Which Vancouver Canucks have played their last game with the team?

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      No Vancouver Canucks got the farewell tour that accompanied Daniel and Henrik Sedin last season, but that doesn’t mean the same roster is going to come back completely intact.

      There will be players jettisoned off this roster, for a variety of reasons, and most of it will happen quietly. No doubt Canucks general manager Jim Benning and his staff are already formulating an offseason plan that will take hold shortly after the Stanley Cup is awarded in early June.

      Plus, the draft is in Vancouver and the Canucks will probably want to make a splash of some kind. That would likely require moving some assets out. 

      As we did last year (with some hits and some misses), let’s take a look at which players might have played their last game with the Vancouver Canucks.

      Alex Edler

      No Canuck’s future has been debated more in the past year than Alex Edler’s, which is saying something. The defenceman’s contract is up on July 1 and all indications are that the team is going to work something out to keep the longest tenured Canuck in Vancouver.

      If he leaves in free agency, there will be no shortage of calls for Benning’s head, as the Canucks could have used any assets Edler could have returned at the deadline. Yes, he had a no-trade clause but it seems the team didn’t ask him to waive it until a week before the deadline.

      Does he return?

      Yes. He had a great season and wants to stay in Vancouver. A three-year deal is the rumour, and while that’s probably a year too long for the 33-year-old, he’s earned it with his play.


      Brandon Sutter

      Unlike Edler, Sutter has some term still left on his deal, with two more years to be completed. But there might not be room for the veteran centre on the Canucks anymore. Jay Beagle was brought in last summer to play essentially the same role as Sutter, and the team views Adam Gaudette as the third-line pivot of the future.

      There’s also a logjam at the forward position in general. Expect Canucks management to do what they can in order to get Sutter’s contract off the books. An interesting caveat: Once the 2019-20 season starts, Sutter submits a list of 15 teams he can’t be traded to. Before that point, he wields a complete no-trade clause.

      Does he return?

      Tough one. He won’t be easy to move (the Canucks would likely have to retain salary—they are already doing so with Roberto Luongo and you can only make such a move twice), and a buyout wouldn’t save much cash.

      But we’re going to say no. There just simply isn’t enough space and sending Gaudette back to the minors doesn’t seem like a solution. Sutter is often hurt and when he has been in the lineup, he hasn’t done enough for a player making his salary.


      Derrick Pouliot

      Pouliot had a tough year. Often a healthy scratch, he couldn’t use the few games he was given to get out of coach Travis Green’s doghouse. He’s a restricted free agent.

      Does he return?

      No chance. The Canucks won’t qualify him, making him a free agent. The acquisition of Pouliot will go down as a miss in Benning’s efforts to procure players with high draft pedigrees.


      Markus Granlund

      At this point, it’s clear that Granlund’s 19-goal season in 2016-17 was an outlier. He scored 12 goals and 22 points in 77 games this year and proved his ability to play anywhere in the lineup. But is that enough? His “meh” underlying numbers don’t inspire a ton of confidence and it’s hard to believe the Canucks can’t do at least a bit better in the bottom six.

      Does he return?

      He’s still a restricted free agent, but if the Canucks want to freshen things up they’d either not qualify him or look to move him. We’re betting they won’t do either and bring him back for another season.


      Nikolay Goldobin

      Unlike Granlund, there is still some question about what Goldobin is, or, more importantly, what he can become. After a strong start, Goldy spent the last stretch firmly entrenched in the press box.

      Does he return?

      Yes. Unless the Canucks move him for an asset or a pick at the draft, it’s safe to say they will qualify the young forward and hope he improves in the offseason.


      Tyler Motte

      Motte gained some brownie points for showing hustle throughout the season as the team’s 13th forward. But his underlying numbers weren’t good, and he posted 16 points in 74 games.

      Does he return?

      But, as with Sutter, if we're assuming the rest of the forwards come back healthy, will there be room for Motte? The Canucks added Tanner Pearson and Ryan Spooner near the end of the year, and that might mean that the restricted free agent is qualified and starts the season in Utica, if he’s with the organization at all.