Canucks Re-Acquire Lawrence Nycholat; Re-Sign Nolan Baumgartner

Kevin LeeContributor IJuly 2, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Lawrence Nycholat #32 of the Vancouver Canucks takes part in warmups prior to his game against the New York Islanders on November 17, 2008 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Vancouver Canucks announced two more free agent signings today.

The team re-signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Nolan Baumgartner to a two-way, two-year contract worth $1.1 million and signed unrestricted free agent defenseman Lawrence Nycholat to a one-way, one-year contract worth $500,000.

It came as no surprise that Baumgartner was re-signed, as it brings a veteran presence to the Manitoba Moose to mentor the team's young prospects as well as providing depth for the Canucks.

Baumgartner, 33, was the 10th overall selection in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, but he never developed into the promising defenseman he was suppose to be.

Baumgartner has spent most of his career as a minor leaguer, with the exception of the 2005-06 season where he played one full season with the Vancouver Canucks, scoring 34 points to lead the team.

He departed the Canucks organization the following year through free agency, signing a one-way two-year deal with the Flyers before being claimed off waivers by Dallas and eventually loaned to the Manitoba Moose.

He was brought back to the Canucks organization last offseason as a free agent.

The Nycholat signing was somewhat of a surprise, but at the same time it was not a total shock. It was made clear by Mike Gillis when he placed Nycholat on waivers that he did not wish to lose him and wanted him in the organization for depth.

Nycholat, 30, was acquired by the Canucks in the 2008 NHL offseason from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for speedster Ryan Shannon. Nycholat spent most of the season as the team's eighth defenseman before being placed on waivers after the club acquired Finnish blue-liner Ossi Vaananen off waivers.

Nycholat was claimed by Northwest Division rival Calgary Flames before being packaged one day later in a trade to Colorado.

Baumgartner is expected to log regular minutes with the Manitoba Moose in the minors this coming season, while we can expect Nycholat to compete with recently-signed Aaron Rome for ice-time and a roster spot with the Canucks.

In other news, Mike Gillis told the TEAM 1040 that he was interested in Marian Gaborik, but was not about to give him $7.5 million a year due to his injury history.

The team also officially announced the signing of free agent forward Matt Pope.

The team has yet to announce the Aaron Rome signing, but it has been confirmed by multiple sources.