While I personally feel very strongly about the “young players are better than old ones” rule when it comes to free agency, a case can certainly be made for someone like Jiri Hudler or Radim Vrbata as well. But as both Connor and Jeff pointed out, it is all a matter of the price. Hudler and Vrbata are decent options, but not if they only sign for four years and an annual average of $4 million or anything along those lines.
The thing is that Vrbata isn’t much of a defensive player, so he wouldn’t be one to take the tough minutes from Baertschi. If we are just talking cheap, secondary scoring, though, he is definitely an option.
Fact is, even 19 days into free agency, there are still plenty of players available. Whether the Canucks want to sign a second-line player like Hudler, a third-line scorer like Vrbata or a young bottom-six guy like Lessio or Pirri, they have enough options. And to this point we haven’t even mentioned Russian forward Vadim Shipachyov yet, whom the Canucks were or still are reportedly negotiating with.
As a big fan of Jake Virtanen, I don’t really want another winger added to the fold anyway. But it is always good to have options.