The Vancouver Canucks’ Busy Offseason: A Challenge for Patrik Allvin and Management

The Vancouver Canucks’ Busy Offseason: A Challenge for Patrik Allvin and Management

The offseason is always a critical period for any NHL team, and this year is no different for the Vancouver Canucks. Fresh off an impressive season that saw them advance to the second round of the playoffs and finish sixth overall in the league, the Canucks face numerous challenges and decisions that will shape their future. With the $2.3 million dead cap space from the buyout of Oliver Ekman-Larsson taking effect and eating up the cap increase slated for next year, replicating last season’s shrewd roster moves might be a daunting task. Yet, Patrik Allvin and the Canucks management team have proven their ability to make tough decisions. Here’s a look at the key issues and players that will define this offseason for the Canucks.

Navigating Cap Constraints

The financial constraints imposed by the Ekman-Larsson buyout will significantly impact the Canucks’ ability to retain key players and make necessary additions. Last season, Allvin and his team demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in managing the cap, but repeating that success will require even more creativity and bold decision-making.

Notable Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs)

Teddy Blueger
Blueger signed a very affordable one-year deal with the Canucks and performed admirably in a bottom-six role. His success has demonstrated that he can be an excellent utility player, and teams in need of a solid third or fourth-line center with some upside may be willing to offer more than the Canucks can afford. The chances of Blueger re-signing with the Canucks seem to be around 40%, given the likely higher offers he might receive elsewhere.

Dakota Joshua
Joshua’s transformation under head coach Rick Tocchet was nothing short of remarkable. The big, physical winger exceeded expectations, becoming an essential part of the Canucks lineup. When he was injured near the end of the season, the team’s performance noticeably dipped. Allvin will prioritize re-signing Joshua, but his impressive season will attract interest from other teams, potentially driving up his asking price. The odds of re-signing Joshua are about 60%, reflecting both the team’s desire to keep him and the financial challenges involved.

Sam Lafferty
Acquired from the Maple Leafs, Lafferty started strong but saw his production slip as the season progressed. His good size and speed make him a valuable asset, but the Canucks will likely only re-sign him if the price is right. Given the salary crunch, the chances of Lafferty returning are around 30%.

Elias Lindholm
The Canucks paid a hefty price to acquire Lindholm from Calgary, including a first-round pick, Andrei Kuzmenko, and promising prospect Hunter Brzustewicz. Lindholm’s faceoff prowess and defensive skills were crucial in the playoffs, but re-signing him seems unlikely due to salary cap constraints. The odds of Lindholm staying with the Canucks are unfortunately low, at around 10%.

Nikita Zadorov
Zadorov made a significant impact after being acquired from Calgary, providing physicality and timely goals. His playoff performance might have priced him out of the Canucks’ budget, but the team will likely make a solid effort to re-sign him. The chances are around 30%, given the financial limitations.

Ian Cole
Cole was a stabilizing veteran presence on the blue line and was signed at a cap-friendly $3 million. However, his age and the team’s cap situation make it unlikely they will be able to afford him at the same price. The odds of Cole re-signing are around 40%.

Casey DeSmith
DeSmith was a valuable veteran backup, allowing rookie Arturs Silovs to develop in Abbotsford. Despite his positive influence and work ethic, it may be time for Silovs to step up to the NHL, reducing the likelihood of DeSmith’s return to around 20%.

Tyler Myers
Myers had a resurgence this season, thanks to reduced ice time and better defensive support. His performance improved significantly, making him a valuable asset. With his roots in BC and mutual interest from both sides, the odds of Myers re-signing are around 60%.

Restricted Free Agent (RFA) Issue

Filip Hronek
Hronek, a restricted free agent, will require a new contract, which won’t come cheap. His second-half point production wasn’t as high as the first half, but he still finished with 48 points and a +33 rating. Hronek’s overall value extends beyond points and plus/minus stats, making him a crucial piece alongside Quinn Hughes. However, his contract demands will likely be substantial, potentially jeopardizing other signings. Comparable salaries for defensemen in his range suggest a significant financial commitment will be necessary to retain him.

Other Notable Issues

The Canucks have several other considerations to address, including the development of younger players and potential trades to manage cap space. Patrik Allvin and the management team will need to navigate these challenges carefully to build on the success of the past season.

Developing Young Talent
Players like Nils Höglander and Arturs Silovs showed promise and will be expected to take on larger roles. Höglander’s skill and Silovs’ goaltending potential are bright spots for the future, and their development will be crucial for the team’s long-term success.

Potential Trades
To manage cap space effectively, the Canucks might explore trade options. Moving players with larger contracts or those who no longer fit into the team’s plans could provide some financial relief and create opportunities to retain key contributors.

Coaching and Management Stability
Rick Tocchet’s impact as head coach has been profound, and maintaining stability in the coaching staff will be essential. Tocchet’s no-excuses approach and structured play style have resonated with the players, fostering a culture of accountability and hard work. Ensuring Tocchet and his coaching team have the support and resources they need will be vital for the Canucks’ continued success.


The Vancouver Canucks face a busy and challenging offseason, with significant decisions to be made regarding player contracts and cap management. Patrik Allvin and the management team have demonstrated their ability to make tough calls, and their ingenuity will be tested once again. The Canucks’ success last season, driven by key player performances and strategic acquisitions, has set high expectations for the future.

As the team navigates the complexities of the offseason, fans can remain optimistic that the foundation laid this season will lead to continued growth and success. The combination of skilled veterans, emerging young talent, and strong leadership from both players and coaches positions the Canucks for a promising future.

The 2023/2024 season was a testament to the Canucks’ resilience and potential. With careful planning and strategic decisions, the offseason can set the stage for another remarkable season ahead.

Go Canucks Go!

Leave a Reply