With all the talk about NHL Free Agency, Vancity Buzz takes a look at who the Canucks have eligible for free agency next year. This short series continues today with forward Maxim Lapierre.
Current Cap Hit: $1,000,000
Previous Seasons Stats:
2010 (MON) – 76 GP/7 Goals/7 Assists
2011 (MON/ANA/VAN) – 78 GP/6 Goals/6 Assists
2012 – 82 GP/9 Goals/10 Assists
With Alex Burrows no longer playing the role of super-pest, the torch appears to have been passed on to Lapierre who led the Canucks with an astounding 130 PIMs last year, nearly 40 more than the next highest (Kevin Bieksa). The total is the highest of his career by a rather large margin, but the Canucks should look at the positives; 19 points with nearly 10 goals to go along with a decent faceoff percentage (52.1%) is a decent output for a fourth line centre.
Since there aren’t too many options at centre other than Andrew Ebbett, it’s likely the Canucks will try to retain Lapierre’s services barring any huge drop off in production. If Lapierre can curtail the amount of trips to the box he makes and still contribute with some timely goals, he’ll be a valuable depth centreman.
Prediction: Two year deal with a cap hit around 1.3 million
If there’s a lockout: With nobody likely to challenge for the fourth line centre position, unless a considerably better option becomes available via free agency, the Canucks will likely keep Lapierre around for an extra year.