Vancouver Canucks Offseason: Marco Sturm Signs; Three Players Depart

Sean LarsonContributor IIIJuly 2, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 01:  Marco Sturm #18 of the Washington Capitals skates down the ice against the New York Islanders at the Verizon Center on March 1, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The free agency period in the NHL began today, and the Vancouver Canucks were relatively quiet.

Vancouver signed left winger Marco Sturm to a one-year, $2.25 million contract on Friday. This could be a low risk-high reward situation for Vancouver if Sturm can return to his form from his days in San Jose and Boston.

Sturm had a disappointing season last year. He played in 35 games between the Kings and Capitals scoring only 5 goals along with 11 assists.

When healthy, Sturm can be counted on for at least 20 goals. Vancouver is hoping to see the 2007-08 version of Sturm. That year, he scored 27 goals and added 29 assists for an impressive 56 points.

Vancouver also brought back some players in the past few days. Sami Salo, Maxim Lapierre, Andrew Alberts and Kevin Bieksa were all re-signed.

We have also seen three Canucks leave Vancouver. On Tuesday, the rights to Christian Ehrhoff were traded to the Islanders in exchange for a fourth-round pick. Ehrhoff's rights were once again traded to the Sabres, who quickly signed the 28-year-old defender to a 10-year, $40 million contract.

Raffi Torres was the second Canuck to depart. On Friday, the left winger signed a two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Phoenix Coyotes.

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Left winger Tanner Glass was signed by the Winnipeg Jets to a one-year deal worth $750,000. That'll be a pay raise for Glass, who made $625,000 with Vancouver this season.

Look for Vancouver to pick up a defender this summer, whether that be through free agency or the trade market. They'll also be looking to rebuild the lower lines.

Sturm was the first step in that direction today. He will take over Torres' spot at left wing on the third line.

Vancouver has already lost some players they wanted to bring back, but fans must keep in mind that this was just the first day of free agency. Rest assured, Mike Gillis and the boys in the front office have something up their sleeves.

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