Vancouver Canucks News and Rumours from Last Night

Nucks IceManCorrespondent IAugust 25, 2010

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 14:  Raffi Torres #14 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Nashville Predators at the Nationwide Arena on December 14, 2009 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

It was reported last night on Sportsnet television that Raffi Torres has signed a one-year, $1 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks.

Also, the Tweets are burning the tweet zone with Roberto Luongo stepping down and handing his captaincy to Henrik Sedin.

As I reported back at the Summer Summit, Canucks GM Mike Gillis was to meet with Luongo in August to discuss that very topic.

So what does the addition of Torres mean to the Canucks?

First, the Canucks got Torres for $1.75 million less than he made last season. Secondly, the Canucks are now $3.6 million over the NHL salary cap (tops in the NHL), but they will get down before the season begins, so let’s concentrate on the team impact.

The Canucks have now added some more grit and toughness, which was in the offseason plans.

Anyone that watched Torres when he played with Edmonton can remember that he was always finishing his checks and was tough to play against.  Just ask most of the Canucks.

He can also score, which is represented in his three seasons where he had 20, 21, and 27 goals respectively with the Oilers. Last year he finished with 19 goals while playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This means he could play on any of the top three lines and can add some much needed depth at forward. This is a far tougher player than Alex Burrows or Mikael Samuelsson, who have played with the Sedins, and it allows management many options on where they play him.

He could play on the first line with the Sedins, the second with Ryan Kesler, or form the nucleus of a third line with Manny Malhotra. Now this opens the door for one of the prospects, if they prove they can handle the position, to slide in between two experienced and gritty pros to support him.

When Alex Burrows returns to the lineup this will really create a ripple effect also, as players will be pushed further down the charts making the team that much stronger. A few players like Darcy Hordichuk and even Rich Rypien may see their days with the team come to an end.

Joel Perrault could end up centering Malhotra and Torres, or Malhotra could center Torres and Victor Oreskovich. The possibilities are endless.

I haven’t been this pumped since the Malhotra signing, as Torres was a player I was hoping that they would go after.

So ’Nucks Nation, how do you like the team so far?