Thoughts On Potential Canucks UFA Targets

Recently, TSN released their list of the top 30 potential NHL unrestricted free agents. For each, I’ll put whether the Canucks should have any interest, and what the maximum reasonable contract offer should be. Afterwards, I’ll suggest some lesser-known free agents for consideration.

 

http://www.tsn.ca/stamkos-leads-top-30-potential-nhl-free-agents-1.492995

TOP 30 POTENTIAL FREE AGENTS

#             PLAYER                TEAM    POS        AGE       GP          G             PTS         15-16

1              Steven Stamkos    TBL         C             26           77           36           64           $7.5 M

Canucks Interest: Obviously, there has to be interest in Steven Stamkos. However, it would not be worth it to bankrupt the future team to pay Stamkos now. The most the Canucks should offer is 7 years at $8.5 million, which won’t be enough.

2              Loui Eriksson     BOS        LW         30           82           30           63           $4.25 M

Canucks Interest: Eriksson has some history with the Sedins, and would likely be a solid fit on their wing. However, at the age of 30, any contract signed now has to include the downside of his career. The Canucks would need to keep term short, and offer nothing more than 4 years at $6 million.

3              Milan Lucic         LAK        LW         28           81           20           55           $6 M

Canucks Interest: Lucic is only really a possibility if he takes a discount to play in his hometown. The Canucks, again could use a break on the term more than the cap hit. If Lucic is willing to sign for as little as 4 years, the Canucks could probably offer up to $7 million per.

4              Kyle Okposo      NYI         RW         28           79           22           64           $2.8 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks should absolutely be interested in Okposo, but he is probably way out of their price range. Unless he has some unknown desire to play in Vancouver, Okposo will almost certainly demand 7 years, and the Canucks shouldn’t offer him more than $6 million for that term, which won’t be enough.

5              Mikkel Boedker  COL        RW         26           80           17           51           $3.75 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks’ interest in Boedker is entirely dependent on what Boedker is looking for. If Boedker wants a long-term deal, forget about it. But if Boedker wanted to sign a 2-year deal to play with the Sedins and boost his stature, a la Radim Vrbata, they could offer him $6 million a year.

6              David Backes     STL         C             32           79           21           45           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: No interest. Backes will cost a huge amount, and the Canucks have multiple players who can play his role.

7              Andrew Ladd     CHI         C             30           78           25           46           $4.4 M

Canucks Interest: As another local option, like Lucic, the Canucks would hope that Ladd would compromise on term for the prospect of playing in his hometown. Something around 4 years at $6 million might work.

8              Keith Yandle      NYR       LD           29           82           5              47           $5.25 M

Canucks Interest: Yandle is due for a payday, and that will probably keep the Canucks away from him. As the most desirable defenseman available, Yandle will cash in on at least a 6×6 deal, which the Canucks cannot afford unless they deal Edler and don’t re-sign Hamhuis.

9              Troy Brouwer    STL         RW         30           82           18           39           $3.66 M

Canucks Interest: I can see the Canucks being interested in Brouwer, especially if he takes a discount. I can see Brouwer taking a low enough salary that term might not matter, something like 5 years at $4.5 million.

10           Jason Demers    DAL        RD          28           62           7              23           $3.4 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks should absolutely be interested in Demers if they don’t re-sign Hamhuis, but with Gudbranson needing signing soon, it doesn’t make too much sense to lock down Demers for a huge deal. Something around 6 years at $5 million is the most I would go for, and I doubt that buys Demers.

11           James Reimer   SJS          G             28           40           2.31        .922        $2.3 M 

Canucks Interest: Zero need for a goalie. No interest.

12           Frans Nielsen    NYI         C             32           81           20           52           $2.75 M

Canucks Interest: Plays too similar a role as Bo Horvat and Brandon Sutter. No need, and will likely get a hefty raise.

13           Dan Hamhuis     VAN       LD           33           58           3              13           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: If Hamhuis is willing to take a paycut, the Canucks should welcome him back with open arms. Something near 4 years at $4 million per is perfect.

14           David Perron     ANA       LW         28           71           12           36           $3.81 M

Canucks Interest: I can’t see the Canucks being interested in a fairly soft winger like Perron. There are much better options listed above. Perron would be a last resort sort of signing, and the most I would offer is 4 years at $4 million per.

15           Roman Polak     SJS          RD          30           79           1              16           $2.75 M

Canucks Interest: No interest in Polak unless the Canucks dump a few defenseman and sign him to a 1-year deal, as a potential trade deadline chip.

16           Jiri Hudler           FLA         C             32           72           16           46           $4 M

Canucks Interest: No need for a small, skilled center on the wrong side of 30.

17           Kris Russell         DAL        LD           29           62           4              19           $2.6 M

Canucks Interest: I hope not. Russell is a great candidate to get overpaid, and some team is going to do it.

18           Brian Campbell FLA         LD           37           82           6              31           $7.14 M

Canucks Interest: Any team could use Campbell, but his age doesn’t make him a realistic target for the Canucks. Chances are good he signs with a contender, anyway.

19           Lee Stempniak  BOS        RW         33           82           19           51           $850 K

Canucks Interest: Like Perron, Stempniak is only an option if the team misses out elsewhere. Stempniak will likely get a huge raise from his $850 K salary of last year, but I’d be wary of giving him term. The most I’d offer is 2 years at $3 million each.

20           Alex Goligoski  DAL        LD           30           82           5              37           $4.6 M

Canucks Interest: Goligoski is another D, like Yandle and Demers, that will likely price himself out of Vancouver’s range. Also, not the right age for a long commitment.

21           Eric Staal              NYR       C             31           83           13           39           $8.25 M

Canucks Interest: No way. Stay far away from Eric Staal.

22           Luke Schenn      LAK        RD          26           72           4              16           $3.6 M

Canucks Interest: Like Polak, only as a 1-year rental type guy if they dump some defensemen, like Sbisa.

23           Jamie McGinn   ANA       LW         27           84           22           39           $2.95 M

Canucks Interest: The Canucks have enough grinding wingers without adding one that is in line for a big pay increase. No interest.

24           Radim Vrbata    VAN       RW         35           63           13           27           $5 M

Canucks Interest: Next question.

25           Teddy Purcell    FLA         RW         30           76           14           43           $4.5 M

Canucks Interest: Hopefully no interest in this very soft winger.

26           Kris Versteeg     LAK        RW         30           77           15           38           $4.4 M

Canucks Interest: No interest in Versteeg, who likely has no interest playing in Vancouver.

27           Dale Weise        CHI         RW         27           71           14           27           $1.03 M

Canucks Interest: This ship has long sailed. Weise talked too much smack about Vancouver to ever return there.

28           P.A. Parenteau TOR        LW         33           77           20           41           $1.33 M

Canucks Interest: Perhaps as a low-risk, 1-year deal with the potential to trade him at the deadline. Only if the Canucks fail to sign any other wingers.

29           Kyle Quincey     DET        LD           30           47           4              11           $4.25 M

Canucks Interest: See Polak or Schenn. Only as a 1-year deal.

30           Cam Ward           CAR        G             32           51           2.41        .909        $6.3 M

Canucks Interest: Not in a million years.

Lesser-Known Candidates:

Chris Kelly, David Legwand, Paul Gaustad, Steve Ott:

If Brendan Gaunce remains a winger and Markus Granlund doesn’t progress, the Canucks may look for a veteran 4th-line center. Any of these guys could do the job on a cheap contract, and each brings valuable veteran experience. The most I would offer each is $1.5 million for 2 years.

 Jordie Benn:

A local product, Benn could provide decent defensive depth, especially if we trade a piece like Sbisa. He also helps keep the pipedream of Jamie Benn returning home alive. It would be alright to throw a bit of term at Benn to keep his cap hit down, something like 3 years at $900 K.

Colton Sceviour:

A lesser-known Dallas Stars product, Sceviour has steadily developed into an NHL player and may have hidden potential still at age 27. Offer him a 1-year prove it contract.

Cameron Gaunce:

The Utica Comets will need some veteran defense, and if Brendan Gaunce is playing down there, it would be fun to have his brother along for the ride. Give him a two-way, cheap deal for a year or two.

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