One pending free agent the Canucks can steal from their Pacific Division rivals in the 2024 offseason

The Vancouver Canucks are one of the NHL’s best teams, but can they get even better in the 2024 offseason regardless of whether they win the Stanley Cup?
Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks
Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks / Harry How/GettyImages
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Mark Pysyk, Defenseman/Calgary Flames

Like the Ducks, the Calgary Flames didn’t have much to go on, but one older player spending time in their AHL ranks caught my eye. As recently as 2021-22, Mark Pysyk was gracing the third-pairing in the Buffalo Sabres defensive rotation, but a major injury kept him from playing in 2022-23 for the Detroit Red Wings, whom he signed with in the summer of 2022. 

Pysyk wouldn’t be a game-changer, but he would provide organizational depth or even fare as a seventh defenseman in Vancouver’s eventual 2024-25 rotation. His final year as a full-time NHLer in Buffalo was still promising, as he logged 17:49 of average total ice time in 68 games, blocked 85 shots, and logged 21 takeaways. 

Pysyk contributed on the short-handed unit that season, and the journeyman was a better puck mover than some may have given him credit for. He also spent a lot of time helping who were then the pedestrian Sabres play respectable hockey in the defensive zone, with a 92.9 on-ice save percentage at 5-on-5. 

Pysyk isn’t a player you want to see dress full-time for the Canucks, but he will make the most of his ice time. And if there is no room on the big club, he would also make a sound mentor for the up-and-coming AHLers.