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Free Agency

Posted 12:31 PM ET | Comments 2
As the Vancouver Canucks head into their post-season meetings there are several players on the 2006-07 roster that may or may not be in GM Dave Nonis' plans for the 2007-08 season.

Ryan Kesler - 06/07 salary: $1.9 million - Status: Restricted - Notes: 06/07 was a troubled season for Kes. First the contract squabble, then a lack of offence and just as the team was getting on a roll...hip surgery. Ryan has great speed and is a force on the forecheck. The Canucks are very high on the potential in Kes and were forced to match the Flyers (Bob Clarke) ridiculous offer sheet last off season. My understanding is that Kes knows that he is overpaid, expect the Canucks to try to reduce his salary to a more managable number under the cap, the big bucks are a few years away for this gem.

Jan Bulis - 06/07 salary: $1.3 million - Status: Unrestricted - Notes: Upon signing in Vancouver last summer, Jan was expected to play along side Daniel and Henrik Sedin. It became very evident, very early that Jan was not the man for the job as the third twin. In January, Bulis complained to the media about a lack of ice-time and made hints to the media that he was unhappy in Vancouver. Apparently the problem was solved without having to move him out of town, for the time being. Bulis did have an impressive first round of the playoffs but as with many of the Canuck forward, seemed to dissappear vs. Anahiem. In the end, Bulis did not accomplish much in Vancouver, I don't really expect the Canucks to bring him back next season. Thank goodess for one year deals.

Trevor Linden - 06/07 salary: $800,000 - Status Unrestricted - Notes: 2006/07 was a season that saw Trevor in the press box a few times as a healthy scratch, a position that he had never been in before in his career. Captain Canuck, there is no doubt in anyones mind that Trevor will be back next season.

Taylor Pyatt - 06/07 salary: $700,000 - Status Unrestricted - Notes: In 06/07 Pyatt has reached career totals in pretty much all statical categories. There was a reason that Buffalo chringed when they traded this talented prospect. Taylor found a home with the Sedins, had some ups and downs but once he develops some consistentcy in his game he should be a solid NHL'er. Pyatt should return to the Canucks with a bigger wallet next season.

Josh Green - 06/07 salary: $450,000 - Status Unrestricted - Notes: Another tough season for Josh. Of the course of the past three season's Josh has been back and forth between Vancouver and Manitoba and this season finally landed a roll with the Canucks. A renewed optimisim for the crafty centre but his season fell short of expectations. He has serious skill but no finish, on the plus side he is an excellent penalty killer and defence seems to be a priority in his game. With so many good things to like about Greener, looks like the Canucks will bring him back.

Bryan Smolinski - 06/07 salary: 1.976 million - Status Unrestricted - Notes: Trade deadline acquisition turned into a decent performer in the playoffs. The Canucks may have no choice in this matter however, players at Smoke's age look for teams that have veteran laden line-up that is poised for the Cup. If Bryan wants to stay in Vancouver he will have to seriously take a look at a reduced salary. I am pretty certain that this summer Dave Nonis will pick up a hefty salary in a solid offensive threat which means at 1.976 million, Smoke makes too much money to fit into the cap.

Brent Sopel - 06/07 salary: $2.4 million - Status: Unrestricted - Notes: Upon his return to Vancouver I thought Sopes was playing some of his best hockey and then he hit a wall. The initial reaction around town was that the Canucks picked him up and would re-sign him next season which is probably what will happen because Sopel loves to play here. My problem is, I don't think he is very good and the Canucks would be wise to look elsewhere at investing the money. At his current salary Sopel is ridiculously over-paid and would have to consider a serious pay cut to stay in Vancouver's plans.

Lukas Krajicek - 06/07 salary: $625,000 - Status: Restricted - Notes: The other part of the Todd Bertuzzi trade, Lukas fitted himself nicely into the Canucks line-up and played regular minutes. Problem with Lukas is he seems too weak to handle some of the Western Conferences big forwards. Excellent skating ability and pretty good with the puck, I would expect Nonis and the boys will bring him back.

Others:

Yannik Tremblay - Good call-up when required, if he will continue to play the roll bring him back

Dany Sabourin - Can't say enough about him, he sat on the bench all year, he was thrown to the wolves in overtime of a playoff game. The Canucks have quickly developed some depth in goal, currently there really isn't a need for a back-up in Vancouver. Sabby may want to get a chance to play so may seek that opportunity if he enjoyed the ride then he'll be back.

Wade Flaherty - Sounds like the end of a career to me. Wade has been replaced in Manitoba by last summers other goaltending acquisition in Drew MacIntyre. Cory Schinder appears poised to make an appearance in the pro's next season and there isn't enough room in Vancouver. Sounds like the old veteran is going to get flushed out by some of these young punks.

Rory Fitzpatrick - Dime a dozen, let him walk, if he ends up signing elsewhere I am sure that you can find a replacement.

Tommi Santala - The fact that he was over-looked with all the injuries during the playoffs tells me that he is not in the clubs plans. Back to Europe for Tommi.

Jeff Cowan - Knows his roll, scores several timely goals, bring 'em back.

Tyler Bouck - Career minor league, love his heart, expect him to always be in the system unless he determines that there is better opportunity elsewhere.

Brandon Reid - Blazing speed, doesn't accomplish much but another excellent player to have in the system. He may seek other opportunities.

Lee Goren - If he is willing to accept a roll in the minors he is good to have in the system.

Jesse Schultz - High expectations last fall weren't met. Chance remains that he could turn pro down the road.

Brad Moran - Looked good on call-ups, has good offensive mind, big club may be too deep for him to ever stick.

Nathan Smith - Still waiting....
Filed Under:   Free Agency   Vancouver  
May 5, 2007 7:24 PM ET | Delete
i thank that would be great if they would get rid of all those players and use the cap-room for a few replacements..... maybe a biggie like Paul Kariya and then balance out the rest with some good players... i'm sure Sabourin will stay as a solid back-up next year.... considering his salary... i'm not sure about the Sedins though, although i'm probably just mad at them for not doing much in the playoffs...
May 5, 2007 8:20 PM ET | Delete
Suck it up on the Sedins. I think that they had too much pressure on them this year especially with them being the only 'true' offensive threat on the team. I do not think that Kariya is they answer. I like the possibility of Lecavalier but then what are we gonna have to give up. I will write more in the next few weeks once all the fallout settles in about who's staying and who maybe leaving. I also think they should seriously consider simply dumping Nazzy's salary if they can bring in a rising star.
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