The Canucks would like to add a winger with ‘grit and size’


The Vancouver Canucks nabbed one of the NHL’s top free agents when they signed Loui Eriksson to a $36 million deal on Friday, but GM Jim Benning still wants more.

“If I had a crystal ball, I would say we’d try to add a winger who had some grit and size to him, who can score,” Benning said, per The Province newspaper.

At the moment, the Canucks only have one big, tough winger with goal-scoring ability, and that’s 19-year-old Jake Virtanen. Considering Virtanen’s not even a sure thing to start next season in the NHL, it’s understandable that Benning wants what he wants.

The challenge now is to find it.

It probably can’t be found in free agency anymore. Milan Lucic, Andrew Ladd and David Backes have all been locked up, and for big money. Perhaps if Shane Doan can’t get something done in Arizona? But that’s a long shot.

It won’t be easy to find in a trade either, mostly because Vancouver doesn’t have all that much to offer in return. Rumor has it that the Canucks have been shopping defenseman Luca Sbisa. Not surprisingly, they’ve yet to find a taker. Sbisa, 26, has a $3.6 million cap hit through 2017-18, and that’s not going to interest many, if any, teams.