Stand down, Canucks fans.
Derrick Pouliot isn’t going anywhere, as the Vancouver Canucks announced the 24-year-old defenceman has been re-signed to a one-year, $1.1 million contract. It’s a raise on his previous contract, which paid him $800,000.
“Derrick was a valuable part of our blueline last season and has shown an ability to contribute offensively,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning. “We are excited to have him back and to watch him take another step forward next season.”
Eyebrows were raised on Monday when the Canucks failed to give Pouliot a qualifying offer. The move made Pouliot an unrestricted free agent, meaning he could leave for nothing on July 1. Given that the Canucks gave up a fourth-round pick for him less than nine months ago, the optics of that happening would not have been good.
The move, although surprising, turned out to be a good one. Instead of facing the prospect of an arbitration hearing with Pouliot, who is coming off a 22-point season, the Canucks got cost-certainty.
As for Pouliot, it made sense to stay in Vancouver after setting career highs in games played, goals, assists, and points. There’s a comfort level with Travis Green, his old junior coach in Portland, too.
Pouliot still has a lot to prove, after playing his first full NHL season. He looked good in both ends of the ice early on last season, but his play – like the team’s – trailed off.
The Canucks now have seven defensemen signed to NHL contracts, with Troy Stecher left to sign as a restricted free agent.