Potential players to fill Canucks holes
With just over a month to go until the start of the pre-season schedule, the Canucks still have some holes here and there in the lineup.
Thankfully, there’s no doubt it’s a buyers’ market out there for free agency. There’s still quite a bit of talent out there for the taking in the UFA market and the Canucks do have some space to play around with.
Here’s a list of five available guys that the Canucks could get for a relatively affordable price. As of this post, the Canucks have a little over $4.3 million to work with, but keep in mind that Chris Tanev has yet to be signed. From all indications Tanev should command somewhere in the range of $1.5 to $2 million, so I’ve adjusted accordingly.
I’ve seen a lot of chatter about Mikhail Grabovski coming to the Canucks but I just don’t see that happening for the amount Vancouver could offer. He’ll sign elsewhere or go to the KHL and get more dough.
1) David Steckel
I’m a little surprised this guy is still on the market, but he would be a nice fit for the Canucks. He could play that third line centre role, kill penalties and win key face-offs. He doesn’t take dumb penalties, has some playoff experience and has never had a faceoff win percentage below 54.5% in the past five seasons. He also gives the Canucks some badly needed team size.
He made $1.1 million last year so he could fit in dollars wise.
2) Steve Sullivan
I’ve always loved his guy and he’s a career Canuck killer, so it would be nice to have him wearing the Orca. Sure, he’s 39 but he still has offensive skill and could be used on the second power play unit to add a little creativity.
3) Hal Gill
A big body with a ton of experience, Gill is a huge upgrade over Andrew Alberts and would add some size to a defense that isn’t particularly big or tough. Gill could also be a good mentor to guys like Tanev or Frank Corrado and be someone who could move up to a top two pairing if the Canucks face some injury issues.
He’s another older guy, but the Canucks need guys who’ve won and experienced players to fill in those holes.
4) Akim Aliu
A young guy (still only 24) with a ton of upside, Aliu could be the right guy for the Canucks to give a second chance to. He’s a power forward in training that I think would be worth the risk.
His game needs a ton of work but I think he’s the kind of guy that John Tortorella could mold into an effective player.
Aliu’s got the size and skill but just needs to work on his skating and the mental aspects of the game. He’d be a project, but a cheap one that could pay off.
5) Colton Teubert
Another guy who hasn’t really had much of a chance to show what he’s made of but has the size and potential to be something solid in the NHL. He’s also a BC boy, young and was a winner in the U18 and WJC tournaments. Teubert has a mean streak and showed some offensive potential in junior.
He was also drafted 13th overall in 2008 but just needs a chance. Another gamble that could pay off huge if he’s handled properly.