Canucks: Troy Stecher doesn’t receive qualifying offer

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks decided not to give Troy Stecher a qualifying offer. The 26-year-old may now enter the free agency.

Troy Stecher‘s tenure with the Vancouver Canucks may be coming to an end.

According to TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal, the Canucks decided not to give the 26-year-old defenceman a qualifying offer. Stecher is now eligible to enter the free agent market, which opens on Friday.

Vancouver gave forward Jake Virtanen, another RFA who held arbitration rights, a qualifying offer on Tuesday. But in a move that will surprise (and disappoint) many, general manager Jim Benning decided not to do the same with Troy from Richmond.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the Canucks won’t retain Stecher, however. Satiar Shah of Sportsnet 650 noted that Vancouver doesn’t want to commit any money “until they figure out” the Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jacob Markstrom situations.

Right now, all signs point towards pending UFAs Tyler Toffoli and Chris Tanev testing free agency. The Canucks could very well end up losing Stecher now, so it’s especially imperative for Benning to keep Markstrom.

Stecher signed with the Canucks as an undrafted free agent in 2016. In four seasons with the team, he posted 11 goals and 75 points in 286 games. His 2015-16 rookie season marks Stecher’s best statistical campaign to date, when he had 24 points in 71 games.

The fan favourite was one of Vancouver’s best players during their thrilling 2020 playoff run. He recorded two tallies and one assist in 17 games to go along with 23 blocked shots and 24 hits. Both of his postseason goals held up as game winners.

If Stecher and Tanev both leave, Benning will have to add at least one proven top-four blueliner this offseason. This would give him extra incentive to complete a trade for Ekman-Larsson, who has listed only Vancouver and the Boston Bruins on his wish list. His agent, Kevin Epp, has given the two teams a Friday deadline to make a trade happen.

Next. Latest on Jacob Markstrom, Tyler Toffoli, more. dark

It’s going to be a busy next few days for the Canucks, who have to work towards finding suitable replacements if they manage to lose most (if not all) of their pending free agents.