Sunday, July 02, 2017

Canucks Among the Busiest in the Pool



The Vancouver Canucks made a splash in the free agency pool on Saturday, adding three pool worthy players and a couple of fringe players as well.

One of their biggest signings was forward Sam Gagner, inking him to a 3-year, $9.45 million deal.  The 27-year old forward had a big bounce back season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, picking up 18 goals and 50 points in 81 games for the club, which ranked him 124th overall in pool scoring, 92nd among all forwards.

Next up on list was the 48th ranked goalie in the scoring rankings, Anders Nilsson, who signed a 2-year, $5 million deal, adding depth behind Jacob Markstrom for the the 2018 season.  Nilsson played in Buffalo last year, posting 10 wins in 26 appearances.  There's a fine chance that Nilsson will likely see an increase in ice-time, as Markstrom hasn't quite made it to the elite level, where he's playing 65 games or more.

On the blueline, the Canucks were also fortunate to add Michael Del Zotto, signing him to a 2-year, $6 million deal.  The offensive-minded defender could help to anchor a floundering power play in 2017, as he brings 6 goals and 18 points in 51 games with the Flyers last season to the table.  Del Zotto lost significant time last year to lower-body injuries, but he should start the season healthy.

The Canucks also added forward Alexander Burmistrov and defenseman Patrick Wiercioch on Saturday, both getting 1-year deals, below the $1 million mark.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Henrik Sedin 7.000 Alexander Edler 5.000 Jacob Markstrom 3.670
Daniel Sedin 7.000 Christopher Tanev 4.450 Anders Nilsson 2.500
Loui Eriksson 6.000 Erik Gudbranson 3.500
Brandon Sutter 4.375 Michael Del Zotto 3.000
Sam Gagner 3.150 Ben Hutton 2.800
Derek Dorsett 2.650 Troy Stecher 0.925
Sven Baertschi 1.850 Olli Juolevi 0.925
Brock Boeser 0.925
Griffen Molino 0.925
Jonathan Dahlen 0.925
Markus Granlund 0.900
Alexander Burmistrov 0.900
Nikolay Goldobin 0.863
Jayson Megna 0.675

Salary CapThe Canucks had a lot of cap space to work with to start on Saturday and they put a pretty good dent in the 2018 number, adding over $9.5 million to their projected roster above.  I currently have them in with $7.96 million left in cap space after Saturday's spending spree and they still have to re-sign Bo Horvat to a new deal out of his entry-level contract, which should also leave a big mark on their cap number.

As a team in the 2017 season, the Canucks were not a very hard-working bunch and the addition of both Gagner and Del Zotto, two talented underachievers, doesn't exactly build confidence on paper.  The Canucks do have some quality youth coming up through the system and these signings may help bridge the gap, but staying competitive is also on management's docket for the year and I just don't think they're there yet.

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