Reaction to the Canucks’ acquisition of Brandon Sutter, plus updates on Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Bernier and Cam Talbot.
THE PROVINCE/THE VANCOUVER SUN: Ben Kuzma and Brad Ziemer reports Canucks GM Jim Benning sees recently acquired center Brandon Sutter as a key piece in the club’s rebuilding process. In addition to becoming the Canucks’ new second-line center, Sutter is envisioned as a franchise building block to provide leadership and experience to their younger players. He’s eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency, but Ziemer reports a long-term contract extension is already in the works.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While some Canucks followers question giving up an NHL veteran (Nick Bonino), a promising but largely untested defenseman (Adam Clendening) and a second-round pick to Pittsburgh for Sutter and a third rounder, he’s unquestionably the better player in the deal. As long as his new contract isn’t ridiculously expensive, Sutter could indeed be a key piece in the Canucks’ long-term rebuilding process. He will buy time for promising Bo Horvat as he develops into a scoring-line center.
THE PROVINCE: The Canucks also re-signed forward Sven Baertschi to a one-year, one-way deal worth $900K.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This is Baertschi’s chance to establish himself as an NHL forward after washing out with Calgary. If he makes the most of this opportunity, he could become a solid pickup for the Canucks.
OTTAWA SUN: Senators forward Mike Hoffman’s arbitration hearing is scheduled for Thursday (July 30) in Toronto. He’s seeking a one-year deal worth $3.4 million, while the Senators are offering $1.75 million.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The two sides are reportedly still negotiating. A settlement in the range of $2.4 million annually could be possible.
TORONTO STAR: Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier’s arbitration hearing is slated for Friday, July 31. He could end up with a deal worth between $4.5 – $5 million. The sticking point is term, as Bernier seeks a long-term deal while the Leafs prefer a short-term “show me” contract.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Goaltender Cam Talbot expects a battle in the crease between himself, Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson for the starter’s job.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Talbot plays to the level we saw last season with the Rangers, it won’t be much of a battle.