Goal scoring is at a premium for the Vancouver Canucks. Perhaps they should look at a familiar face to help remedy it. Look no further than Thomas Vanek.
The Vancouver Canucks were 25th in goals for this season, and to win consistently, you have to score aplenty. Going into the offseason, scoring should be at the top of the list for general manager Jim Benning.
Enter Thomas Vanek. Sure, he did not score a ton for the Detroit Red Wings this season. He only scored 16 goals and 36 points, but Vanek’s familiarity with the team — and his chemistry with Brock Boeser — should keep him on Benning’s radar. In fact he even entertained the idea of returning following his trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2018. This ultimately did not happen as he signed with the Red Wings on July 1st of last year.
Now that Steve Yzerman is at the helm as new general manager in Detroit, I do not see a return to the Motor City for Vanek, as the Red Wings have other forwards to sign and very limited cap space. This opens up a return to the west coast for Vanek.
The 35-year-old would probably be open to signing here too, as he enjoyed his time in a Canucks uniform. He was also very productive scoring 17 goals and 41 points.
That was the past, what about the present?
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There were plenty of times that season where we saw Vanek’s vision, hockey IQ and goal scoring touch. With Pettersson on his line, I would imagine there will be more goals and plays for the highlight reel. He is also a significant upgrade to Gagner.
I believe Vanek would be a perfect fit on the team, even more so now, then in 2017-2018. He also knows head coach Travis Green’s system, and more importantly, Green trusts him and what he can do.
Add in his chemistry with Boeser and the growing stardom of Pettersson, we could potentially have a lethal top line on our hands.
Additionally, he would add another threat to the struggling power play, potentially replacing Sven Baertschi on the top unit as the bumper forward in the slot. This would allow him to move to the second unit shoring up the skill there.
As if the above isn’t enough to convince the Canucks to sign him, he is also a great character player in the locker room and mentor to the young forwards, as witnessed by Boeser in his rookie season.
Now, what about the cost? Vanek was on a $3 million cap hit last season, but because of his production, could be had for less. If he’s looking for similar money, Benning should walk. However, if he can get him for $2 million or less on a short term deal, the Canucks should take it and prepare to watch the highlight reel.
Do you think Vanek should be part of the 2019-2020 roster? Sound off in the comments below.