2010 Free Agency: What The Vancouver Canucks Need

From Nucks Misconduct:

By signing Cory Schneider earlier this month, Gills solidified the back-up role left vacant by the departing Raycroft. Schneider will continue to be talked about as trade bait, so if that happens, Vancouver will be on the lookout for another cheap back-up as they have none in the pipeline.

It's possible (likely?) that Kevin Bieksa becomes a cap victim as you can't pay $3.7 million for a guy in the 5th slot. If they move Juice, another defenseman will have to be found. Another mystery will be the troublesome Shane O'Brien who may take the team to arbitration and potentially earn himself a swift kick to the ass right out of town.

With Demitra & Wellwood leaving via UFA - and Bernier and Grabner hunkered down in Florida - the Canucks have no one destined for their third line. It's probable that the Chicago series forced Gillis to shop for size and better defensive coverage, so he'll try and use free agency to fill those holes. Vancouver also needs a fourth line pivot to replace the likely departure of Ryan Johnson. Should Vancouver run into cap troubles along the way (which they most certainly will), they'll looks towards a handful of their notable prospects - Cody Hodgson & Jordan Schroeder or maybe Anton Rodin & Sergei Shirokov - to fill the holes, though they do not bring the size and experience Gillis wants. Regardless, many are eager for Hodgson to crack the roster and he'll be given every chance to do so.

For a full primer on the Canucks situation heading into July 1, check Nucks Misconduct.

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