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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Alexander Barabanov, Forward/San Jose Sharks

The Sharks are another team that didn’t have a major selection, but Alexander Barabanov could still slide in on an affordable deal following what will have been a rough season with the San Jose Sharks. In 2021-22, Barabanov looked like a player on the rise after he logged 39 points in 70 games before he parlayed that into 47 points in 68 contests. 

But the 2023-24 season has seen him play in just 46 games through April 8th, and he has just four goals and 13 points on the season. Theoretically, a few teams could feel that Barabanov fits their respective systems and that they will sign him to a more luxurious deal, but there is also a good chance he goes for a more reasonably-priced amount. 

If he’s there for the taking at a more reasonable price, Patrik Allvin would be wise to make an inquiry if he believes the 29-year-old could fill a spot on the bottom-six. He won’t be much of a scorer, but Barabanov has some fair defense, including the will to land a few checks and steal the puck - he had 40 takeaways during that breakout 2021-22 campaign. 

He would also be a good asset on the second power play unit or used as insurance for the man advantage should injuries hit the Canucks.