Canucks winger Sven Baertschi was expected to be among Vancouver’s list of nine recalls for their upcoming Qualifying Round series against Minnesota but that won’t be the case anymore. Instead, he has informed the team that he has opted out of returning, reports Rick Dhaliwal of TSN 1040 and The Athletic (Twitter link).
This season was one to forget for the 27-year-old as he spent the majority of the season the minors with AHL Utica. To his credit, he was quite productive with the Comets, picking up 13 goals and 33 assists in just 43 games but it failed to materialize into much of an NHL opportunity has he had just six games with Vancouver where he had two assists.
Baertschi cleared waivers at the start of the season, largely due to his contract which carries a $3.367MM cap hit and runs through the 2020-21 campaign. While his camp had asked for a trade on multiple occasions, nothing came of it with that contract likely being the sticking point. The Canucks will have to decide in the offseason whether or not they want to buy out the last year of that deal or have him back in a similar role for next season.
In the meantime, Baertschi’s withdrawal has opened up a spot for Kole Lind to attend camp with the Canucks. The second-year pro has yet to play in the NHL but saw his production increase considerably compared to his rookie year; he had 44 points in 61 games this season after just having 17 in 51 contests in 2018-19.