What moves does a General Manager make during the offseason to a team that was one win away from the Stanley Cup? Apparently, “minor tweaks” and “status quo” are the buzz words in Vancouver.
The following Forwards will be returning to play with the Vancouver Canucks next season: Daniel Sedin ($6.1 M), Henrik Sedin ($6.1 M), Ryan Kesler ($5.0 M), Alex Burrows ($2.0 M), Mikael Samuelsson ($2.55 M), Mason Raymond ($2.5 M), Manny Malhotra ($2.5 M).
The following Forwards are Unrestricted Free Agents, with the ability to sign with whomever they wish (2010/11 cap hit):
Chris Higgins ($1.6 M), Raffi Torres ($1.0 M), Jeff Tambellini ($500 k), Tanner Glass ($625 k).
Restricted Free Agents (Canucks hold their rights, have last option to match offer sheet, or receive compensation for:
Jannik Hansen ($825 k), Maxim Lapierre ($900 k), Victor Oreskovich ($575 k)
These are the returning Defencemen:
Dan Hamhuis ($4.5 M), Alex Edler ($3.25 M), Keith Ballard ($4.2 M), Chris Tanev ($900 k), Aaron Rome ($750 k)
Cory Schneider ($900 k), Roberto Luongo ($5.33 M)
The following are Unrestricted Free Agent Defencemen (with 2010/11 cap hit):
Christian Ehrhoff ($3.1 M), Kevin Bieksa ($3.75 M), Sami Salo ($3.5 M), Andrew Alberts ($1.05 M). According to www.capgeek.com, Vancouver has $46.6 M committed to 14 players for 2011/12. The NHL has announced that the cap ceiling will be raised to $64 M, so the Canucks will have approximately $17 M to distribute to fill out the rest of their roster.
The key areas for Gillis to address in the offseason are re-upping Kevin Bieksa, Christian Ehrhoff and Sami Salo. Also, in light of the injury parade as the playoffs deepened, a top 6 forward would be a welcome addition. If circumstances prevent Ehrhoff and Bieksa from re-signing, Gillis may find one of the following unrestricted free agents (UFA’s) attractive:
Ed Jovanovski, James Wisniewski, Eric Brewer, Joni Pitkanen or Ian White.
Depending on the status of Raymond, Samuelsson and Malhotra, the Canucks might be eyeing up:
Ville Leino, Simon Gagne, Brooks Laich
Gillis proceeded to show management’s faith in their current roster. “To say we have to do 50 different things, I don’t feel like we do… This is a competitive Stanley Cup team. We’re going to try and do some things to make sure we continue to build depth that is playoff hockey depth and retain our core players and try to replicate exactly what we did for 98 percent of this season.”