Canucks Ink 22-Year Old Free Agent Defenceman Mike Funk

Kevin LeeContributor IJuly 7, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - 2007:  Michael Funk of the Buffalo Sabres poses for his 2007 NHL headshot at photo day in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Getty Images)

According to various sources, the Vancouver Canucks have signed 22-year-old free agent defenceman Michael Funk to a one-year, two-way contract.

Funk, a 2004 second round pick of the Buffalo Sabres, was slated to be a restricted free agent on July 1, but his rights were not qualified after suffering two concussions and post-concussion syndrome in the 2008-09 season in the minors.

"I've been working out for the past two months, and I haven't had any headaches in that time," he told the Abbotsford News in an interview. "I haven't been knocked around or anything like that, but I probably won't be doing that for another month yet anyway."

Both the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators expressed interest in the defenceman, but he ultimately decided to sign with his hometown Canucks.

He is described as a reliable two-way defenceman with good skating ability for a man his size. He also displays a good shot and the ability to make the first pass out of his own zone. However, the knock on him is his inability to use his size effectively.

He is expected to fight for a job in training camp, but most likely will spend most of his time this season in the minors with the Manitoba Moose.

The Moose top-six could feature the aforementioned Funk, Nathan McIver, Nolan Baumgartner, Taylor Ellington, Evan Oberg and Daniel Rahimi.

The salary has not been disclosed, but his 2008-09 salary with the Buffalo Sabres was $635,000. Expect it to be something similar.