Canucks Sign Andrei Kuzmenko

andrei kuzmenko

In an easy decision, the Vancouver Canucks sign Andrei Kuzmenko to a two-year, $5.5 million average deal. In his first NHL season, Kuzmenko has 21 and 43 in 47 games so far.

Andrei Kuzmenko Signs with Vancouver

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin has a history with Kuzmenko. Back when he was with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Kuzmenko blipped Allvin’s radar. That undoubtedly helped the team land the coveted free agent, despite the risk inherent in bringing in Russian veterans.

While Kuzmenko hadn’t been promised anything but an opportunity, he seized it with both hands. For all the problems the Canucks have had this year, one of the most popular and successful lines was Kuzmenko lining up with fellow Russian Ilya Mikheyev and star forward Elias Pettersson. The speed of Mikheyev and Pettersson’s all-around talent has mixed well with Kuzmenko’s ability to find the right spot.

No one quite knew what to expect from the talented Russian in his first year. Speed was never his forte, and scorers in the KHL are often given more leeway than happens in the NHL. But Kuzmenko has used his experience and a Brett Hull-like ability to find empty spots in front of the net. While scoring was never Vancouver’s problem in 2022-23, Kuzmenko forced his way onto a loaded top-six.

Welcome Addition

One aspect of Andrei Kuzmenko that fans absolutely welcomed was his carefree personal style. In an extremely difficult year, his light attitude and open playfulness in interviews and pressers are a breath of fresh air. Granted, that isn’t going to add any financial value to his contract, but it certainly makes teams willing to sign him.

The other side of this deal is the flexibility his signing gives the team. A season of upheaval means they’re bringing in a slightly older player, but at a good price for his production. He has a space ready, though who it will eventually be beside remains a question. Whichever line he ends up on, the team is happy to have him.

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