The Canucks have lost another player to free agency. Shawn Matthias has signed a one-year deal worth $2.3 million to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Listed at 6’4″, 223 lbs, Matthias is a big power forward who scored 18 goals for the Canucks last year playing on the team’s third line without regular power play time. He’s also only 27-years-old, so quite frankly, it’s shocking that he signed for so little.
Matthias screamed of a player that would get grossly overpaid in the NHL’s silly season, and perhaps that’s what he expected too. Players often have to settle for less money once most teams already commit their money elsewhere. Vancouver is one of those teams, given that they already have the maximum, 23 NHL players, penciled-in on their payroll for next season.
For Matthias, who is from Mississauga, this is his chance to go home and play for the team he watched growing up. It’s also likely a chance for him to get prime ice time and prove that he can be more than a depth forward, something he was unable to do in Vancouver.
Seeing Matthias walk for a low-ball offer should hurt if you’re a Canucks fan. He finished third in goals on the Canucks last season, scoring just once on the power play. His size and style of play fits the way that Jim Benning appears to want to model his team. And to top it off, if-resigned, Matthias would have been Vancouver’s sixth youngest forward.