The Vancouver Canucks have signed restricted free agent Tyler Motte to a one-year, $975K contract. The deal will leave Motte a RFA again next summer, though he will have arbitration rights. GM Jim Benning explained the move:
Tyler plays a physical, two-way game that complements our forward group. He’s strong on the forecheck, helps our penalty kill and showed he can contribute offensively last year. We’re pleased to have Tyler continue his career as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.
Motte, 24, ended up playing in 74 games last season for the Canucks, scoring nine goals and 16 points in a limited role. He did however lead the team in hits by a good margin, sacrificing his own body countless times to hunt down pucks in the offensive zone. The problem with logging that many hits—200 in his 74 contests—is it usually means that you don’t have the puck much. Motte registered terrible possession numbers for the third straight season in his young career, something that will have to improve if he’s ever to make a big impact on the team.
He becomes the 11th forward on the Canucks roster with a one-way contract, and with three more restricted free agents to go—Brock Boeser, Josh Leivo and Nikolay Goldobin—the team will have to make some tough decisions on who stays and who goes down to the minor leagues. The only waiver-exempt forwards on the roster are Boeser, Elias Pettersson and Adam Gaudette, meaning Vancouver will be in quite the roster crunch when the season rolls around if they don’t make any trades this summer.