So the body is still warm but the thought process of next year’s team needs to start in motion.
The following is a list of UFA’s & RFA’s numbers sourced from nhlnumbers.com
Remember it’s not as simple as saying we don’t need to sign this player or that player.
The farm team also needs to be stocked with players of which some of these listed may apply.
So this will be a longer than the usual slide show in order to deal with this, so be patient you readers that want a 30 second buzz through.
In this article I will deal only with how they fit into next year’s team or not. In an upcoming article I will deal with what’s on the market that could fit in, taking into consideration the cap, salary amounts remaining and needs.
Pavol Demitra –UFA - 36, Cap number - $4M - past his prime, has not been a playoff performer for years.
Not a physical player and even if they could sign him at $2M, the answer is a no thanks.
Willie Mitchell – UFA - 34, Cap number - $3.5M - boy they sure could have used him in this playoffs but that was his second concussion, which he has yet to recover from and with what will be available on the market, the $3.5M is needed.
There are way too many D-men making $3.5M on the Canucks. Don’t re-sign.
Shane O’Brien – RFA - 27, Cap number - $1.6M - I have always liked O’Brien because the Canucks have never had enough of these types of physical players.
He has improved in every year he has been a Canuck so qualify him and if management thinks he's a long term keeper then re-sign him to a longer term because his best years are yet to come.
Brad Lukowich – UFA - 34, Cap number - $1.6M (rounded) - the only reason he ended up in Vancouver was due to the fact that he came with Christian Ehrhoff.
Kyle Wellwood – UFA - 28, Cap number - $1.2M - another player that I have always liked and he showed again he is a money player in the playoffs.
Gifted hands, best face-off man on the team and in the playoffs, the Canucks need to find a spot for him if his salary demand is reasonable, say close but under $2M.
If the Canucks could ever supply him with some talented wingers that can score, his stats would be decent for a third line centre.
Ryan Johnson – UFA - 35, Cap number - $1.15M - unfortunately his shot blocking takes its toll and the team needs to upgrade the third and fourth lines, so don’t re-sign.
Cory Schneider – RFA - 26, Cap number - $1.08M - considered to be the Canucks best blue chip prospect but will he want to play behind Luongo and for how long?
So qualify him at the 10% max, and if he baulks then see if any other teams are interested.
Mason Raymond – RFA - 25, Cap number - $0.883M - had a break-out season and is due for a big raise.
This player looks like he can be a 30 goal scorer and if he could get a bit stronger without affecting his speed, then the $2 – 2.5M range is a deal or should I say a steal.
Jannik Hansen – RFA - 25, Cap number - $0.550M - if only he could score.
If they do offer him a contract, it would have to be a two-way one at close to the same as last season.
If he’s back playing with the Canucks next season, then there was not enough progress made on the upgrade to the third and fourth lines.
Alex Bolduc – RFA (Grp 4) - 26, Cap number - $0.527M - another centre who has decent size but did not get to play enough to prove his value.
Until he does that, another body for the farm team, sign him to a two-way contract as close to last season’s salary.
Aaron Rome – RFA - 27, Cap number - $0.525M – a career minor leaguer who played himself into the sixth spot and if not for a late season injury would have played in the playoffs.
Plays a physical style and is a good depth player. Qualify him with the 10% offer.
Michael Funk – RFA – 24, Cap number - $0.500M – plays defense but I only got to see him from training camp until he was sent down to Manitoba.
A local kid from Abbotsford, is tall enough at 6’4” but how can he handle the large forwards when he’s only 200 lbs.
Could he play at 220?
Since you can never have enough D-men as witnessed this year, sign him to a two-way contract with the qualifier.
Tanner Glass – RFA – 27, Cap number - $0.500M – a life-long minor leaguer, he added grit to the fourth line but is not a goal scorer and with the need to upgrade there, don’t re-sign.
Lawrence Nycholat – UFA – 32, Cap number - $0.500M – very limited NHL experience, not big enough or tough enough to improve the back end. Don’t re-sign.
Matt Pettinger – UFA – 30, Cap number - $0.500M – did have 16 goals one year with Washington, but has not reached close to those number again.
Is big enough but could not unseat any of the third or fourth line players so don’t re-sign.
Andrew Raycroft – UFA – 31, Cap number $0.500M – a great deal on a backup goaltender that at times played better than Luongo.
On some other teams in the playoffs, he might have started when their number one struggled.
I liked the way he played this year and at least you knew when he went in, there was a very good chance of a win.
Unfortunately if the plan is to make Schneider the backup, then Razor can’t be re-signed.
Yan Stastny – UFA – 28, Cap number $0.500M – picked up at the trade deadline from St. Louis, I have no idea about this centre except he comes from a well known hockey family.
Only the Moose coaches would know whether he is worth a qualifying offer.
Mario Bliznak – RFA – 24, Cap number $0.493M – watched him when he played with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL and since he has turned pro has been slotted into a checking line type of player.
In his second year with Manitoba he scored a career high 13 goals.
Qualify him to a minor league contract.
Total amount of Cap salary by not re-signing those players mentioned – $12.75M (approx.)
Possible amount needed to qualify and re-sign the RFA’s & UFA's - $1.262M.
Net result = $11.49M to sign the needed players.
Now the tough part starts, trying to fill the needs but that’s for another article.