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The Open Ocean of Vancouver Canucks Free Agent News and Rumours

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The streets of Vancouver are bustling and the Canucks aren’t even playing in the 2024 NHL Stanley Cup Finals. Perhaps the waves of excitement reverberating around the city were stirred up from an exciting playoff run which was halted by the eventual Western Conference Champion Edmonton Oilers. However, the news surrounding the Vancouver Canucks is that they have a boat load of free agent players, most of which are of the unrestricted kind. Therefore, if the Canucks want to stay on top of the Pacific Division in 2024-25, General Manager Patrik Allvin has his work cut out to navigate the rough waters of the 2024 NHL Free Agency ocean-sized pool. Today’s discussion looks at a couple defenders and a depth forward.

The Latest Vancouver Canucks Free Agent News and Notes

First up for the news on the Vancouver Canucks free agent board is Tyler Myers. The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta indicates that both sides have interest in staying the course. Furthermore, he mentions that as of last week, the financials were not exchanged between the two sides. Maybe it is a sign of mutual respect to not get into depth on the details, but still the clock is ticking. There are plenty of teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Ottawa Senators that would love to add a towering, right-shot defenceman to their respective lineups.

Also, Myers is coming off of a big year for himself based on performance. Myers was utilized in a defensive role, with a dSZ% of a whopping 68.3, which was a career-high. And yet, he managed to put up decent number of points with 29. It is difficult to know what Myers would attract in terms of offers. He is 34 years old, and his ice time dropped in 2023-24. Even back to his rookie season, he has never been under 20:21 of average ice time a night, with a career mark of 21:53. Conversely, in Head Coach Rick Tocchet‘s demanding system, he dipped to 18:57.

Maybe Tocchet made sure the veteran was well rested whenever he utilized him in key defensive spots. The other way to look at is that given his large stature, perhaps he is slowing down. So, as we cast our sights from the mast, it is difficult to pontificate what lies ahead. Even though his asking price may not be exorbitant, the fact that he is a bit cheaper might open him up to competitive contract offers on the high seas. If Allvin wants to rein him in, it may end up taking some finesse, despite the possibility of mutual interest.

What About Hanging on to a Depth Forward

The next note from Pagnotta refers to depth forward Sam Lafferty. The expectation is that Lafferty will hit the open market. Moreover, Lafferty knows his value as an inexpensive, responsible, physical forward, especially for a team with playoff aspirations. Of course, that’s exactly the reason the Canucks would want him to stay. From Allvin’s perspective, Lafferty coming back could really depend on other Canuck UFAs, and how the depth chart works itself out. Pagnotta did mention that Lafferty has certainly not closed the door on Vancouver. Although the lure of the open market, as one can imagine, is always tempting.

Vancouver Canucks Free Agent Questions

News on One Last Vancouver Canucks Free Agent Nikita Zadorov

There are other free agents for Allvin and his fellow Canucks crew to consider, but Nikita Zadorov also continues to be a right whale. The 29-year-old really proved his worth as a playoff performer in the 2024 post-season run for the Canucks. Case in point, through his 11-year NHL career, his average ice time is only 18:05. In contrast, if we look at his playoff numbers, in two separate post-seasons, one including this year, he saw the ice more than 20 minutes nightly. Furthermore, he’s made it out of the first round on four of the five occasions that his team has made the playoffs. Thus he has amassed a respectable 58 games of playoff experience. His playoff points-per-game is 0.33, way up from his career regular season standing of 0.23. Also, he has an incredible total of 215 hits in those 58 playoff contests.

The notable landmark we are arriving at, is that there are plenty of teams that would love to have him on board. The Canucks know that. Luckily for them, Zadorov may be willing to take a slight pay cut, given his level of comfort playing near the mouth of the mighty Fraser River.

In any case, Allvin has his work cut out for him in deciding on Myers, Lafferty, and Zadorov. We haven’t even touched on perhaps the biggest fish in their free agency, Elias Lindholm. The positive thing for the Canucks was the team’s on-ice success in 2023-24. Everyone wants to be a part of a winner, we will have to see, at what cost those proverbial offseason W’s will come.

Main photo credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports




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