Vancouver Canucks: Free agents that should stay and who should go

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Markus Granlund #60 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates Derrick Pouliot #5 and Tim Schaller #59 after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 29, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 29: Markus Granlund #60 of the Vancouver Canucks is congratulated by teammates Derrick Pouliot #5 and Tim Schaller #59 after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 29, 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Walk – Brendan Gaunce RFA

Brendan Gaunce, a point per game NHL player in 2018-19. Yes, you read that right, Brendan Gaunce played three NHL games last season and had a goal and two assists, yet his phone never rang again.  Clearly Gaunce is not in the plans for this organization, he’s a hard-working player and would be a great forth line fit…just on another team.  The Canucks have Jay Beagle and Brandon Sutter, we DO NOT NEED another physical fourth line grinding center. PERIOD. We don’t need him using up a contract, if you can’t get a seventh-round pick for him, let him walk.

Walk – Tom Pyatt UFA

Tom Pyatt was a Veteran presence in Utica and I have no doubt that he helped the youth learn to play the professional game, he has 8 seasons of NHL experience under his belt and the information that he gave to his teammates was invaluable.  But at the end of the day it’s a game and the goal is to win, at his age he has trouble staying healthy and he’s being past on the depth chart by younger players who have a lot more upside. The Canucks should let Tom Pyatt walk.

Walk – Yan-Pavel Laplante RFA

Laplante, unfortunately, was injured for the entirety of the 2018-19 season and there is not enough information on hand for me to judge his development.  Just based on his long injury I would say don’t walk on la grass but the Canucks should walk on Laplante.

Keep – Brogan Rafferty and Josh Teves RFA

The two late-season free agency additions from Jim Benning provide some change for the next season, something that has been severely lacking on the back end over the past two seasons.  These additions give GMJB some options for what he does with his defence this season.  With upcoming free agent decisions to make it is safe to say that these two will get at least a show-me contract.

Keep – Luke Schenn UFA

Luke Schenn must have thought his career was coming to an abrupt end; he was playing for his third organization in the past two years and been demoted to the AHL.  That’s when the Canucks decided to call him up and he was placed with Quinn Hughes on the third pairing.  It was a sight to see, Schenn provided us with what Canuck fans wanted most out of Gudbranson without the stress of seeing him on the backcheck. Signing Schenn is a no-brainer, especially for an organization that has preached toughness.

Walk – Derrick Pouliot RFA

Where do I begin, Pouliot showed some flashes of his offensive ability that resulted in him getting drafted so high in his draft year. Unfortunately, the only positive play I can think of is his saucer pass to Horvat’s tape that resulted in Horvat’s power move goal vs the Jets.  He was such a defensive liability and was passed by Biega, Brisebois, Sautner, and Schenn. The Canucks should run very far away from Pouliot.

Trade – Ben Hutton RFA

This is a hard place for me to be in, I love Ben Hutton, but there needs to be a change on the blueline and in order for that to happen we have to move some bodies this off-season. Hutton did have a bounce-back year and did everything he could to sustain the defence without Edler and Tanev. He and Stecher were put into an unfair position and Hutton did have the occasional collapse.  If teams have interest in Hutton the Canucks should act on it, his trade value may never be higher if he can’t improve his game from here.  The Canucks should try and move Hutton on draft day.

Keep – Alex Edler UFA

Keeping Edler is simply a case of term and Clauses, if the letters NTC are involved whatsoever the Canucks need to walk away from the Elder of the team.  If we can sign him for 2-3 years at a movable price, the Canucks should do that 10/10 times.  Will you complain more if we get Edler who was an integral part of our core his entire career, or the player with the worst game seven plus/minus in NHL history?

Walk – Nikolay Goldobin RFA

Trade his rights if possible, but looking at what didn’t happen at the last trade deadline I can’t imagine there’s a scenario where we get anything for him because his value certainly didn’t go up.  While it hurts to walk away from a player with Nikolay Goldobin’s skillset it’s more important that we give his roster spot to a player who Green will play, and this is looking at Zack MacEwen.

Walk and Keep – Markus Granlund or Tyler Motte

We are living in a “Sea of Granlund” as they’re saying on the Twitter. We have a lot of middle/bottom six forwards but not nearly enough top six forwards two of which are Motte and Granlund.  There are too many average players to keep two average RFA’s. Tyler Motte is younger, but Granlund has slightly more offensive upside. Keep one, let one walk; who stays and goes is up in the air.

Keep – Josh Leivo RFA

The trade that Benning doesn’t get enough credit for, Josh Leivo led this team in Corsi For percentage, sure he was playing with Boeser and Pettersson but players such as Virtanen and Baertschi played on that line with not as much success.  Leivo needs to be re-signed to a bridge deal to prove that he’s the real deal.

Keep – Brock Boeser RFA

Need I say anymore? 40 goals next year calling it here.

Next. Canucks: Projecting next season's defence. dark

7 years 7.5 This leaves the Canucks with around 41 contracts and nine spaces to sign free agents or college players at year end like Benning did this year.  We fans are suiting up for one of the most important off-seasons in the last decade, the right choices could make this team compete for the playoffs for years to come, and the wrong ones could handiCAP us to the last penny.