The Canucks were busy when the free agent market opened July 1, and apparently they weren’t done there, signing another unrestricted free agent forward on the first day of September.
Thomas Vanek is now a member of the Canucks.
On Friday, the team announced a one-year contract for Vanek, worth $2 million.
“Thomas has been a prolific scorer throughout his career and we’re excited to add his offence and experience to help with the continued growth of our forwards,” said general manager Jim Benning.
“His skill and ability to contribute on the scoresheet, combined with his lead-by-example style will help our team this year, and will benefit our younger players as they continue to develop their game.”
Now 33 years old, Vanek scored 17 goals and 48 points last season, as he split his time between Detroit and Florida. That total would’ve put him third on the 2016-17 Canucks in points. Vancouver has struggled mightily to score goals over the past two seasons and fell near the bottom of the overall standings.
Once a dominant scorer in the NHL, Vanek’s numbers aren’t what they used to be, but he should still be able to offer something offensively to his new team, which finished 29th in the league last season in goals-for per game.
This deal leaves the Canucks with about $5.375 million in available cap space, with 22-year-old restricted free agent center Bo Horvat still unsigned and due for a raise after progressing as the team’s most productive player during what was a dreadful 2016-17 season for the organization.
Of course, it adds another winger to the roster — Vancouver now has 16 forwards under contract on the roster, per CapFriendly — with youngsters like Jake Virtanen, Brock Boeser and Nikolay Goldobin looking to crack the NHL club for the upcoming season.