The current cap situation in the NHL is a concern for the Vancouver Canucks, but with little wiggle room, it gives Micheal Ferland a chance for a bounce-back year.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has a long offseason ahead of him with quite the list of things to accomplish. One of those things involves figuring out how the team is going to get the best out of their veteran power-forward, Micheal Ferland.
Brought in last summer on a four-year pact, Ferland signed a $14 million dollar deal to be the Canucks’ next big crash-and-bang style player battling it out inside the team’s top-six. His history of concussions caught up and paid him another visit limiting the 27-year-old to just 14 NHL games this season.
His absence was felt all season and because of his lingering symptoms, the Canucks never really got a great look at Ferland to see what he can really do. On top of all that, when the going was getting tough and symptoms again got worse, Ferland pulled the plug on his season and decided it was best to focus 100% on his health.
Now, the NHL pause is throwing some serious wrenches into what next season may look like, but the Canucks are going to be cap-strapped and they will likely have to say goodbye to a valuable forward or two that they simply can’t afford to keep under contract. It’ll take nothing short of a miracle to keep the Canucks’ top-nine intact as pending free agents’ Tyler Toffoli and Josh Leivo will require top dollar — something Vancouver might not be able to afford.
But it’s okay! This gives the well-rested Ferland a massive opportunity to slide in and prove why he signed that multi-year deal, to begin with. And with a long off-season of proper training and a keen eye looking over his concussion history, Ferland has every right to believe he can still make a full recovery and be the player he wants to be.
Ferland is currently working out in his hometown and experiencing zero symptoms of concussion. This isn’t the first time, but it’s great news knowing that he can’t rush back to hockey and hurt himself again. With COVID-19 still active, he’s forced to stay home, take care of himself and make sure that when the time has come, he’s ready to be an impact player for the Vancouver Canucks.