Santorelli ‘100 percent’ wants to stay in Vancouver

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Mike Santorelli was one of the few bright spots for the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks. Before he hurt his shoulder in January and missed the rest of the season anyway.

Santorelli — signed by the Canucks for peanuts after a tough 2013 split between Florida and Winnipeg — finished with 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games, his 28 points good for seventh in team scoring, despite all the time he missed.

Today, the pending unrestricted free agent was on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver (audio) and said he “100 percent” wants to be back with the Canucks.

Santorelli, 28, was born in Vancouver and said it was “surreal” and “exciting” to play for the team he grew up watching. Also, his shoulder “feels really good” and he’s hoping to be cleared for contact in the next week or two.

How much the Canucks want him back remains to be seen. Even if Ryan Kesler is traded, Vancouver will want to give youngsters like Bo Horvat and Nicklas Jensen an opportunity to make the club next season. And a Kesler trade may garner an NHL forward in return as well.

Santorelli’s versatility should help his cause, though. He’s a center that can play the wing, and if he “100 percent” wants to be in Vancouver, he’ll likely be reasonable during contract negotiations.

On Monday, Santorelli’s agent, JP Barry, said no progress had been made towards getting a new deal done.