Part Three of this *many* part series has the Vancouver Canucks, now run by me, a man with zero front office experience. In this part, we tackle what the Canucks should do in Free Agency and leading up to training camp.
The 2017 Free Agency period starts on July 1st, and with me in charge here it is going to be a very boring one for Canucks fans. The forward group, although not great at this point, is set. There are about 20 forwards who could make the team out of camp, and a trade is possible to clear some space, however the only two that I would want to trade at this point is Brandon Sutter (who has a NTC and does not want to leave) and Derek Dorsett (coming off of a major injury with a large cap hit, nobody wants him at this point).
Defense is a little bit of a different story. There are 8 defensemen who have a chance at sticking around so we would be looking for one or two guys who could be 6th/7th depth, and maybe a project pick. We will be rolling with Jacob Markstrom as our number 1 and Richard Bachman as the backup. Thatcher Demko will take the starting reigns in Utica and Michael Garteig will the top guy in the ECHL. We are going to make a signing for an AHL backup.
So, July 1st rolls around and we make the following offers:
TIM HEED – DEFENSE – 1 Year @ $950,000
2016-2017 Season: 55GP – 14G – 42A – 56PTS (SAN JOSE – AHL)
Heed had an amazing first season in North America with the San Jose Barracuda of the AHL. If the 26-year-old makes it to free agency, he is a guy worth targeting and bringing into the organization. An offensive guy who hopefully doesn’t turn into the next Philip Larsen.
MORGAN ELLIS – DEFENSE – 1 Year @ $650,000
2016-2017 Season: 74GP – 9G – 21A – 30PTS (CHICAGO – AHL)
Ellis spent this season in the St. Louis Blues organization after being drafted by Montreal in 2010, and although he is a 25-year-old defenseman who hasn’t cracked an NHL roster yet, there is still hope for him. Ellis would start the season in Utica, but there are always injuries to the defense.
DARREN RADDYSH – DEFENSE – 3 Years @ $925,000
2016-2017 Season: 62GP – 16G – 65A – 81PTS (ERIE – OHL)
There is interest from both Darren Raddysh and us in making a deal, and it may happen before July 1st, but this is how confident I am that we will land this top overage CHL defenseman. He will start the season in the AHL, but could have an NHL future ahead of him.
EDWARD PASQUALE – GOALTENDER – 1 Year @ $650,000
2016-2017 Season: 29GP – 15W – 9L – 2OTL – 2.43GAA – 0.919SV% (GRAND RAPIDS – AHL)
Pasquale, a former Atlanta Thrashers draft pick, has bounced around a lot despite the fact he’s only 26. He has been a serviceable AHL backup and will be able to support Thatcher Demko in his development.
So that’s it. No big Kevin Shattenkirk signing or a dream of Joe Thornton joining the team for one last cup run. This offseason is about giving the players in the organization a chance in order to see what we have, with guys like Jake Virtanen, Nikolay Goldobin and Brock Boeser bigger roles. It will be another long season in Vancouver, but this one will be filled with optimism and perhaps even a playoff race (okay, you’re right).
Part Four will be about the upcoming 2017-2018 season, and a big trade or two that will see Canucks legends wear another jersey for a few months.
Thanks for reading!