While the future of the Vancouver Canucks’ defense and goaltending seems established, the majority of their forwards face some uncertainty.
Ryan Kesler (four seasons remaining) and David Booth (three seasons left) are the only noteworthy NHL-ready offensive players with contracts exceeding two years.
It’s reasonable to say that the team will be interested in bringing back many of these guys anyway, but here are the players whose deals are set to expire after a season or two:
Alexandre Burrows ($2 million cap hit) – Any “NHL’s biggest bargains” list must include Burrows’ name. Keeping him around after 2012-13 could prove very costly.
Manny Malhotra ($2.5M) – Still valuable defensively even after a scary eye injury.
Mason Raymond ($2.275M) – Hoping to redeem his career and fatten his bank account.
Chris Higgins ($1.9M) – Speedy forward found a great fit in Vancouver so far.
Two more seasons
The Sedin twins ($6.1M) – Could easily command more than their current cap hits on the open market. Even with two more years of mileage, they’re likely to be pricey – and probably would prefer to stay.
Jannik Hansen ($1.35M) – Underrated winger might earn himself a solid raise.
Other guys who could make themselves nice raises over the next year or so include pest Maxim Lapierre and Zack Kassian.