5 Free Agents Vancouver Canucks Fans Should Keep an Eye on Starting July 1

Riley KuftaContributor IIIJuly 1, 2012

5 Free Agents Vancouver Canucks Fans Should Keep an Eye on Starting July 1

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    Free agency is an exciting time of year in the NHL world. Each team can expect to see some new faces next season, but who they will be is yet to come. 

    For a few weeks now, the focus in Vancouver has been on the goaltending situation and Justin Schultz. 

    Now that the Schultz sweepstakes have come to an end with Edmonton the lucky winners, where should we look?

    The following is a list of five important free agents for Canucks fans to follow. These are either current Canucks who may be leaving Vancouver, or stars bringing their talents to the Canucks. 

Matt Carle

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    Once you get past Ryan Suter and Shea Weber, Matt Carle is one of the most coveted defensemen, and why not?

    He's 27 years old, consistently puts up near 40 points, and hardly ever misses a game. 

    Injuries on the blue line have been an issue for the Canucks in the past, so Carle could be the perfect guy to join the team. 

    It's important to note that while Vancouver fans should keep an eye on Carle, just about every team in the league will be interested in the defender, and he has not been linked to Vancouver in any rumors thus far. 

Jason Garrison

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    Jason Garrison is another young defender who will be highly sought after tomorrow. Despite going undrafted, Garrison has had a pleasant entry into the NHL. 

    The skill and potential for growth he displayed last year has created a league-wide hype. 

    Garrison is from White Rock, B.C., and has already shown interest in playing for the team he grew up cheering for. 

    There is likely room on the Canucks roster for Garrison, and they definitely could use him. 

    The only issue is that some teams can afford to over-pay Garrison; the Canucks can't. 

    It will all come down to what his priorities are. 

P.A. Parenteau

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    Much like Matt Carle, P.A. Parenteau has not been linked to the Vancouver Canucks in any way.

    But the Canucks could use a right winger, and he's the best and youngest available (unless the Canucks wanted to spend $6 million on a forever-disappointing Alexander Semin), and they could probably afford the asking price. 

    Setting up a guy like John Tavares, it's hard to imagine why Parenteau wouldn't re-sign with the Islanders, but it would be nice to have a pure-assist guy like P.A. playing with Ryan Kesler and David Booth. 

Sami Salo

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    Sami Salo has been a great defenseman here in Vancouver, but his contract has run out. 

    Whether other teams will be interested in the aging Finland native has yet to be determined, but it is very possible that it's either Vancouver or retirement for Sami right now. 

    The feelings among Canucks' fans are pretty mixed in this regard. 

    While some would love to have him back, others think it's time to part ways, for Salo's sake as well as the Canucks. 

    Regardless, it will be interesting to see what his future entails once he hits the market.

Cory Schneider

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    A few days ago, Cory Schneider reached an agreement for a three-year contract that pays him $12 million...in principle. 

    Sure, principle is all good and well, but we need writing. 

    It's 99.99 percent that the deal is signed first thing tomorrow morning, but until the signatures are on the page, I won't be able to sleep right.