Reaction to the Canucks’ acquisition of Brandon Sutter, plus updates on Mike Hoffman, Jonathan Bernier and Cam Talbot. 

Where does Brandon Sutter fit with the Canucks?

Where does Brandon Sutter fit with the Canucks?

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.