Canucks: Latest on Brandon Sutter, Micheal Ferland and the Matt Dumba rumours

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks have completed most of their key offseason tasks, but GM Jim Benning still has to clear cap space.

This week, Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning took care of the final two major tasks on his offseason to-do list.

On Monday, the Canucks re-signed forward Adam Gaudette to a cheap one-year deal worth $950,000. Then on Thursday morning, they avoided arbitration with Jake Virtanen by reaching an agreement on a two-year deal worth an average annual value of $2.55 million.

Gaudette and Virtanen have now been re-signed. With practically no cap space remaining to make an impactful move, one might assume that Benning’s offseason work is practically done. That said, he will have to move out some money before the start of the 2020-21 season.

Here are the latest Canucks tidbits as we head into the weekend.

Brandon Sutter

With the next buyout window coming up, some are wondering if Benning could look to move on from one of his expensive veteran forwards. Brandon Sutter, who is signed for one more year at $4.375 million, seems like a logical buyout candidate.

During an appearance on TSN 1040, Thomas Drance of The Athletic said that he doesn’t expect the Canucks to buy out Sutter.

According to CapFriendly, buying out the final year of Sutter’s contract would account for just under $2.042 million in cap space for 2020-21. That number moves down to $1.66 million in 2021-22.

Whether or not Benning goes down this road remains to be seen. A Sutter trade feels highly unlikely given the flat cap.

Latest On Micheal Ferland

Last year, the Canucks signed Micheal Ferland to a four-year, $14 million contract in free agency. Unfortunately, ongoing concussion problems limited Ferland to 14 regular season games.

Ferland suited up for the first two games in the qualifying round against the Minnesota Wild before he was deemed unfit to play for the remainder of the series. He missed the ensuing playoff series’ against the St. Louis Blues and the Vegas Golden Knights.

Per Patrick Johnston of the Vancouver Province, Ferland’s agent, Jason Davidson, said that Ferland is hoping to return in 2020-21.

“His health is the priority,” Davidson said. “We’re going to make sure we’re dialled in on whether Micheal is fit to play or not. We can’t keep doing this.”

Ferland had one goal and four assists in 14 regular season games. If he’s cleared to return at some point in 2020-21, the 28-year-old could find himself in Vancouver’s top-six. There is a gap to fill there with Tyler Toffoli leaving in free agency.

The Matt Dumba rumours

Wild defenceman Matt Dumba has been heavily mentioned in trade rumours over the past month. Back in September, I explored the possibility of the Canucks trading for Dumba.

That’s obviously not going to happen now. Vancouver found its top-four defenceman by acquiring Nate Schmidt in a blockbuster trade with the Vegas Golden Knights last week. And again, the current cap situation won’t allow Benning to make another big trade at this stage.

According to Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required), the Canucks never appeared to have any serious interest in Dumba.

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So there you have it. Even though Dumba would have been an excellent fit in Vancouver’s top-four, Benning apparently didn’t make much of a push.