Five UFA’s the Canucks could squeeze in for 2013

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.

Will Steve Sullivan be the newest member of the Canucks? Photo:  Fox Sports

Could Steve Sullivan be the newest member of the Canucks? Photo: Fox Sports

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.

The Canucks are weak on the left side so he’s a guy that could also add some depth because there’s no way that Daniel Sedin, Chris Higgins and David Booth will stay healthy for the entire season.

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.


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About Ben Lypka

Straight outta South Central Delta, BC, Ben's been a sports nut for as long as he can remember. With experience covering the Olympic Games and reporting on sporting events in BC and Alberta, he hopes to bring a unique perspective to the NWSB! You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Ben today!
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  • Botched Another One

    No More smurfs, so forget Sullivan…Hal Gill is super slow Aliu is redundant, we have young assets like and the same could be said for Tuebert as well although he does have BC roots which is nice. I would rather have Santorelli in the line up over Steckel and I don’t want them both. Douglas Murray makes the most sense and that is it, have faith in our young assets coming up and in a guy like Brad Richardson. We are done in the free agent market as far as I am concerned

    • Ben Lypka

      Hal Gill is slow… sure but it’s not like Andrew Alberts is known for his blazing speed.Gill adds size and toughness, two qualities the Canucks lack. Not sure why you’d want Santorelli over Steckel (who is clearly an upgrade).

      Agree about Douglas Murray – I like him a lot but I don’t see any potential in Richardson. Not really sure where he even fits.

      And as for the young assets? What young assets? Guys like Gaunce, Horvat, etc are still years away from being solid NHLers and don’t fit the Canucks win now philosophy at all.

  • Botched Another One

    Everyone wants to add add add and the cap went down 6 million, I have no idea where we are suppose to add, lets see what Torts can do with what is there and if something needs to be added later or he wants to try a different formula with some other guys that are originally sent down to Utica to start, lets see where we are with a real coach.

    • Ben Lypka

      The Canucks should spend all the way to the max, with the amount of money they make there’s no reason not to. If guys don’t work out, make trades or other moves – it’s all part of the GM’s job.

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