Vancouver Canucks Free Agency: Top 5 Left Wingers to Target

Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) with the puck during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 23, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks left wing Andrew Ladd (16) with the puck during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the St. Louis Blues at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 21, 2016; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing Viktor Stalberg (25) reacts after scoring a goal against the Florida Panthers during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 3: Viktor Stalberg (NYR)

Another player from New York! Viktor Stalberg may be the most complete replacement for Alex Burrows who is available in this year’s free agency. With the Rangers looking retain Keith Yandle and perhaps make more changes after a disappointing postseason, Stalberg could end up in the open market depending on how negotiations with the Rangers go.

Height / Weight: 6-foot-3, 210 lbs
Age: 30
2015-16 Stats: 75 GP — 9 Goals — 11 Assists — 20 Points
2015-16 Salary: $1.1 million
Expected UFA Salary: $2.2 million

What Stalberg could bring to Vancouver is size, speed, bottom-six defensive consistency, and leadership. This is perfect for a growing Canucks team who is already reaping dividends from a speedy winger named Jannik Hansen. Although Stalberg really fell off the radar in the NHL two years ago, he may still be a cost-friendly option to play any of the wings in the bottom six. He did well in New York this past year.

Especially if Burrows is relieved of his duties as a Canuck, Stalberg would be a good presence as a defensively reliable winger. A Burrows-for-Stalberg swap would be a loss in on-ice character but an addition of speed, size, and offense.

Again, just like McGinn, Stalberg can be inconsistent. His size, though appreciable, is underused. If he can revive his career with the Canucks after stabilizing it with the Rangers this past year, he could be an inexpensive steal. He has shown character in rebounding with the Rangers after being cut by the Nashville Predators two years ago. He is a winner, too, something that the Canucks could put value in come July.

You can see his reach and his speed in that video. Did I mention that he is a Swede? Why can’t our Swedes do that?

Proposed Line
V. Stalberg – B. Sutter – E. Etem

This line is a wild card for the Canucks. Speed, size, and scoring is all sprinkled into what would be a third line that could be one of the fastest the Canucks have ever had. Stalberg most likely plays a plug-and-play role for the Canucks, though, with his right-left dual wing versatility.

Next: No. 2: MILAN LUCIC