The 2011 NHL free-agent frenzy period was a busy time for all 30 teams, but it was much more hectic for some than it was for others. Thankfully for the Vancouver Canucks, they were one of the teams that weren’t as busy.
The Canucks were the best team in the 2010-11 regular season and the second-best team in the playoffs, so there’s no need to bring in a ton of new faces.
Generally speaking, if you’re part of a team that feels it needs to make a ton of changes, it’s either because you’re not a very good team to begin with, or you’ve just lost many of your top players to the free-agent market.
Obviously, the Canucks don’t fall into the first of those two categories, but they were in danger of losing some of their top players.
It wasn’t easy keeping the core of the 2011 Western Conference champions in place. After all, your top players are bound to get noticed when your team is as good as Vancouver was, so GM Mike Gillis was put to work in order to lock up his free agents.
Let’s refresh and grade the moves the Canucks made in order to solidify and hopefully improve their team heading into the 2011-12 season.
We’ll start by getting the significant loses to the free-agent market out of the way: