The Vancouver Canucks need to upgrade their blue line, and general manager Jim Benning will reportedly go after two big names in free agency.
According to Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal, the Vancouver Canucks are expected to go after UFA defenceman Jake Gardiner or Tyler Myers. As you can see by his tweet he has sources from the NHL Combine in Buffalo.
General manager Jim Benning addressed the need to fix the defence in a recent interview with Jeff Paterson of TSN 1040. Both Gardiner and Myers are coming off expiring contracts and are looking to test the free agency waters.
The case for Jake Gardiner
According to Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic (subscription required), The Toronto Maple Leafs are interested in re-signing Gardiner. His agent, agent Pat Brisson, and general manager Kyle Dubas briefly met at the Combine in Buffalo.
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Gardiner has been the whipping boy for Leafs fans for some time now especially after back-to- back first round exits against the Boston Bruins. He has been hearing the boos a lot from Leafs fans, sometimes being careless with the puck and woeful defensively.
The bright side to Gardiner is that he has plenty of offensive upside, just one year removed from a career-high 51-point season. He can move the puck well up the ice and quarterback a power play. Gardiner is also an excellent skater
If the Canucks sign him, Gardiner would provide more offence from the back end. But his defensive issues simply can’t be ignored.
Gardiner had three goals and 27 assists in 62 games last season, helping the Maple Leafs reach the postseason for a third straight year. Gardiner has 45 goals 245 career points in 551 NHL games.
The case for Tyler Myers
Myers is a big guy at 6-foot-8 and 229 pounds. He is known for his physical play, using his big frame to push opponents around. He can provide some offence, but like Gardiner, Myers makes mistakes with the puck and is also leaky defensively — and he’s not exactly the best skater.
Benning has always wanted players who are big and physical, but Erik Gudbranson certainly didn’t work out. And Myers Myers sounds a lot like Gudbranson. The former had nine goals and 22 assists in 80 games played for the Winnipeg Jets last season.
Who would you rather have between Gardiner and Myers? Neither? Who should the Canucks sign in free agency? Let us know in the comments down below.