I’m not the only one who sees the Canucks’ defense as a weakness.
With their defensive depth depleted, the Canucks should be looking for a new goalie.
After signing Jannik Hansen to a five-year deal worth $11.9 million, the team will have the cap space to make the move.
They’ve shown they are willing to take on that kind of commitment in the past.
Hansen’s contract included a $2.9-million signing bonus.
If the Canucks were to bring back Hansen, he would become the team’s third-highest paid goaltender behind Roberto Luongo ($6.9M) and Tuukka Rask ($7.5M).
With the Canucks now on pace to spend $55 million on defense in the next three years, it’s time to make some changes at the position.
Sign a goaltender with a cap hit in the $5 million range.
This isn’t a position that has proven to be too expensive for teams to retain, but the Canucks are one of just two teams in the NHL to have two goalies under contract for more than $5.5 million.
That’s a big number.
Two of the other teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks.
The Canucks could use some goaltenders to give them depth on the back end.
While it’s easy to dismiss the need for a goaltender on the Canucks, there is value in getting a guy with cap hit of $5-6 million to work in the crease.
Two goals from Henrik Lundqvist would be worth $2 million more than a three-goal night from Rask, and a three goal night from Hansen would be $1.8 million more.
In addition to Hansen, the next most expensive goalie on the roster would be the Pittsburgh Penguins’ Ben Bishop, who has a $5,700,000 cap hit this season.
Bishop has started two of the team in the last three games, and the Canucks could get an even bigger return by adding a second goalie with a better cap hit to play alongside Lundqvists.
That would add an extra $2-3 million to the Canucks budget.
The best goaltender in the market right now is Ilya Bryzgalov, who’s worth $4.7 million.
He’s not a great value, but he would provide a veteran presence and experience.
A team like the Pittsburgh Pirates would be interested in getting Bryz, as they would need a goalie with cap hits of $3-4 million to compete with the Penguins.
Sign another goalie for less than $1 million.
The most expensive goaltender on this list is a guy named Henrik Zetterberg, who will be entering the final year of his contract at $4,100,000 per.
The fact that Zetter is a free agent at the end of the season could potentially push the price down a bit, but it’s still more than what a team could get for a player like Braden Holtby ($3.6M), who’s still coming off a $6 million cap hit last season.
The New York Islanders signed veteran backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a three year, $19 million contract this summer, but that could change if the Islanders want to bring him back next season.
Bernier has been a solid backup for the Islanders, posting a .933 save percentage and a 2.57 goals-against average in his two seasons with the team.
The Penguins have been looking for backup goaltenders for years, and it seems like the Canucks would be an ideal candidate to land a guy like Bernier.
Berniers salary would be more than double the price of the next closest goalie on this year’s list, Cam Talbot, who signed a three and a half-year, $13.5-million contract last summer.
Sign an unrestricted free agent for less.
The biggest reason the Canucks can’t afford to sign a goalie is because they already have one.
Ryan Miller is a bargain at $2,400,000 a season, but if he can’t find a team willing to give him more money, he could find himself on the trading block.
The Winnipeg Jets signed Miller to a one-year contract last week, and while the team has already made an offer to a team that can offer Miller more than that, the Jets are still seeking more than they’re willing to pay for Miller.
A deal that nets Miller $2 Million a year would be a major coup for the Canucks.
The Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals have all expressed interest in Miller.
Miller’s salary would likely be too much for the Vancouver Canucks to swallow, but they’d have to consider a return.
There’s also the possibility that the Canucks find a way to sign an unrestricted Free Agent like Dan Hamhuis, who is also a solid goalie.
HamhuISports.com currently lists HamhuIsports.net as