Adam Gaudette’s season was full of development even though he didn’t score an NHL goal until Nov. 24 Unfortunately, his use this season was more directed towards injuries than merit or his gameplay. He was sent down after his second goal due to the team becoming healthy, his numbers might not reflect that his play was improving but he looked more dangerous offensively.
Right now, Gaudette is a third line centre who is on an entry level contract, and he’s getting pushed out of the lineup by two overpaid fourth line centre in Sutter and Beagle; they are both under contract until the end of the 2021 and 2022 seasons respectively.
Sutter has a modified no-trade clause that starts this upcoming season which consists of a list of 15 teams he cannot be traded to. Beagle has a modified NTC for the next three years, with a 15-team no-trade list.
Sutter and Beagle
Sutter and Beagle, making $4.375 million and $3 million respectively, combined for 83 games.
Beagle had a good year — if f you’re looking at his underlying numbers. He has improved on the offensive aspects of his game from last year while his offensive zone percentage went down. You have to think that since general manager Jim Benning signed him, knowing those were his contract year numbers that he was ecstatic seeing his improved statistics.
Beagle isn’t what I would call a game-breaker, but he’s an amazing presence in the room and I have absolutely no issues with him on the team. The problem here is that there are two Beagles on this team.
Sutter has been an injury prone shut-down centre, he plays hard minutes against the oppositions’ top lines; not the most ideal situation for an injury prone player who has now had two sports hernia surgeries. Sutter’s contract was signed with him spending most of the time in offensive zone, clearly that wasn’t the long-term plan for him; this lack of forethought has me scratching my head.
Unlike Beagle and Horvat, Sutter’s numbers have been getting worse the more time he spends in the defensive zone. It seems like Benning had the correct idea signing Beagle with an inconsistent player such as Sutter. Again, the problem here is that the Canucks don’t need both Sutter and Beagle. They only need one.
The Canucks know they have a solid one-two punch at centre, but how do they stack up to the rest of the league at the three-four? Gaudette still being a question mark and a few prospects still haven’t had a taste of NHL action.
The third line centre should be filled by a tough and fast grinding prospect where the Canucks can fully control the development. The fourth line position can be filled through free agency, but moving forward, the Canucks can’t afford to blow millions of dollars on a fourth line player.