March 3rd, 2010 at 12pm PST
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Some of the UFAs
D Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim ($6,750,000)
F Paul Kariya, St. Louis ($6,000,000)
G Marty Turco, Dallas ($5,700,000)
F Vyacheslav Kozlov, Atlanta ($3,666,666)
F Ray Whitney, Carolina ($3,550,000)
D Marek Zidlicky, Minnesota ($3,350,000)
F Fredrik Modin, Columbus ($3,250,000)
G Chris Mason, St. Louis ($3,000,000)
D Andy Sutton, NY Islanders ($3,000,000)
F Owen Nolan, Minnesota ($2,750,000)
D Mathieu Schneider, Vancouver ($2,750,000)
<img src="http://i46.tinypic.com/f3x74g.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">F Keith Tkachuk, St. Louis ($2,550,000)
F Fernando Pisani, Edmonton ($2,500,000)
F Scott Walker, Carolina ($2,500,000)
F Raffi Torres, Columbus ($2,250,000)
F Doug Weight, NY Islanders ($2,200,000)
F Alexei Ponikarovsky, Toronto ($2,105,000)
F Marek Svatos, Colorado ($2,050,000)
F Jeff Halpern, Tampa Bay ($2,000,000)
F Wayne Primeau, Toronto ($1,400,000)
G Martin Biron, NY Islanders ($1,400,000)
D Garnet Exelby, Toronto ($1,391,666)
F Mike Comrie, Edmonton ($1,250,000)
Last season, Mike Gillis did not make any moves at the trade deadline because he had already made his when he signed Mats Sundin to a monstrous one-year deal that would have been worth $8.6 million had he played the entire NHL campaign. But this year, he will be forced to make a move to rebuild or at least bolster the Canucks' third line unit. Centre Kyle Wellwood has struggled this season following a breakout 2008-09 NHL campaign when he had a career-high offensive output while rounding out his defensive game. Rugged winger Steve Bernier has not shown any signs of improvement despite losing weight and working on his shot in the offseason.
Depending on Willie Mitchell's health after the trade deadline, the Canucks may look to add a defenceman, but it is not a priority. The Canucks have Mathieu Schneider, a veteran of over 1200 NHL games, in the minors if they choose to recall him after walking out on the team in December. The team also has Nolan Baumgartner, Nathan McIver, and Lawrence Nycholat with the Moose who have seen ice time in the NHL before. Evan Oberg also made his NHL debut this year.
A third-string goaltender will be needed as well if Cory Schneider is packaged in a deal.
F Steve Bernier ($2,000,000)
F Kyle Wellwood ($1,200,000)
G Cory Schneider ($1,084,200)
F Jannik Hansen ($550,000)
F Daniel Sedin, no-movement clause
F Henrik Sedin, no-movement clause
D Willie Mitchell, no-trade clause
D Sami Salo, no-trade clause
G Roberto Luongo, no-trade clause
D Scott Niedermayer, Anaheim ($6,750,000)
D Tomas Kaberle, Toronto ($4,250,000)
F David Backes, St. Louis ($2,500,000)
The three players that the Canucks could target are Doug Weight of the New York Islanders, Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, and Fredrik Modin of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Both Weight and Tkachuk will bring scoring depth, versatility, and leadership to the team. Modin is excellent at both ends of the rink and would fit seamlessly into the Canucks third line as well as providing the Canucks with another option on the power play.
Weight and Tkachuk are veterans of over 1,100 NHL regular season games played and have made numerous NHL All-Star game appearances. Modin has a Stanley Cup ring from 2004 with the Tampa Bay Lightning while Weight has one from 2006 with the Carolina Hurricanes. However, injuries are a concern for Weight and Modin as for the past three seasons, neither has played more than 53 games.
All three players are reaching the ends of the career and probably could be had for a mid-round draft pick similar to Bill Guerin last year. Guerin was traded from the New York Islanders to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a conditional draft pick; a fourth round pick if the Penguins made the playoffs or a third round pick if the Penguins advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
Jeff Halpern of the Tampa Bay Lightning is a possibility, but he may cost more than the Canucks are willing to give up. Mike Comrie could probably be had for cheap, but his weak defensive game rules him out as a possibility.
Of Note at the Olympics
The font that the Canucks use for their jersey and promotion seems to be popular. The font is being used by the American, German, Slovakian, Russian, and Latvian national hockey teams on their jerseys.