The Vancouver Canucks have signed free agent left winger Micheal Ferland to a four-year contract worth $3.5 million per season, according to multiple reports – including from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Ferland and VAN is 4×3.5
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 10, 2019
Given the Canucks’ current cap crunch, finding a way to sign a player of Ferland’s calibre is a surprise and may fuel speculation that another deal to clear cap space is on the horizon. GM Jim Benning previously admitted the team’s cap stopped them from adding another piece to their team — presumably a top-six winger.
But Ferland fits that description.
He averaged the 10th-highest ice time (14:06) among Hurricanes forwards last season, and ranked sixth among Flames forwards (15:01) the season prior.
Ferland scored a career-high in goals (21) and points (41) with the Calgary Flames during the 2017-18 season, before being involved in a blockbuster trade with the Carolina Hurricanes last summer.
The 27-year-old left winger from Swan River, Manitoba scored 40 points (17-23-71) with Carolina last season, following four years in Calgary. He was injured during the Canes’ playoff run last season, limiting him to just seven postseason games.
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Listed at 6-foot-1 and 217 pounds, Ferland is a physical forward who plays with an edge. Ferland delivers big bodychecks and isn’t afraid to drop the gloves, getting into six fights last season, and 22 during his NHL career (including preseason and playoffs).
He received significant power play minutes for both Carolina and Calgary, but has never been used regularly on the penalty kill.
Ferland made an instant impact as a rookie during the 2015 playoffs, terrorizing the Canucks (Kevin Bieksa in particular) with his physical play. He also contributed on the scoresheet, scoring two goals and two assists during the six-game series win by the Flames.