I hope you saved some of that "OMG free agency!!1" excitement left over from the Mike Santorelli deal because reports are Benn Ferriero is heading this direction:
Apr 29, 1987
I would show you stats from last year, but there isn't much to speak of.
Ferriero was a 7th round pick (196th) by the Coyotes in the 2006 Entry Draft, but never suited up for Phoenix due to finishing up his time at Boston College. He'd sign on with the Sharks in 2009 and played there until the lockout (92 games, 14G, 8A). He signed on with Pittsburgh right before the lockout and then was traded to the Rangers where he couldn't crack their bottom six, appearing in only four games. The Rangers moved his rights to the Wild on June 30th, the Wild released him to free agency and here we are.
From Blueshirt Banter (via HockeyWilderness):
It is hard for me to give a useful or informed analysis of Benn Ferriero and what he will and won't bring to the Wild because he played just 4 games with the Rangers (he scored just 1 assist). What I do recall about Ferriero (other than having a few extra consonants in his name) from his brief appearance as a Ranger is his great skating ability and high energy-level. A bottom-six forward who competes, skates fluidly, and plays much bigger than his frame should have been a great fit in New York but John Tortorella had a lot of players trying to crack into the bottom six of the Rangers this past season.
From Fear The Fin reviewing his 35 games with the Sharks in 2011-12:
Benn Ferriero Statistical Overview
Season GP TOI Corsi Rel QoC OZone% Corsi Rel EV G/60 EV P/60 2011-2012 35 421.73 0.301 (10th) 49.8% (9th) -3.3 (11th) 1.04 (1st) 1.04 (14th) 2010-2011 33 431.90 -0.693 (15th) 51.5% (5th) 8.8 (6th) 0.60 (8th) 1.21 (12th) 2009-2010 24 267.30 0.292 (8th) 51.5% (5th) 10.7 (1st) 0.48 (12th) 1.20 (12th)
Ferriero's minutes were much tougher this season than they were a year ago and marginally tougher than his rookie season in 2009-10, in large part due to the spot duty he enjoyed on Thornton and Pavelski's wing immediately after his second recall. As a result, his possession numbers (which had been exceptional in the past) suffered but that didn't stop Ferriero from posting the best even-strength goals per 60 rate on the team. Unfortunately, a lot of that was due to some good fortune as Ferriero's 10.6% even-strength shooting percentage, while certainly not outrageous, was second on the Sharks behind only Marleau and significantly higher than the 6.9% EV Sh% he managed over his first two seasons. We definitely don't have a large enough sample size to rule out Ferriero being a 10.6% EV shooter (especially considering he's been a 14.3% shooter over his AHL career, although that obviously includes power play performance) but it seems pretty damn unlikely.
From chatting with Rangers fans on the Twitter, it seems he made a decent enough impression on Tortorella in NY (and/or he fits in with the cash-strapped reality we're all come to know and love by now). Ferriero can easily slot in to a nice top six role for the Comets, but as seen above with with the Sharks he's a possible injury replacement for the top nine in Vancouver. That's not to assume he can't go gangbusters in camp and grab himself a fourth line spot either, but he's a bit like Andrew Ebbett: a flexible option to stash away just in case everything goes wrong. Which, in the case of the Canucks, is always a heartbeat away.
In addition, it appears Vancouver signed Brandon DeFazio, an undrafted, 6'1'' left winger who was recently in the Islanders organization. A career AHL'er, DeFazio has played 137 games (22-19-41) for both the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.
Just to make sure we keep our drama quotient on the up and up, DeFazio was suspended last year for leaving the bench to fight Brendon Segal of the Connecticut Whale after he decked teammate Matt Donovan. Here's the hit in question:
What was that about more bite coach?