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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Dec 14, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic (17) skates with the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Senators defeated the Kings 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2. Milan Lucic (L.A.)

And here he is, the most storied free agent left winger who, quite frankly, does not sound like he wants to hit free agency or play for any team other than the Los Angeles Kings. But what if Daryl Sutter does not return behind the bench for the Kings? What if the Kings would rather sign quantity than quality?

The Kings do have a bit of salvaging to do on the blueline with Brayden McNabb, Jamie McBain, and Luke Schenn all becoming free agents in the summer. The Canucks? They wouldn’t mind the former Vancouver Giant to return home.

Height / Weight: 6-foot-3, 235 lbs
Age: 27
2015-16 Stats: 81 GP — 20 Goals — 35 Assists — 55 Points
2015-16 Salary: $6.5 million
Expected UFA Salary: $7 million

Lucic is the complete package that GM Jim Benning wants. Lucic brings timely scoring with size, physicality, strength, and the Burrows-like character to the ice, and there were words out of the Kings locker room that the 27-year-old was growing into a leader in the room.

As a former Boston Bruin, Lucic has always been linked with the Canucks and the other former-Bruin, now-GM Benning. Lucic would be that meat-and-potato power forward that the Canucks have been lacking for the past handful of years.

Lucic did start the year saying that he would like to become a Canuck sooner rather than later if the opportunity appears. Now that a full season as a King is under his belt, he seems to be all too engrossed in the winning atmosphere to be looking to free agency.

The question is, then, why are the Kings not signing the forward to a mega-deal yet?

If Lucic were to come to Vancouver, though, it becomes a bit of a line-juggling for Willie Desjardins. Is it worth keeping him on the second line at +$7 million per year? Would he be content with playing to the left of Bo Horvat or Brandon Sutter and not Henrik Sedin?

Does his game even translate to a Sedin-style offense? Do the Canucks want to pull Daniel or Lucic to the off-wing to make a Sedin-Lucic line? Is a “right to play with the Sedins” going to be a contract condition for Lucic? Would he even want to come to a retooling team?

Because of these questions, I am dropping Lucic down to the number two spot on this list. While he certainly is the biggest fish down the left side, the Canucks may want to look past this enticing mix of size and skill for the sake of money and the on-ice reality when all is said and done.

Next: No. 1: ANDREW LADD