James van Riemsdyk could be just what the Canucks need in free agency

While the Canucks roster seems fairly settled, there's still a case for adding one of the top remaining free agents, who should also come at a reasonable price.
Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes
Boston Bruins v Carolina Hurricanes / Jaylynn Nash/GettyImages

The overriding sentiment is that free agency has been a success for the Vancouver Canucks in general. Yes there was no big name signing per se, but the organisation has taken care of business and has an overall roster comparable to the one from the season just completed.

(Some people may complain about letting both Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov go. However, each of them were focused on extracting as much money as possible from the free agency process, and the truth is the Canucks dodged a bullet -- or two -- by not overpaying for either of them.)

Despite being confident in grading the Canucks' offseason so far as a B+, it doesn't mean they can't still do a little more to improve the roster. And that's even taking into account they currently have 23 of 23 roster slots filled and, as per Cap Friendly, just $240,833 of projected cap space currently available for the 2024-25 season.

We have full confidence in general manager Patrik Allvin being able to continue working his magic and making moves which benefit the organisation. Along these lines, we've already made the case for the Canucks considering a move for goalie Martin Jones, a veteran Stanley Cup winner who would come at an extremely reasonable price.

One of the best remaining free agent options

Another player Allvin and rest of the front office should look into, is one of the top remaining free agents, James van Riemsdyk. And that's despite the fact that at 35-years-old, he goes against the Canucks' preference of building a long-term, youthful contender.

In this respect though, with some of the younger pieces still looking to develop and grow into their full potential, it always helps to have some verteran presence to guide them along. We would contend van Riemsdyk can assist in just this, with 15 seasons of NHL experience.

The 2007 second overall draft pick has been able to carve out quite a career for himself, mostly on the back of his scoring exploits. He's usually good for around 40 points per season, including producing 38 this past season with the Boston Bruins.

A physical player but with one weakness

This extends to van Riemsdyk being a power play option if required. In any event, he's strong, big and durable, having only ever had one season seriously compromised by injuries, and that was all the way back during the 2011-12 campaign.

The only real negative which goes against the former Toronto Maple Leafs, is that he's not exactly the best defensive forward in the world, in part evidenced by a career -66 rating. Overall though, there's a lot more to like than dislike about him.

This extends to the likely relatively reasonable price that van Riemsdyk should be available for. This last season saw him make $1 million with the Philadelphia Flyers and, according to AFP Analytics, he's projected to make $1.2144 million in 2024-25. (And even this could come down, considering he's still on the free agency market and eventually will want/need to sign with someone.)

Next. Don't get carried away by positive Canucks 2024-25 projection. Don't get carried away by positive Canucks 2024-25 projection. dark

If we're honest with ourselves, we acknowledge that van Riemsdyk is unlikely to end up in Vancouver; his lack of defensive game goes against what the Canucks' have focused on improving. However, if you need someone to perk up the scoring threat in the bottom-six, he could be a worthwhile consideration.

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