In one day, the Vancouver Canucks have upgraded their backend. Out are Ben Hutton, Luke Schenn, and Derrick Pouliot. In are Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, and Oscar Fantenberg. I take a look at how they will fit in with the team.
Prior to July 1, it was no secret that the Vancouver Canucks had to upgrade their defence. Rumors of Tyler Myers circulated the Twitterverse as well as the news of Ben Hutton not being qualified. This meant general manager Jim Benning was up to something.
Many people were afraid of the term Myers would get, but fears were put to rest (mostly) when the figure came in at five years. The money was also less than reported coming in at $6 million AAV. Benn’s and Fantenberg’s contracts were also of the reasonable variety at 2 years, $2 million and 1 year, $800,000 respectively. But enough with the boring numbers, let’s dig in and look at what they will bring to the team.
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He will be tasked with turning around a Canucks defence core that only scored 27 goals last season.
Myers can help in that department, as he scored nine of them in the 2018-19 season and has averaged 25 points over the past four seasons. He also is a big body at 6-foot-8, 229 pounds. If the Canucks can manage to eventually get Nikita Tryamkin here, they could have the twin towers protecting the defensive zone. But I digress.
Next is Benn, who returns home to British Columbia after spending the last three seasons as part of the Montreal Canadiens. He was born a ferry’s ride away in Victoria, so he must be excited to play for his hometown team. Benn brings a wealth of experience having played 473 games in the NHL.
He also has a bit of a scoring touch, with five goals in the 2018-19 season. That may not sound like a scoring touch, but when you look at the defence last year, only two players had five or more goals. So he represents an upgrade for sure. He is not afraid to throw the body either, as he accumulated 124 hits last season.
Finally, we have Fantenberg. A 27-year-old Swedish defenceman who played for the Calgary Flames and Los-Angeles Kings last season. Signed for depth purposes, he will be a solid option when injuries inevitably happen to members of the regular rotation. Described as a blueliner with a “good all-around game and two-way ability” by EliteProspects.com, Fantenberg could potentially compete for the seventh defenceman spot with the incumbent Alex Biega. As all Canucks fans know, you can never have enough serviceable rearguard.