Canucks don’t qualify Ethan Bear or Travis Dermott, making them unrestricted free agents
Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
2 months ago
The deadline for NHL teams to qualify their restricted free agents is later today, and the Vancouver Canucks have announced that they have chosen not to qualify defencemen Ethan Bear and Travis Dermott, along with forward Carson Focht.
Those three players will now become unrestricted free agents when free agency opens tomorrow at 9 AM Pacific Time.
Bear, who the Canucks worked hard to acquire last October, aggravated a pre-existing shoulder injury at the IIHF World Championships this offseason while representing Canada, and had to undergo surgery earlier this month. The Canucks were expecting him to be out until at least mid-December, so extending him a qualifying offer — a one-year deal with a cap hit of $2.2 million that walks him right to unrestricted free agency next summer — likely didn’t make much sense from the club’s perspective.
As for Dermott, he was GM Patrik Allvin’s first trade deadline acquisition, as the Canucks gave up a third-round pick to receive Dermott from the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2022 NHL trade deadline. Since then, Dermott has struggled with concussions and has had trouble staying in the lineup as a result. He too will become an unrestricted free agent.
As expected, the Canucks did qualify defenceman Akito Hirose along with forwards Nils Höglander and Vitali Kravtsov, retaining all three players’ negotiating rights.
Höglander had a big year in Abbotsford and will look to build off of it next season. Hirose was one of the Canucks’ late-season NCAA signings and showed well through his seven NHL games, tallying three assists in the process. The 24-year-old left shot defenceman should provide the club with solid depth while having an outside shot at locking down a spot in the Canucks’ opening night lineup.
Finally, Vitali Kravtsov recently signed a two-year deal in the KHL, but the Canucks made the no-brainer move of retaining his NHL rights through that time by extending him a qualifying offer. This will not cost the Canucks any money or take up a roster spot, it merely ensures that if Kravtsov decides to return to the NHL, that the Canucks are the team he’ll have to contact first.
Tune into the The Daily Faceoff Live Free Agent Special on July 1st from 11am – 1pm EST hosted by Tyler Yaremchuk, featuring NHL insider Frank Seravalli, serving you all the up to the minute details!
Then, check out Canucks Conversation at 1pm PST where Quads and Faber break down the frenzy of Free Agency.
Recent articles from David Quadrelli