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CanucksHockey11

It's officially been two days into the NHL Free Agency period. It's a time of the year where teams try to turn themselves from pretenders to contenders. All 30 teams have spent a combined 500 million over the past 48 hours. The Canucks have spent about 14 million of that 500 million on 5 different players.

Their biggest move came Tuesday, July 1st, the first day of free agency. The Canucks made their big Canada Day splash by signing UFA goalie Ryan Miller to a three year 18 million dollar deal. Where he will be making six million dollars a season. Now the 33 year old netminder is coming off a season where he split between the Buffalo Sabres and the St.Louis Blues. Miller has been diminishing over the past few seasons, but Benning and company hope he can regain his old form.

The Canucks continued the big signings on day two of free agency where they came to terms with Radim Vrbata. His contract is a two year deal, which will pay him five million a season. Vrbata is a 33 year old scoring winger who tallied 20 goals and 31 assists in 80 games last season with the Phoenix Coyotes. Jim Benning did something Mike Gills never really did in his era in Vancouver, by adding a top 6 scoring forward.

Jim Benning also signed three more playes over the past 48 hours. The first player was Bobby Sanguinetti, the second was Dustin Jeffrey, and the third was Cal O'Reilly. Sanguinetti is a 26 year old defenceman. Sanguinetti played in the KHL last season and has played the rest of his career in the NHL and the AHL. Jeffrey is a 26 year old center. Jeffrey comes to Vancouver with the Desjardins connection. Meaning he split last season between the Dallas Stars and their affiliate the Texas Stars. He started the season playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He played in 34 NHL games last season where he tallied 4 points. O'Reilly is a 27 year old center. O'Reilly spent last season playing for Vancouver's affiliate the Utica Comets. He had 45 points in 52 games last season. O'Reilly also brings 113 career NHL games under his belt, where he has tallied 41 points.

CanucksHockey11

On June,30th, the day of the 51st annual NHL entry draft Mike Gillis did the unthinkable by trading away goalie Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils for the 9th overall pick. The Canucks who went on to draft forward Bo Hovart from the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. Many thought the extending goalie saga in Vancouver was finally done. But now with Roberto Luongo not speaking out to the media since this deal there is some potential that Luongo could not report for the 2013-2014 season. Now lets put aside the goalie situation in Vancouver and focus on Mike Gillis and his gameplan heading into free agency.

After another disappointing first round exit, the Canucks fired head coach Alain Vigneault and hired recently fired Rangers coach John Tortorella. Other then the Bo Hovart selection the canucks drafted another 6 players, most notable were 24th overall selection Hunter Shinkaruk, former Canuck Andrew Cassel saw his son Cole Cassel be drafted 85th overall by the team and, the 3rd subban got drafted into the NHL, Jordan Subban was drafted by the Canucks 115th overall. The Canucks bought out the reminder of defender Keith Ballard's contract.

As of right now the Canucks enter July 5th with about 7.5 Million dollars in cap space. The Canucks have many needs they have to address. The roles of a 3rd and 4th line centre will have to be answered. The Canucks will probably look at adding 1-2 depth defencmen. The Canucks still have to resign RFA Chris Tanev expect Taven to make in the ballpark of 1.5 to 3 million dollars next season. Also the Canucks will give every chance for their 3 young centers in Brenden Gaunce, Jordan Schroeder and Kellan Lain to crack the line-up come next year. With the buyout of Keith Ballard many believe Frank Corrado is the front runner to be the 6th defencmen in Vancouver. Don't be surprised if you see the Canucks sign Jon Blum come July 5th, the former Vancouver Giants defencmen has spent the past 3 seasons as a member of the Nashville Predators. The 24 year old said the Vancouver Canucks have expressed interested with his agent. "I would love it". That's Jon Blum saying he would love the chance to play in Vancouver again. Don't be surprised if recently bought out Chicago Blackhawks defencmen Steve Montador is someone the Canucks target. He is 33 years old and is a BC boy. After all of this don't expect the Canucks to be very busy come July 5th.

- Tyler Lawson

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