UFA of the Day: Mike Santorelli

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Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Mike Santorelli

Looking to resurrect his National Hockey League career, Mike Santorelli decided to head home last summer, signing with the Vancouver Canucks as an unrestricted free agent. His deal at the time: a two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level, according to Capgeek.com.

So, the Canucks certainly didn’t have to go out and spend big dollars on the now 28-year-old forward.

After a difficult 2012-13 season, playing for four different teams, including the Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, American Hockey League San Antonio Rampage and Tingsryds AIF in Sweden, Santorelli came to Vancouver needing to impress in order to make the Canucks and stick in the NHL. His 20-goal season from 2010-11 with the Panthers wasn’t enough to simply give him a roster spot.

He impressed. Right from the beginning. He was among the top players at training camp when it came to conditioning, and his work ethic in games was infectious. His production wasn’t bad either: 10 goals and 28 points in 49 games. He played most of the season on Vancouver’s second line with Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler.

But a shoulder injury that required surgery in January abruptly ended his season.

He’s now a pending unrestricted free agent, and whether he re-signs in Vancouver, with the Canucks undergoing a massive change in management this off-season, with the hiring of Trevor Linden and Jim Benning, remains to be seen.

According to News 1130 radio in Vancouver, there hasn’t been any progress in contract talks between the Canucks and Santorelli.