it… anyone who played the game would know this… *crickets*

      • harpdog

        too late for a trade now. Teams just have to wait til july 1 and make an offer. I some organizations, a 25 year d man is a rookie almost. Some one will make an offer.

    • Mellowyellow

      Notice when edler was out Hutton was playing close to 30 minutes a night.. It also coincides with when canucks went 1-13… Not pinning all the blame on him.. but he certainly didn’t help prevent the losing streak..

  • Colby7

    Hutton had conditioning issues and they became apparent when his game fell off a cliff the second half of the season. Negative +/- player, bad habits/conditioning, not overly physical. I would much rather overpay Myers by a few million then give Hutton 4 mil in arbitration. I will be interested to see what his contract ends up looking like, wherever he gets signed.

  • Rodeobill

    If Hutton works as hard as he did last summer I have no problem bringing him back. I thought he made good improvement this year, but was asked to do more than he should have with injuries and such. He was far from our worst D man last year and is worth bringing back, I think they want to just avoid arbitration, which is sensible. If it comes down to one of 2 options, Hutton getting overpaid, or having to fill his spot with someone else, you take the latter, but I am still confident he will resign like Pouliot last season.

  • Reel Deal

    We just removed the two worst +/- dmen we had and i for one applaud JB for not re-signing Hutton. The kids need spots to integrate into the NHL as well which is another positive for this move.

    • Defenceman Factory

      Do you actually believe the Canucks haven’t tried to trade Gaunce and Granlund?

      Boucher is a very solid AHL player and Perron is young enough (played limited number of pro games)to still be considered a development player in the AHL. These guys are for the Utica line-up. I don’t think anyone believes they have significant trade value.

      • wojohowitz

        Did they? I don`t know. What did Benning tell you?

        Here`s what I see. Both Gaunce and Granlund will play in the NHL next season. Boucher will make an appearance when he gets claimed on waivers and in Perron`s case; San Jose only had room for 50 contracts so they had to give somebody away and Perron was that guy.

        • Defenceman Factory

          You you got one thing right. You don’t know. Yet you make the assertion you understand what the Canucks believe about the trade value of these players.

  • TheRealPB

    And now with walking away from Gaunce and possibly Hutton, Horvat remains the single Gillis pick on the Canucks roster (and Connaughton, Hodgson, Horvat and Hutton the only actual NHL players he picked in 6 drafts — that’s pretty spectacularly poor, even with low drafting position).

    I get why these decisions on RFAs are being made and they make sense. But if I was Aquilini I think I might ask what the positives are in trading low-cost young players who are unproductive for high-cost vets who are equally unproductive? Granlund ($950k), Gaunce ($800k), and Hutton ($2.8million) are all arguably superior to Spooner ($3.1 million), Eriksson ($6 million), Schaller ($1.9 million) and Del Zotto ($3 million). Again, I don’t think any of the players we got rid of necessarily that good and it’s not my money, but at some point you have to think JB gets called on this.

    • Nuck16

      IMO, the team should be composed of players either making over $6mil (difference makers) or under $2million (entry level contracts + guys that won’t chip in offensively but are very hard to play against). Overpaying vet UFAs in that 3-4 million range kills your cap and is unnecessary. When a young player’s contract comes up and their new contract will be in that 2-6 million range then they have trade value since they are outplaying their current contract so trade them for picks and/or prospects since they are not difference makers and they are therefore replaceable with a rookie (if you have a healthy pipeline)

      • …therefore replaceable with a rookie (if you have a healthy pipeline)

        We’re just starting to get to this position but will need a bit more time. If we look at our past drafts:

        2014 – Virtanen, Demko
        2015 – Boeser, Brisebois, Gaudette
        2016 – N/A (Juolevi, Lockwood?)
        2017 – Pettersson (Lind, Gadjovich, DiPietro, Rathbone?)
        2018 – Hughes (Woo, Madden, Utunen?)

        Just based on averages, Benning could filter in two prospects every year so you’re not changing up much on a year-over-year basis. But I think it’s a risky proposition to trade prospects after their ELC for more prospects rather than going with what you know and taking advantage of their remaining RFA years. Perhaps you could do that when you have NHL roster depth plus a full pipeline, we’re still years away from that.

  • El Kabong

    I think the Canucks will re-sign Hutton to a contract around 1.7-1.9M/Yr. They play him for the first half while OJ Geta some minutes on the Comets. He’ll then be traded before the deadline and OJ will move on up. Hutton art the right price has value but at 4M/yr no one would want him.

    • LTFan

      El Kabong – Agree that Hutton would have few talkers at $4M. IMO OJ is the enigma. Will he turn into an NHL player or not? Most commenting on CA, including me, want him to be the player that JB and his staff saw when he was drafted. Everyone should remember that to date OJ has not played 1 NHL game and only 18 in the AHL. He is a prospect. We should know in 6 months if OJ is going to turn out to be an NHL D. man or not.

  • Killer Marmot

    As it now stands, on the left side they will have one (1) experienced defenseman. Should Edler get injured they will have zero (0).

    I can only assume that this has more to do with avoiding arbitration on Hutton’s contract than not wanting him in the lineup, because they will sure need him, at least at the start of the year.

  • Jim "Dumpster Fire" Benning

    Where was all this moving and shaking last summer when it was being called for from all corners of the hockey community?

    Oh yeah, that would have been the case if ‘asset management’ and understanding player value was in the current GMs lexicon and repertoire.

    Less than 2yrs ago, it was reported by Elliotte Friedman that a Tyson Barrie deal fell apart cause Benning refused to include Ben Hutton: a player the team didn’t qualify today.

    So they want Hutton on the cheap eh? Interesting news considering it was the same GM Jim Benning who voluntarily decided to pay Hutton $2.8M AAV over 2yrs when Hutton had no rights or leverage.

    ‘Leverage’….another word that mysteriously doesn’t appear in Bennings lexicon.

    • canuckfan

      Perhaps Benning did not trade for Barrie because the Av’s wanted Bo and Hutton. Really easy to crap on Benning saying he didn’t want to make a deal when the Av’s were asking for Hutton as an add on but who was the other player the Av’s wanted that is likely what killed the deal. Hutton was not worth signing for the qualifying offer way too high. At the end of last season the Canucks were fine without Hutton so if he moves to another team good luck to him but believe that Canucks will offer him a new contract for less money. No one wanted him in a trade lets see if teams line up to sign him.

    • Kevlar73

      Jim did back him self into this corner when he gave Hutton the 2.8 million per year based on his 40 point rookie season that is also the same time that he declined to trade Hutton for Barrie. As we all know now that 40 point season was not the beginning of an amazing career for Hutton. It’s a matter of Benning not doubling down on a mistake and Hutton going to arbitration and being rewarded 4 million per season. Let’s hope they can resign Ben for something more reasonable like 2 million per on a two year deal

    • Duke Hauser

      You are totally correct, what amazes me is the number of Benning apologists who think he does no wrong. He has no plan no foresight. He is brutal and has to go.

      • Cageyvet

        I don’t think he’s brutal, I don’t think he has no plan or foresight, and I don’t think he has to go. I don’t think he deserves to have any slack cut on this one, although if he signs Hutton on the cheap I will revisit this. He certainly makes mistakes, and Hutton’s contract was definitely one of them.

        I do appreciate that he’s willing to get his ass kicked all over the airwaves by making these moves so the team can improve. Better that than saving face and paying Hutton 3.5 or more, but better to have avoided this mess in the first place.

        I am surprised by the total lack of concern over Granlund. Defensemen are sure the talk of the league if we’re willing to worry about a 5th round pick who’s overpaid. Contrast that with an already-cheap utility forward who outscores Tim Schaller in his sleep, and who cost us a 2nd round pick. No f’ing way would I let him become another Linden Vey, I’d have shipped him out for something, or qualified him and taken my chances on the waiver wire. Both players brought some value, so it’s not a total write-off, but it feels like it’s pretty damn close to worst-case scenario if they walk for nothing. It might be the right move today, but it begs re-visiting how we got here, and in both cases, it’s all on JB. You can like your GM and still call it like it is….not well-played, not this time.

  • canuckfan

    Brock and Lievo will be the only ones from this group to make the team out of training camp the others will be in Utica hope Goldobin comes in and just kills it in training camp and keeps going rather than slipping.

    • Cageyvet

      I’m glad they qualified Goldy, but he’s in tough to make the team, and certain to be claimed off waivers.

      I would actually find a spot for him if I had my way. He’d be on the 3rd line with Gaudette and Virtanen. I’d let those two bring enough grit and try and have a decent offensive 3rd line, not another checking line. I’d also move Sutter to make this infinitely easier. Now is the time, because Goldy needs ice time. If you can’t give it to him, you trade him, you don’t waive him or park him in the press box.

  • Braindead Benning

    DimJim, basically retarded himself into a ‘MORE’ retarded aspect by being so Stupid to give away a 1st for salary dump (should have gone the other way) then not qualifying
    The guy is 5-6 dman on a competent team and now Jimbo with his past “great” record of deploying D-men decides to give him away for nothing. This GM is a joke.. So many mixed signals.. 😂

    • Cageyvet

      I don’t like the situation, but he’d have been easy to trade if you were right. He’s easily a 5-6 defenseman on an incompetent team. Maybe he keeps developing and becomes what you say, but no way do they walk away if the league saw him as a top 6 defenseman. Wherever he signs and whatever he gets, it’s because a team sees value in paying just the contract and rolling the dice. Clearly nobody wanted the contract and player at the cost of an asset.

  • Kanuckhotep

    It’s clearly evident Benning intends to low ball the affable Ben’s salary to keep costs down of course by this process. I am empathetic however to all those who have a foreboding about a Myers signing, a player not worth the coin and term he will be asking IMHO. Come on, Big Jim, do you want to cap out and not even make the playoffs? Nickel and dimeing guys like Granlund and Hutton to maintain some inflated FA signing I hope never takes place is consterning to say the least. One positive though. At least Goldy has one last shot to prove he belongs yet a small one for sure.

  • Captain Video

    Letting Hutton and Granlund walk for nothing is the epitome of asset mismanagement by Benning. Worse, is the possibility that these moves are to make space for an anchor contract to Tyler Myers. Benning is unquestionably the worst GM in hockey.

    • Bucket

      Hutton and Granlund are average players on a below average team. They would be below average players on a good team and in the farm on a great team. In other words, very expendable players who will not be there contributing anything worthwhile as we become a contending playoff team. Cut them loose if nobody is willing to give you anything for them and maybe another team can sign them on the cheap and consider them reclamation projects. We need to move upwards, not sideways.

  • harpdog

    Canucks bloggers amaze me. They support players on their team that no other team in the league wants. This is a team that has missed the playoffs every year for 5 years and you think these guys are great players. They are below average NHL players with no market value. Why would you want them back? Time to move on Guys. There is very little value in most of the teams players except maybe 10 yet u want to keep these injury prone, slow afoot, players that lack physical abilities and they wonder why teams run over them. The only way this team makes the playoff is if those injury prone players make it through the season but then again, they would probably get injured because that is where the big boys play.

    • Locust

      I suspect a majority of people here never played past pee wee and truly have no concept of what it takes. They are speaking as fans, passing themselves off as knowledgeable, just like most of the writers.
      That being said there are really some excellent posters here who really know their stuff and I hope they continue to post and don’t get discouraged by the CA sponsored trollfest and Ryans lack of a backbone in dealing with it. The only Nation site that allows trolling is CA.

      • CamBurke

        Still waiting for you to tell me when you are coming to 8 Rinks pu$$y boy, then we will see if you can back up your empty rhetoric direct from your Vancouver Island basement… cluck cluck Low-life. Waiting…

        • MattyT's Mom

          cam, couldn’t fight his way out of wet paper bag. Just cuz Freud says you can “take it like a man” doesn’t make you a real tuff guy. You’re still just a boi p*ssy, Freud’s boi p*ssy. LOL

  • KGR

    While I was a little surprised Granlund was not qualified, I expected Hutton to not receive one. A little overlooked these days is that cap space is an asset. Unlike 15 years ago the size of payroll was how much money the owners were will to spend, now it is the cap. Spending 6 million on two below average players is not worth it.
    As an above poster noted. You have to pay your stars, the bottom half of the team will be receiving 1 to 2 million dollar deals. If you have to many in the middle, cap problems will occur on any good team. There is a lot of pressure on the middle class in the NHL now.