Jump to content
The Official Site of the Vancouver Canucks
Canucks Community

[Report] Canucks will likely bargain-bin shop


Recommended Posts

BY BEN KUZMA, THE PROVINCE JUNE 28, 2015 3:25 PM

SUNRISE, Fla. — They didn’t make a big weekend draft splash and will probably make just a ripple when the free-agency market opens Wednesday.

Welcome to the reality that is the Vancouver Canucks. After an unspectacular draft in which they failed to acquire a second-round pick, traded Eddie Lack, failed in a pursuit of Milan Lucic and couldn’t come to trade terms in moving Kevin Bieksa to San Jose, comes the sobering realization that circumstance and a salary-cap crunch will have general manager Jim Benning shopping in the bargain-bin aisles. No big-ticket items. No Ryan Miller. No Radim Vrbata.

“We’re going to look at some players,” said Benning. “We’ll meet Monday and we won’t be in the high-end free agency market, but if there’s something that makes sense and we can improve our team, we’re going to look to do it.” With moving Lack and still having Bieksa on the books, the Canucks have $6.18 million US in cap space under the new $71.4 million ceiling. They have 11 projected roster forwards already under contract and need to come to terms with restricted free agents Sven Baertschi, Linden Vey, Alex Grenier and possibly Brandon McMillan. They need to do the same with RFA defencemen Yannick Weber, Frank Corrado, Adam Clendenning and goaltender Jacob Markstrom. They also have to make a decision on unrestricted free agent centre Brad Richardson — Benning would bring him back if there’s cap space — while UFA winger Shawn Matthias appears headed for the open market.

The big problem for Benning, or any of his peers, is that you can’t build long-term success through free agency because of cost. You do it through drafting well year after year. The Canucks might be able to plug some less-demanding holes — like finding a cheap UFA stopper to pair with Joe Cannata in Utica with Markstrom moving up and RFA Joacim Ericsson bolting to the KHL — but when it comes to next season, the Canucks will need to find support pieces.

However, that’s the problem. They don’t have a true second-line left winger and they’re gambling on Baertschi finally maintaining a consistent NHL presence. They will bump Bo Horvat to second-line centre and Linden Vey to fourth if Richardson isn’t retained. And they will promote Corrado and Clendenning as roster regulars with the eventual departure of Bieksa and that alone should raise some alarm bells.

The Canucks were horribly inept in their own zone. They were 19th in goals-against during the regular season, but it was in the postseason where a lack of mobility and the ability to defend down low against the Calgary Flames was exposed. They allowed 18 goals in the six-game exit and weren’t able to handle the Flames’ aggressive forecheck to trigger the transition game and had all kinds of problems battling physically in front of Ryan Miller and Lack. And the Flames have added Dougie Hamilton to their impressive and mobile back end, so good luck with getting to their net or tempering their transition game.

The Canucks don’t want to stray from their mandate to get younger and quicker. But they may have to find a bridge free-agent defenceman who won’t break the bank and allow time for Ben Hutton to develop. Or, they could get bolder and find a fix for now and the future. The most obvious target is Cody Franson. He’s 27. He’s from Sicamous and the right-shot defender would welcome a return to the west coast. He also made $3.3 million last season and could hit a home run on the first day of free agency. But he would also instantly move into the top four and more than make up for the loss of Bieksa.

A cheaper option would be Matt Bartkowski, 27, who earned $1.25 million last season. Management has a previous connection with the Boston Bruins blueliner and he was a trade-deadline consideration. Coming off a poor season in which he was often a healthy scratch, after playing in the top four in 2013-14, he could be an affordable target. So could San Jose Sharks blueliner Matt Irwin, 27, who made $1 million last season.

The Canucks could also try and land a defenceman for Bieksa and how free agency plays out for certain suitors will affect any return. At the draft, Benning pushed hard to move Bieksa after he agreed to waive his no-trade clause. A deal with the Sharks seemed imminent Friday, but something got lost in translation. The big draft-floor buzz was that the Canucks thought they were getting a 2015 second-round pick and that the Sharks were offering it in 2016. The Canucks’ response was to add more to sweeten the deal if they had to wait a year to select. Benning said a second-round pick was his rationale.

“That’s going in,” he said. “The market dictates it. Johnny Boychuk went for two second-round picks. Kevin is a little bit older, but that’s what our asking price was and I don’t think it’s too much. I think it’s fair and that’s what we were trying to get.”

Bieksa is 34 and Boychuck 31. The Bruins actually received two second-round picks in 2015 and 2016 plus a conditional third-rounder from the New York Islanders in 2015, so you can understand why Benning pushed hard to get more for Bieksa.

Now he has to push to remove the ugly optics of a player who isn’t part of his plan and has agreed to leave.

http://www.theprovince.com/sports/Vancouver+Canucks+Benning+likely+bargain+shop+when+free/11173939/story.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

#tbt #gillismoneyball

"It is what it is" - Jarred McCann.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank Corrado, Adam Clendenning and goaltender Jacob Markstrom

Article claims these three haven't been qualified.

https://twitter.com/NEWS1130Sports/status/613723713486352385

Ben Kuzma screwed up here?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Article claims these three haven't been qualified.

https://twitter.com/NEWS1130Sports/status/613723713486352385

Ben Kuzma screwed up here?

Prob not, have until July 1st, Canucks probably negotiating deals at the moment and expect something to get done before then.

Our goal is to give Baertshi / Virtanen a chance to crack the roster so I'd be happy not to hit the UFA market too hard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good, free agent frenzy results in so many buy outs a year or two down the road. If they trade for Bartkowski and move Bieksa while adding some cheap depth, that's realistically the best move for a team that won't be in line for a cup run this year anyway. Any quick fix attempts will flop anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Typical local sports rag simpering.

However, that’s the problem. They don’t have a true second-line left winger and they’re gambling on Baertschi finally maintaining a consistent NHL presence. They will bump Bo Horvat to second-line centre and Linden Vey to fourth if Richardson isn’t retained. And they will promote Corrado and Clendenning as roster regulars with the eventual departure of Bieksa and that alone should raise some alarm bells.

No it doesn't.

PLAY THE KIDS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In other words, we're really not going to anything.

No, and really it doesn't matter a whole lot. Regardless of what spin anyone cares to put on it, the Canucks are going to have to bite the bullet and go with young guys at some point, it just may be sooner than they want. Pay me now or pay me later. The rest is just noise.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know downie has a lot of haters and people think he's a rat, but I feel he is the perfect guys that can play 1st through 4th line and plays with a chip on his shoulder. I would take a gamble on him low risk signing IMO franson in for bieksa would be solid he can play the point on our powerplay for us then 2 guys is all a I really hope for and let the rookies play after that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good, free agent frenzy results in so many buy outs a year or two down the road. If they trade for Bartkowski and move Bieksa while adding some cheap depth, that's realistically the best move for a team that won't be in line for a cup run this year anyway. Any quick fix attempts will flop anyway.

Free Agent signings are usually costly mistakes.

Minnesota learned that with Vanek last year. Stastny was average after signing his huge deal.

Benning got the best signing in Vrbata. Mike Ribeiro was a steal for Nashville as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Canucks aren't going to do anything at free agency? Great!

That is the last thing we should be doing and outside of a minor move to shore up the leaking blue line I am just as happy to play the guys we already have in the system as opposed to trying to sign an overpaid older player who is just looking to cash in.

Nobody is expecting big things from our boys next season and that should suit the club just fine...after things wind down on the 2015-16 campaign we can finally start to see some light at the end of the NTC hell that we had gotten ourselves into and the true rebuild can begin to take shape.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally I am pumped to see who the Canucks will get as free agents every year, but this time I want them to do absolutely nothing. We already have a group of redundant bottom 6 forwards (Hansen, Higgins, Burrows, Vey) that are taking up roster spots of our young prospects and the last thing we need to do is add more.

The only thing that would make sense for the Canucks is Franson seeing that he is still young at 27, but only if Bieksa is moved out before hand.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Linden even said before the draft that they weren't going to be doing much in free agency. It makes sense since the plans seems to be open up a couple spots for our prospects. I think I'd rather see Virtanen or Grenier or Baerschi move up with the forwards and Clendening or Corrado jump up with the defence.

Free agency with probably most be focused on shoring up Utica to stay competitive. Minor deals all the way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...