Vincent Desharnais worthy of ranking higher among best free agent signings

The Daily Faceoff have named their best contracts signed so far in NHL free agency, including a Canucks player we previously noted as an underrated addition.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Two / Derek Cain/GettyImages

We've already gone on record and then restated -- almost ad nauseam at this point -- that free agency has been a success thus far for the Vancouver Canucks. Even allowing for not signing a so-called 'big name' player, their overall efforts (and results) have us giving general manager Patrik Allvin and the rest of the front office a B+ grade.

One of the overriding sentiments when it comes to describing the Canucks' approach, is smart. On the one hand, they forked out more money when necessary, e.g. for Filip Hronek's extension and bringing on board Jake DeBrusk.

On the other hand, Allvin and company also knew when to hold back, to not overpay and be burdened with contacts that will come back and bite them on the ass in future years. We are of course talking about the duo of Elias Lindholm and Nikita Zadorov, who were clearly trying to milk the free agency market for every last possible dollar.

Finally you had the middle ground, with the Canucks able to get certain players to agree to team-friendly deals, including for the likes of Derek Forbort, Dakota Joshua and Tyler Myers. Which brings us to one contract in particular.

Canucks make the Daily Faceoff's list ... sort of

The Daily Faceoff's Scott Maxwell undertook a task, to list the best contracts signed so far in 2024 NHL free agency. And wouldn't you know it, one of the Canuck's deals did make the list, albeit only as an honourable mention.

Maxwell wrote: 'In terms of their market value, I’d say that both Vincent Desharnais and Blake Lizotte (with the Pittsburgh Penguins) probably got close to what their worth in terms of these contracts, which is why they don’t crack the list. I wanted to mention them because I like the upside they could potentially bring to their new teams if they get put in the right roles, but for now these contracts are just fair rather than total steals.'

Now we appreciate Maxwell's take on the Desharnais signing, but we'd take it further than calling it a fair deal. In fact we already have done, recently describing it as one of the most underrated signings in all of NHL free agency.

Desharnais is an absolute bargain

At two-years and $4 million, this is what we like to describe as a sneaky-good signing. This is in stark contrast to a lot of critics, who believe the Canucks paid too much for the 28-year-old.

We appreciate that Desharnais is projected to be part of the bottom pairing for the Canucks, alongside fellow new signing Forbort. However, his talent and upside have him capable of moving up to the second pairing if and when required.

Along these lines, the Laval, Quebec native did spend part of this past season in the second pairing for the Edmonton Oilers, alongside Darnell Nurse. He subsequently lost this position, due to an unfortunate injury.

Next. James van Riemsdyk could be just what the Canucks need. James van Riemsdyk could be just what the Canucks need. dark

Desharnais is an imposing and physical menace, who will finish near to -- or at -- the top of the team in both hits and blocks, while also being available for the penalty kill unit. As a final note, he gained invaluable playoff experience during the Oilers' run to the Stanley Cup Final, playing 16 games and averaging 17:15 of ice time.

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