Vancouver Canucks took the wrong direction this offseason


Despite entering the offseason with over $20 million in salary cap space, the Vancouver Canucks haven’t been able to take advantage of cash-strapped teams, and it’s been an underwhelming summer thus far.

The Vancouver Canucks had countless ways to get creative this offseason, but general manager Jim Benning took an unexpected approach by signing three bottom-six forwards to multi-year deals.

Antoine Roussel and Jay Beagle earned matching four-year deals worth $12 million, while Tim Schaller earned a two-year deal worth $3.8 million. Vancouver still has over $12.847 million in space, per, but this wasn’t the way they should have used all the money.

Look at a series of some of the salary dumping moves, and what teams got for them. The Montreal Canadiens helped out the Winnipeg Jets by taking on the final year of Steve Mason‘s contract, and they landed a quality young forward in Joel Armia to go with it.

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The Habs bought out Mason, but the acquisition of Armia made it worthwhile.

Oh, and the Arizona Coyotes helped out the Chicago Blackhawks by taking on the final three years of Marian Hossa‘s contract.

He’s unlikely to play again due to an allergic reaction from his hockey equipment, but the Coyotes received a quality centre in Vinnie Hinostroza as part of the trade, too.

While Arizona and Montreal are using their cap space  to help out bad teams and land young assets in return, the Canucks decided to shell out money and overpay for bottom-six forwards. Really, this is as confusing as it gets.

The Canucks barely have room for youth in their lineup, following the signings of Roussel, Beagle and Schaller. They could have landed additional draft picks and prospects by helping out cap-strapped teams.

This goes back to the trade deadline, where the Canucks failed to land additional picks. They could have done so before or after this year’s entry draft, but they decided not to help out the cap-strapped teams that would have happily rewarded them with young assets.

Looking around the NHL, there aren’t any more expensive contracts that teams seem to be trying to get rid of. The Canucks had the chances to take on Mason and Hossa, but they saw the Pacific Division rival Coyotes deal for the latter instead.

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The Canucks are building up an excellent core of youth — built around Brock Boeser, Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson, Thatcher Demko, Olli Juolevi, Jonathan Dahlen and Quinn Hughes. But there’s no excuse to continually pass on golden opportunities like this; ones that could have landed them extra prospects and draft choices. Choosing to use their cap space on bottom-six forwards instead just creates more questions than answers.