Ryan Biech over at Canucks Army wrote a great piece about how the Canucks should probably get on resigning Bo Horvat, and I agree 100%. However, this got me thinking about the other players who would need new contracts in there near future. So I headed on over to Cap Friendly, and it looks a little tight in the near future.
While resigning Bo is very needed, especially right now, I will leave it up to Mr. Biech to explain to you why that is. If he continues to score, his price will only go up, which means less money to go around, and from what I found, the Canucks will need every cent they can get in the next two years. Here is what I found for Goalies.
The Canucks have asserted Jacob Markstrom is their Goalie of the future, well the near future anyway. He’s signed until the 2019-20 season at a rate of $3.6m per season. Ryan Miller, and his $6m cap hit, will be off the books this summer. My guess, judging from Markstrom’s contract, they will be pursuing a Goalie of similar price tag, which is what a lot of teams have started to do.
I hope this is their strategy as paying around $6m for another Goalie would severely hinter their ability to resign their RFA Forwards and Defenceman. There are plenty of short-term, reasonable options until highly touted prospect Thatcher Demko will be NHL-ready. Demko dominated in net at Boston College and is seeing some good time in the AHL with the Utica Comets.
I expect to see at least one Free Agent Goalie signing this summer to split time with Markstrom. Whether that will be someone to split time with 50-50 or say 60-40 will be seen. I think they are committed to Demko long-term, and will see how he responds to his first, full AHL season. If he does really well, he could be on the big club as early as next season. I will be happy if they do continue to invest in the position with more draft picks or Free Agent signings.
It’s much better to have too many RFAs than you know what to do with. That means you’ve been getting production out of younger guys, for not an insane amount of money. Now will all these guys pan out, even if you do pay them? Most likely not, and I’m not going to turn this into an Arm-Chair GM conclusion. However, I am going to suggest what should happen, and what will probably happen.
WHAT I WANT TO SEE
I want to see heavy investment in the youth. I would rather have 22 year-old Brendan Gaunce on the third line making mistakes, than another 29 year-old Derek Dorsett making $2.6m coming off another five goal season. Or signing Jack Skille, when you have an entire AHL system full of guys looking for a shot, or a First Round pick needing ice time!
I would like them to spend the money when it makes sense, not because they think they have to. After next season I would like them to say to the Sedins: “You’re our franchise leading scorers, and that’s great, but you’re pushing 38, so here is what your worth is now.” Not “Oh your numbers will be retired here’s a raise.” I don’t want to see them mortgage their future to hold onto a mediocre past.
Judging by what we have seen, and continue to see, a massive investment in youth will definitely not happen. I am done listening to Jim Benning and Trevor Linden talking about what they are trying to do. I am a firm believer in “Actions speak louder than words,” and that’s what I will use in my predictions.
Over the next two summers there will be at least two cast-offs from other teams who will be given contracts, and ice-time, in favour of younger guys who need it. They will use a good chunk of cap space to overpay a Free Agent who they will not need. Remember, Benning was a part of the group that traded Tyler Seguin for the guy he just signed who is under-performing.
I think over the next two years we will be seeing some lop-sided trades as they unload players they cannot afford to resign as they have spent the money elsewhere. I think their signings this summer will severely hamper their moves in the following summer, and once again their focus will be on an idealist situation and not the reality of that they are facing.