Canucks sign Gagner, Burmistrov, Del Zotto, and Nilsson

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One year after giving Loui Eriksson a six-year, $36 million deal, the Vancouver Canucks went a different direction today, adding multiple players on relatively inexpensive, short-term contracts.

Forward Sam Gagner, after a 50-point season in Columbus, signed for three years and a cap hit of $3.15 million.

Forward Alexander Burmistrov, after splitting last season between Winnipeg and Arizona, signed for one year and $900,000.

Defenseman Michael Del Zotto, after three years in Philadelphia, signed for two years and a cap hit of $3 million.

Finally, goalie Anders Nilsson, after registering a .923 save percentage last season in Buffalo, signed for two years and a cap hit of $2.5 million.

Taken as a whole, today’s additions should give the Canucks some much-needed depth. And that’s something they badly lacked the past two years when injuries piled up, and so did the losses.

No, it’s probably not enough to make the Canucks a playoff team. But that’s not really the point anymore in Vancouver, where the focus has shifted more to the future.

The Canucks were able to be active today in part because Ryan Miller‘s $6 million cap hit came off the books. The veteran goalie is likely to sign in Anaheim.