In the Canucks busiest day of free agency, if you can call it that, the Canucks have inked a new backup to sit with Luongo – former Colorado Avalanche goalie Andrew Raycroft.
Raycroft after having a terrible season with a struggling Avalanche team gives the Canucks a solid backup behind Roberto. Raycroft who cannot be a starter would make a solid backup for the Canucks and as it is it’s hard to find a goalie that wants to play second fiddle to a superstar when they’re likely only going to see 12 games a year. His deal is for $500,000 which saves us 350k off of Labarbera’s salary, and a former Calder winner at a league minimum salary, as a back up, is hard to complain about. Even if he is terrible, how badly can you screw up 10 games?
The Canucks also signed rugged blueliner Shane O’Brien for what has to be Mike Gillis’ first mistake. Amidst all the struggles to fit inside the cap SOB has signed a one year 1.6 million dollar contract which is about a 600k increase from what he made last year. He had 0 Goals and 10 Assists last year’s regular season and in the playoffs, Canucks fans around BC could be heard rejoicing when he got his first ever goal in a Canucks uniform. O’Brien developed a lot as a player, but I really don’t think he’s worth a 1.6 cap hit. The signing for such a short term, and at 1.6 leads me to believe that Gillis really isn’t going to go after that top 4 defenseman, and the cap space is slowly running out.
Today Kyle Wellwood also elected to slap the Canucks with salary arbitration after rejecting their qualifying offer. This throws a wrench in Mike Gillis’ plans to sign players for cheap and lock up next year’s lineup, but I think Wellwood just bought his ticket out of Vancouver and will probably get a thank you card from Hodgson for freeing up a third line center spot for the Canucks rookie.