The Vancouver Canucks had a busy first day of free agency, remaking their defence to go with some AHL additions.
They also officially said goodbye to four players, as Markus Granlund, Derrick Pouliot, Luke Schenn, and Brendan Gaunce found new homes.
A trio of Canucks castoffs, Granlund, Pouliot, and Gaunce were not tendered qualifying offers by the team last week, making them unrestricted free agents. Schenn followed the more traditional path to free agency, after impressing in 18 games with the Canucks late last season.
- Canucks sign free agent Tyler Myers to 5-year, $30 million contract
- Canucks sign free agent Jordie Benn to 2-year, $4 million contract
- Canadiens sign Sebastian Aho to $42.25 million offer sheet
Granlund signed a one-year, $1.3 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers – marking the third western Canadian team of his career after stops in Vancouver and Calgary.
Pouliot, Schenn, and Gaunce each signed one-year deals worth $700,000 respectively.
Pouliot adds depth to the Stanley Cup champion St Louis Blues on a reported two-way deal. Schenn, meanwhile, is joining the Presidents’ Trophy winning Tampa Bay Lightning.
Gaunce inked a two-way deal with the Boston Bruins, where he should see time primarily with their AHL affiliate in Providence.
#Canucks opening night defence in 2018-19 (Hutton was a healthy scratch):
2019-20 projects to look like this:
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) July 1, 2019
The Canucks will enter next season with a drastically different defence from opening night last year, with Quinn Hughes being joined by free agent signings Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, and Oscar Fantenberg.
Myers is the player that will draw headlines, as the former Calder Trophy winner inked a five-year contract worth $6 million per season.
Unlike Myers, Benn is viewed favourably by analytics experts. The Canucks got good value on his two-year contract worth $2 million per season.
Fantenberg is a depth signing, as he inked a one-year deal worth $850,000. The offensively challenged blueliner scored just four points (2-2-4) in 61 games split between the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames. The 27-year-old Swede has played just two years in the NHL since moving over from the KHL, and the SHL before that.
Vancouver also signed 26-year-old minor league centre Tyler Kaovac. The Brampton, Ontario native has 62 games of NHL experience on his resume, scoring 50 points in 65 games with the Calgary Flames’ AHL affiliate in Stockton last season.
Goaltender Zane McIntyre is also joining the Canucks organization, signing a one-year, two-way deal. The Grand Forks, North Dakota netminder has eight games of NHL experience, and has spent his entire pro career in the Boston Bruins organization. McIntyre was Providence’s starting goalie last season, posting a .898 save percentage in 46 games.