by Jeff Godley
After the season he had, why would I suggest that the Canucks should bring back Radim Vrbata?
I’ve written before that the Canucks could get him at a discount price; Vrbata, who is 35 years old, may want a do-over on the past season before he signs what might be his final multi-year contract.
This would be in the Vancouver Canucks’ favour; after signing Loui Eriksson, doling out another hefty contract to a free agent might prove problematic for the Canucks, with pay raises for Bo Horvat, Ben Hutton and Erik Gudbranson looming.
Additionally, the Canucks have a stated desire to improve their depth on left wing. While Vrbata is a right winger, he could help indirectly. Eriksson is a natural left winger, so he could line up at his normal position while Radim Vrbata lines up on the right side.
This in turn, allows younger wingers like Sven Baertschi, Jake Virtanen and Anton Rodin to play in more sheltered roles further in the lineup, which could also give the Canucks enough depth to roll four lines effectively, as Willie Desjardins prefers to do.
The Canucks need a goal-scoring winger, and Radim Vrbata is the purest sniper still on the market. Re-signing Vrbata gives them bonafide top-six depth with what should be a fairly inexpensive and short-term deal. A roster with both Vrbata and Loui Eriksson could see the Canucks improve drastically from last season.
Next: Suggestion 2