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Predicting each remaining Vancouver Canucks free agent’s next NHL team and contract

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
22 days ago
We’ve already spilled plenty of ink this offseason talking about the Vancouver Canucks’ free agents.
With July 1st free agency just a little over a week away, the Canucks’ roster and salary cap picture has become more clear. Earlier this week, the Canucks signed defenceman Filip Hronek to an eight-year deal, completing a major part of their puzzle and checking off a key box on their offseason to-do list.
According to CapFriendly, the Canucks have about $18.5 million in cap space with LTIR candidates included. This means some decisions will need to be made on who they re-sign, but that’s not what we’re here to talk about today.
Instead, we’re offering up predictions on where and for what each Canuck will sign for once free agency opens up.
Nikita Zadorov: 6 years with the LA Kings at $6.5 million
Fresh off the Pierre-Luc Dubois money (kind of), the Los Angeles Kings could be looking to make a splash in free agency. They also need to improve the left side of their defence, and Zadorov’s dynamic two-way game, imposing size, and phenomenal playoff performance with the Canucks seem like a good fit for a Kings team that’s looking to become a better postseason team than they’ve been in recent years.
There’s, of course, still a chance he signs with the Canucks, but our official prediction is that Zadorov will make LA his new home in just a few weeks’ time.
Teddy Blueger: 2 years with the Vancouver Canucks at $2 million
Teddy Blueger likely earned himself a raise with his play in his first season as a Canuck. Signed to be a fourth liner, Blueger played much of the season alongside Dakota Joshua and Conor Garland on what ended up being one of the best third lines in the NHL.
All signs point to Blueger re-signing with the Canucks, but it is interesting that a deal still hasn’t been worked out. Nonetheless, we’re predicting Blueger is back with the Canucks at a good old 2×2.
Tyler Myers: 2 years with the Vancouver Canucks at $3 million
The reason we’re going two years here is that the Canucks aren’t likely going to be keen on locking Myers up until he’s 37. That being said, Myers had arguably his best year as a Canuck this past season at the age of 34, as Rick Tocchet and his staff’s defensive system certainly seemed to benefit Myers, who still played second pairing minutes for good stretches of the season.
Myers formed the Canucks’ shutdown pair with Carson Soucy during the club’s second round series against the Edmonton Oilers, and still clearly has some good hockey left in him.
It also seems like both team and player want to get this done, so we’re predicting that Myers is back in the blue and green for two more years at $3 million per season.
Dakota Joshua: 4 years with the Toronto Maple Leafs at $3.5 million
While there have been rumours about the Detroit Red Wings’ willingness to back up the Brinks truck for Dakota Joshua, the Toronto Maple Leafs are once again going to be looking to add some size and speed in the middle six of their forward group.
There’s reportedly 10-12 teams interested in Joshua, so pick a name from the hat! Will it be Chicago? Detroit? Toronto? Someone else? Who knows!
What we do know with a certain degree of certainty is that Joshua is going to cash in on July 1, and we couldn’t be happier for Dakota Joshua, the person. He completely reinvented himself in Vancouver, and is going to get every penny he can in free agency.
Elias Lindholm: 7 years with the Boston Bruins at $7.5 million 
It feels like even before the Vancouver Canucks traded for him this season, Elias Lindholm was being connected to the Boston Bruins. The Bruins lack centre depth but have still made it work. They were reportedly interested in trading for Lindholm this past season, and with $21.3 million in projected cap space, expect them to buck up for the 29-year-old Swede, who put up 10 points in 13 playoff games with the Canucks.
Ian Cole: 1 year with the Anaheim Ducks at $3 million 
Ian Cole is arguably the hardest free agent on this list to predict. We know already that he’s going to free agency, and almost certainly won’t be back with the Canucks. What makes it so tough to project is that Cole is a certified nomad. He’s signed a one-year contract for around $3 million each of the past three seasons, and even though he’s 35 years old, Cole likely played well enough this past offseason to warrant another one of those 1×3 contracts.
It’s impossible to predict where he’ll end up, though, so let’s go with the Anaheim Ducks, who have plenty of cap space and a relatively young and unproven defence corps.
Casey DeSmith: 2 years with the Chicago Blackhawks at $2 million 
Again, similar to Cole, it’s tough to predict where exactly Casey DeSmith will sign. The Blackhawks have $32.9 million in projected cap space, and have Petr Mrazek signed for the next two seasons. Mrazek isn’t a bonafide starter by any means, and the Blackhawks would be wise to bring in a proven netminder like DeSmith to at least challenge Mrazek to form a 1A-1B-type tandem.
Arturs Silovs: 2 years with the Vancouver Canucks at $1.1 million 
The Canucks’ last remaining NHL RFA, Arturs Silovs came up huge in the playoffs and essentially secured his spot as Thatcher Demko’s backup for next season. While the Canucks will still likely sign a third goaltender to improve their organizational depth at the position, Silovs is coming back to Vancouver next season and will hopefully be able to help the Canucks manage Demko’s workload during the regular season to keep the star goaltender fresh for the playoffs.
Sam Lafferty: 2 years with the Calgary Flames at $1.5 million 
Jim Rutherford drafted Sam Lafferty, and he’s also been the man who’s signed two of Lafferty’s three NHL contracts. We’re predicting that he hits free agency this offseason, however, and that the fourth contract he signs will have nothing to do with Rutherford.
The Flames are going through a retool phase right now, and might value Lafferty’s versatility and ability to kill penalties. Lafferty put up 24 points this season and 27 the year prior, and is coming off a two year contract worth $1.15 million per season. He’s certainly in line for a raise, and we wouldn’t at all be surprised to see the cap hit or the years come out higher than this on Lafferty’s next deal.
Get ready for the Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special, coming to you on July 1st, 2024 LIVE from 11am to 2pm Eastern Standard Time. Join Tyler Yaremchuk, Frank Seravalli and friends from all over the league 3 hours of non-stop action as they dive deep into the heart of the Free Agency. We will be breaking down every trade, discussing the impact on teams, predicting the future of the Free Agents, and giving you the inside scoop on all the wheeling and dealing happening around the league. Catch all the action live on July 1st from 11 AM to 2 PM EST for the The Daily Faceoff Live Free Agency Special you won’t want to miss!

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