One thing of note Saturday was when the Vancouver Canucks passed on a second potential buyout window. A buyout would only have applied to players making more than a $4MM AAV, which meant the only player that it likely would have applied to was center Brandon Sutter. However, the Canucks opted not to make a move to buy him out, according to Postmedia’s Ben Kuzma.
Sutter, who is entering the final season of a five-year, $21.9MM contract that he signed back in 2015, hasn’t been particularly effective the last two years as injuries have kept him to just 70 games over the two seasons, although he did manage to appear in all 17 playoff games during the most recent playoffs. He finished the 2019-20 season with eight goals and 17 points in 44 games. However, at $4.38MM AAV, the team could have benefitted from a buyout with the team’s cap situation extremely tight. A buyout would have saved the team $2.33MM in cap space this season. However, the team wouldn’t have benefitted much, especially considering they would have to replace Sutter in the lineup somehow. On top of that, the team lost a significant amount of leadership after Chris Tanev and Jacob Markstrom left via free agency. Having Sutter in the locker room is worth something as well.
“We have to be careful that we take everything into consideration before we start buying people out,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning. “He kills penalties and plays a match-up role and losing him would be a big void in the room.”
- Sticking with the Canucks, Kuzma reports that the team and Benning did offer Josh Leivo, who signed with the Calgary Flames on Saturday, a similar deal. The 27-year-old who played parts of the last two seasons for the Canucks decided against staying. He was acquired midseason in 2018 from the Toronto Maple Leafs and missed the second half of this past season after he suffered a fractured knee cap. He had seven goals and 19 points in 36 games. Leivo signed a one-year deal at $875K with Calgary.
- Much credit went to Edmonton Oilers general manager Ken Holland who signed unqualified forward Josh Archibald last offseason and saw him thrive. Despite being a perfect candidate for the fourth-line right wing position, the Edmonton Journal’s Kurt Leavins writes that with so many right wings on the roster, he wouldn’t be surprised if the team asked Archibald to move to his off wing and take up a spot on the team’s third line alongside newly signed Kyle Turris and Jesse Puljujarvi. Archibald has showed a knack for offense with 24 goals over the past two seasons and could provide that line with some much needed grit.