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Predicting Which Vancouver Canucks Will Leave in the Offseason

Joel ProsserCorrespondent IApril 16, 2013

Predicting Which Vancouver Canucks Will Leave in the Offseason

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    The Vancouver Canucks face a cap conundrum this summer.

    The salary cap is dropping from $70,200,000 to $64,300,000.

    While this roughly $6 million drop is manageable for most teams, the Canucks have $62,903,333 allocated to only 15 players, leaving just over a million dollars to fill out the remaining roster spots.

    While presumably one of either Cory Schneider ($4,000,000) or Roberto Luongo ($5,333,333) will be traded this summer, that still doesn't leave much money.

    With that in mind, here are the 2013 free agents for the Canucks, and my thoughts about whether or not they can re-sign them.

    *All numbers from www.capgeek.com

Derek Roy

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    Position: Center

    2012-2013 Salary: $4,000,000

    Status: UFA

    Unless the Canucks do something really unexpected with their two compliance buyouts, there is no way Roy stays in Vancouver. This was a true deadline rental.

    With a weak free-agent class, Roy could conceivably get upwards of $5,000,000 a year on a long-term deal, as he is one of the top forwards available.

Manny Malhotra

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    Position: Center

    2012-2013 Salary: $2,500,000

    Status: UFA

    Manny Malhotra unfortunately won't be back in the NHL, whether with the Canucks or any other team. At least not as a player.

    Expect to see Malhotra transition into a front office or coaching role after his playing career ends. He has already been working as an extra coach with the Canucks, as well as appearing behind the bench for their AHL affiliate.

Mason Raymond

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    Position: Left Winger

    2012-2013 Salary: $2,275,000

    Status: UFA

    Mason Raymond is a great second-line winger. He won't drive a scoring line all by himself, but his speed and playmaking ability are great complimentary skills, plus he can kill penalties.

    Having already taken a pay cut on a one-year deal, dropping from $2,550,000 to $2,275,000 as a means of proving that he has recovered from his broken back, Raymond has more than exceeded expectations.

    He's put up 10 goals and 21 points in 40 games in this lockout-shortened season, and I think he has priced himself out of the range of the Canucks this summer.

    Like Roy, Raymond should be able to snag a multi-year deal worth upwards of $3,000,000. Barring the Canucks buying out a high priced winger (David Booth?), there just won't be any salary-cap space for Raymond.

Maxim Lapierre

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    Position: Center

    2012-2013 Salary: $1,000,000

    Status: UFA

    Lapierre will be back as a Canuck in 2013-2014. Like his fellow 2011 trade-deadline acquisition, Chris Higgins, expect the Canucks to sign Lapierre to a reasonable extension sometime before hitting free agency.

    Vancouver will need Lapierre to anchor the fourth line, and his salary should come in somewhere between $1,500,000 and $2,000,000, similar to Higgins and Jannik Hansen. 

Dale Weise

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    Position: Left Winger

    2012-2013 Salary: $615,000

    Status: RFA

    Dale Weise fits the characteristics of what the Canucks want in a fourth liner: he can hit, fight reasonably well and more importantly, he can skate. The Canucks don't want fourth-line goons who can't play. 

    Weise is making only slightly more than league minimum and won't be due a big raise as a restricted free agent. The Canucks will need players making less than a million dollars to round out the roster. Expect to see Weise back in 2013. 

Tom Sestito

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    Position: Right Winger

    2012-2013 Salary: $615,000

    Status: RFA

    Like Dale Weise, Tom Sestito should be back in 2013. Not so much for his skating ability, but the enforcer does provide a nice physical deterrent in the regular season and his cap hit will be just what the Canucks need as they try to fill out the roster.

Steve Pinizzotto

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    Position: Right Winger

    2012-2013 Salary: $600,000

    Status: UFA

    Along with his fellow fourth liners, Pinizzotto will most likely be back with the Canucks. When healthy, he is a great contributor to the fourth line and would play ahead of Sestito.

    Like Weise and Sestito, the price is right when it comes down to his cap hit, as he won't be making more than the league minimum on his next contract.

Andrew Alberts

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    Position: Defenseman

    2012-2013 Salary: $1,125,000

    Status: UFA

    Alberts is a great sixth or seventh defender and should be back if he doesn't want much of a raise. That is also assuming that Keith Ballard ($4,200,000) is bought out as expected.

Chris Tanev

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    Position: Defenseman

    2012-2013 Salary: $900,000

    Status: RFA

    Tanev is the biggest free agent on the blue line and is due a big raise on his $900,000 rookie salary. From starting in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals to playing his way into the top four this season, Tanev's steady play is a great presence on the blue line.

    Expect Tanev to be making around $2,000,000 to $2,500,000 on his second contract.

Cam Barker

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    Position: Defenseman

    2012-2013 Salary: $700,000

    Status: UFA

    Barker may be back in 2013, or he may be replaced by a similar cheap defender. Even if Ballard is bought out, Barker would be no higher than seventh on the depth chart, so if he wants more than a slight raise he'll be gone.

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