Well, if the Vancouver Canucks wanted to stay reasonably competitive in a year where they are rebuilding and retooling, the unrestricted free agent signing of Thomas Vanek should help them achieve that minor goal. Vanek and the Canucks agree upon a 1-year, $2 million deal on Friday, adding some scoring depth and a veteran presence to a team that lacked in both.
The 33-year old Austrian split the 2017 season between the Red Wings and Panthers, playing in 68 games, scoring 17 goals and 48 points, good enough for 99th among all forwards in scoring in a year, where he played for two non-playoff teams. Vanek also missed time to hip and ankle injuries in the year, but it sounds like he should be 100% for the start of the season.
Vanek certainly won't be the cure to all the Canucks' woes heading into the 2018 season, by any stretch of the imagination. His streaky scoring will hit and miss, here and there, but it's all so up in the air, if we can figure who his regular 5-on-5 linemates will be or even how much power play time he will find. Time will tell, but I'm only thinking conservative estimates for him right now.
|Michael Del Zotto||D||20||N|
The addition of Vanek to the projected points list is certainly going to take its toll on a few players, like an Alex Burmistrov or possibly even a Markus Granlund. Granlund was the closest of the two that could have made the hockey pool draft, but he now seems like a bit of a stretch with the veteran coming to town now. There are so few spots in the top nine and with Bo Horvat yet to sign his new extension, there's still some changes left to happen yet.
Well, I've added Vanek and bounced Jayson Megna from my projected 23-man roster, which leaves the Canucks with $7.1 million in unused space at this point in time. There are a few bubble players and I currently have Olli Juolevi occupying the last blueline spot, for what that's worth, so there are possibilities one way or another out there. Nevertheless, the Canucks have some room to move, to sign Horvat and maybe get creative at the deadline too. A good rebuilding team can always make good use of extra cap space.