The Vancouver Canucks have re-signed defenceman Andrey Pedan and winger Alexandre Grenier each to one-year, two-way contracts.
Both players have a lot in common, in that they’re both fringe NHLers, they’re both giants, and they’re both waiver-eligible next season. That last part is the important thing here.
Neither Pedan nor Grenier are guaranteed spots with the Canucks next season, and despite their two-way contracts, they can be lost on waivers should Vancouver try to send either one down to the minors. This is particularly intriguing concerning Pedan.
Pedan, standing at 6-foot-5 and 217 pounds, gives the Canucks great size on the back-end. The Lithuanian-born defender made his NHL debut with Vancouver last season, appearing in 13 NHL games, some of which came out of position at forward. At age 23, the time for him to produce in the NHL is now.
The only question is if he’ll get that chance.
It’s getting awfully crowded on the Canucks’ blue line, and with eight other defencemen already signed to one-way contracts, it’s hard to see a spot for Pedan.
In order for Pedan to make the team, he’ll have to pass one of Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Erik Gudbranson, Ben Hutton, Luca Sbisa, Philip Larsen, Nikita Tryamkin, or Alex Biega on the depth chart. Pedan could conceivably pass Biega, although that would still see him spending a lot of time in the press box as the team’s eighth defenceman.
If Pedan struggles in training camp, will the team attempt to ship him to Utica for him to get more minutes? If they do, they could have another Frank Corrado situation on their hands.
Losing Pedan less than two years after he was acquired in a deal that saw a third round pick go to the New York Islanders isn’t likely to sit well with an increasingly pessimistic fanbase.
The situation is much less dire for Grenier, Vancouver’s third round pick back in 2011. Grenier, who appeared in six games with Vancouver last year, will turn 25 before next season and isn’t likely to have much of a future in the NHL beyond being a marginal fourth line winger.
At 6-foot-4, 211 pounds, you have to love his size, but his birth certificate is indicating that time is running out. Unless he has a draw-dropping preseason, expect Grenier to clear waivers and play with Utica next season.