As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
The Vancouver Canucks, coming off one of their most successful seasons in franchise history, have done just that in the first week of the NHL free agency period. They have signed four new players, with left winger Marco Sturm the most notable.Vancouver also re-signed five players, including top defender Kevin Bieksa. However, they haven't made any major signings to catch the league's attention.
While NHL free agency technically goes on the whole summer, most of the big-name free agents are off the board within the first week.
Brad Richards went to the Rangers, Jaromir Jagr signed with the Flyers and the Florida Panthers went on such a big shopping spree, it seemed like the NHL had given them a gift card to sign players with.
Of the five players the Canucks have signed so far, look for Marco Sturm to make the biggest impact in the shortest time. He has put up reliable numbers in recent years, and he should fit in the mix nicely with Vancouver. He wasn't exactly a big-time free agent, but a solid option nonetheless.
The Canucks made an interesting move this morning with the signing of goalie Matt Climie. If that name doesn't sound familiar to you, don't worry, it shouldn't. He has only appeared in five NHL games in his career. He has spent the majority of his career in the minors, but has put up some good numbers there.
During the 2009-10 season with the AHL's Texas Stars, Climie had a goals against average of 2.46 with a .919 save percentage.
Climie won't make an immediate splash with the Canucks, but with some more development in the minors, he could contribute in the future, especially with backup goalie Cory Schneider becoming a free agent after this season.
The Canucks Web site has provided a useful page to stay on top of the team's free agency moves. You can see who they have signed, who has departed, free agents still unsigned, as well as players who will be free agents in upcoming seasons right here.
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