Derrick Pouliot’s time with the Vancouver Canucks appears to over.
The 25-year-old pending restricted free agent will not receive a qualifying offer from the team, according to a report from Sportsnet 650’s Rick Dhaliwal. Pouliot was on a one-year, $1.1 million contract last season.
The #Canucks have made the decision to not qualify Derrick Pouliot ’ s contract. Pouliot will be a ufa and can get a fresh start with another team starting July 1st.
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) May 7, 2019
The decision not to qualify Pouliot will make him an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Pouliot played his best hockey with the Canucks shortly after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for Andrey Pedan and a fourth-round draft pick in October 2017. His play tailed off in the second half of the 2017-18 season, which was a sign of things to come.
Cutting ties with Pouliot shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he fell down Travis Green’s depth chart last season. He was a healthy scratch on a number of occasions and was taken off the power play. The former Penguins first-round draft pick wound up scoring just 12 points (3-9-12), appearing in only 62 games.
The Canucks have some decisions to make on the back end this summer. Barring a trade, Chris Tanev, Ben Hutton, Troy Stecher, Alex Biega, and Quinn Hughes will be back. Hutton, who made $2.8 million last season, is a pending restricted free agent, though he’s certain to receive a qualifying offer.
That leaves up to three spots open on the blue line for GM Jim Benning to fill. Alex Edler could be back, though he’s a pending unrestricted free agent and won’t come cheap. Luke Schenn, who impressed with his physical play after being acquired from Anaheim, is also scheduled to become a UFA.
The Canucks could also look for new defencemen via free agency, or promote from within – though the available options for both aren’t ideal.