In a season where almost nothing went right for the Vancouver Canucks, there was at least one bright spot: Sven Baertschi.
The Canucks re-signed the pending restricted free agent on Thursday to a two-year deal that carries a team-friendly $1.85 million cap hit. If Baertschi continues to improve, this will be a real bargain for Vancouver.
*Note: kudos to the Canucks for being progressive and releasing the annual dollar value of the contract in their press release. Let’s hope the phrase “terms of the deal were not disclosed” is a thing of the past.
After starting off the season slowly offensively, the 23-year-old Swiss winger got in groove during the second half. He finished the year with 28 points (15-13-28) in 69 games in what marked his first full season in the NHL.
Baertschi showed many positive signs last year that he could become the skilled second line winger the organization thought he would be when they acquired him for a second round draft pick 15 months ago. He is one of Jim Benning’s best acquisitions since taking over as general manager.
The 5’11”, 189-pound forward appeared to find good chemistry with centre Bo Horvat. The pair could form the nucleus of an excellent second line in the years to come.