Canucks will risk losing Sven Baertschi for nothing on waivers

Sep 30 2019, 9:09 am

The Vancouver Canucks surprised fans and media alike this morning, announcing that Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin, and Alex Biega have been placed on waivers.

The other 30 teams in the league will now have an opportunity to claim any of them for free.

With the regular season beginning on Wednesday, 23-man rosters need to be finalized on Tuesday. Monday is the deadline to place players on waivers.

The move means that Adam Gaudette has made the team. It also means the likes of Loui Eriksson, Tim Schaller, and Tyler Motte have too.

The move to risk losing Baertschi for nothing is the most surprising. He has two years left on a contract that carries a $3.37 million cap hit, so perhaps Canucks GM Jim Benning is hoping another team claims him. Baertschi will make $3.7 million in real dollars this year, and $2.4 million in 2020-21 – so his contract isn’t as daunting for a non-cap team.

It probably shouldn’t be too daunting for the Canucks either, though overpaying bottom-six forwards has helped put them very close to the top of the salary cap.

Baertschi has 23 goals, 20 assists, and 43 points in his last 79 regular season games – spread over the last two seasons.

Injuries limited Baertschi to just 26 games last season, as the 26-year-old Swiss winger scored nine goals and 14 points. He has a concussion history, which is concerning for everyone involved, though he had a good preseason, scoring two goals and four points in five games.

Goldobin, who is also at risk of being claimed on waivers, scored 27 points (7-20-27) in 63 games last season, but the soon-to-be 24-year-old Russian winger was never a favourite of head coach Travis Green.

Biega, 31, is coming off his most productive NHL season – scoring 16 points (2-14-16) in 41 games in 2018-19. He’s been on waivers before, and it would be a surprise if anyone claims him.

Barring any other last-minute surprise moves, the Canucks are expected to start the season with the following 23-man roster, plus Antoine Roussel on injured reserve:

Forwards

  1. Elias Pettersson
  2. Brock Boeser
  3. Bo Horvat
  4. JT Miller
  5. Tanner Pearson
  6. Micheal Ferland
  7. Loui Eriksson
  8. Brandon Sutter
  9. Jay Beagle
  10. Tim Schaller
  11. Josh Leivo
  12. Jake Virtanen
  13. Tyler Motte
  14. Adam Gaudette

Defencemen

  1. Alex Edler
  2. Tyler Myers
  3. Chris Tanev
  4. Troy Stecher
  5. Jordie Benn
  6. Quinn Hughes
  7. Oscar Fantenberg

Goaltenders

  1. Jacob Markstrom
  2. Thatcher Demko