Yeah, I know it's only been a couple of hours since the final whistle on this season, and half of us are in a drunken fog, while the rest of us are split between outright indignant rage, and shoulder shrugging apathy that is relieved that there will finally be change.....but since I'm up waiting for laundry to finish I figured I may as well start this thread now since it was coming soon anyhow.
Oh, and for the record, I'm in the latter category.....looking forward to change.
We know that there are going to be a plethora of amnesty buyouts in just a couple of months, we know that July 1st will see the start contracts being signed and free-agents getting scooped up left and right. We also know who those free agents will be.....so the big question is what free agents would you like to see Gillis go after?
For me I'm taking a look at a few.....
Ryder, Iginla, and Horton, are the forwards I hope he considers, if they don't re-up with their current teams.
Iginla. Here's a never quit winger who is a right-handed shot and a proven leader. He knows what it takes to compete and absolutely lives for the post-season. He can probably be signed for between $4.5M-$5.5M and since he is a step slower than he was 3 seasons ago, he would be a perfect fit with the Sedins, who in all likelihood will be making up 2 of our top 6.
Horton is a crash and bang winger who goes to the dirty areas and scores most of his goals from within 10 feet of the net. He's had a history of concussion problems and that is a concern. Might be worth the risk on a new look Canucks that must know by now that it takes some nastiness and willingness to play physical to win beyond the regular season.
Ryder quietly gets it done. I'll be surprised if Montreal doesn't offer him a new contract, but if they don't I think he's a guy that will sign for around $4M. Some of these guys might come cheaper on shorter deals given the salary cap rollback that is going to hit come September. I look at him as a more consistent, and slightly upgraded version, of Chris Higgins. Regardless of "bad form" when it comes to trading players you just signed, I would look to trade Higgins this off-season.
I would also consider Simon Gagne. He might have one last gasp left in him, his lower production and injury problems might make him a cheap addition. Not suggesting you go after him in a bidding war though.
Andy McDonald is also a guy that brings speed and skill and a wicked wrist shot. He's 35 years old, and may or may not be worth looking at.....just depends who departs this summer.
Torres is at the top of the list when it comes to the bottom 6. He makes an OUTSTANDING fourth line winger, and is even very serviceable on a third line whose role is to go out and generate energy, forecheck hard, and hit everything that moves.
Viktor Stalberg would be a great steal if Chicago doesn't keep him. Not sure a UFA from Chicago would want to sign in Vancouver though.....but hey, if the team gets restructured then some of that rivalry will die with the departures of key players and coaching. Getting swept already drops the Canucks out of the Hawks league.
Ryan Clowe. Would be more than happy to see him come to Vancouver. It's unlikely. But would still take him.
There aren't too many top 4 defensemen who are going to be available, at least none who won't be looking to cash in on 4+ year deals to finish out their careers. But in the 5-7 spots there are some bodies worth having.....
Douglas Murray plays a mean game and is big and strong and willing to clear the crease. Not giving him his current salary.
Robyn Regehr will be looking for a new contract, and let's be honest, he's going to be trading on his name and previous body of work, not what he'll bring. He's 33 years old, looks slow, but can play some hard minutes in his own end and make life very difficult for net crashing forwards.
Alberts. Yes, Andrew Fucking Alberts. The guy has really impressed as the 7th man down the stretch. Since drawing in for Tanev and Ballard he has played smarter hockey and he hits to fucking maim. He's a 6-7 guy, but if he's making $1M or less then he's definitely worth re-signing.
Take A Pass
Pascal Dupuis. He's going to want a raise! 20 goals, 38 points, and only making $1.3M. But he's 34 years old and caught a ride on the Crosby train this year. There is no way he repeats that unless he's playing with Sid and/or Malkin again. Also small.
Patrik Elias. Old and soft. Still producing points, but not what we need.
Matt Cullen. I don't think I need to explain.
Mike Ribeiro. I doubt I could stomach watching this team with him on the roster. I'm hoping we let Lapierre go because I think this team has suffered from the combined reputations of him, Burrows, and Kesler. Bur and Kes have cleaned up their games and I think have just been doing a bit of time for the last couple of seasons, they should be paroled after this year. Lap has smartened up a bit, but he's now less effective than before, and he's still a pain in the ass who just tries to stir shit up. He also loves to sell a call. Ribeiro is in the same boat as him that way.