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Wake With Elias: Benning’s Buyout Options, Bad Take SZN & Ottawa makes a “monster” hire

Honestly, Ottawa’s latest hire seems like a move the Canucks would have made...

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Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks
Could Braden Holtby (pictured) be ont he way out after one season in Vancouver?
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

With the Stanley Cup now concluded and the window now open, things are about to get interesting for all 32 teams in the NHL.

Interesting days might be on the horizon...but so far, there have been crickets since the buyout window opened.

As we wait for news to drop, let’s review the Canucks buyout options, and the only two realistic candidates for a buyout.

Buyout options for the Canucks

From the Canucks point of view, the only buyout candidates that really make sense are Jake Virtanen and Braden Holtby. Virtanen of course, could still have his contract terminated based on how things proceed in court in regards to his sexual misconduct allegations. There’s been no news on that front since he denied the allegations against him one month ago.

Still, this is a buyout that makes sense for a barrage of reasons. Buying him out would only cost $50,000 next season and $500,000 in 2022-23. Whether it’s a contract termination or a buyout, Virtanen should no longer be a part of this team by July 27th.

In terms of Holtby, there’s a strong argument that he should be bought out as well. For a team as cap-strapped as the Canucks, there’s no good reason to keep a $4.3 million backup goaltender on the roster.

Buying out Holtby would cost the Canucks $500,000 on the cap next season (for cap savings of $3.8 million), while costing the team $1.9 million on the cap in 2022-23. However, as of writing, there is another $15 million in wasted cap space coming off the books for the 2022-23 season, with Loui Eriksson, Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Roberto Luongo’s cap recapture all expiring.

The Canucks can stomach Holtby’s $1.9 million cap hit next season, they need the flexibility heading into next season, and they’d be better off with a cheaper back-up anyways (James Reimer, Laurent Brossoit are both goalies with local connections who are UFAs). I think it’s still very much up in the air if Holtby is bought out, but doing so makes a lot of sense.

One common argument is that the Canucks should just give Seattle a sweetener to take Holtby. Great...but what is that sweetener? A second-round pick? A first-rounder? There are cheaper and better goalies available for a Seattle. I don’t see them taking on Holtby’s contract with a sweetener like Kole Lind.

Of course, Seattle could just do the Canucks a massive favour by selecting Holtby in the expansion draft, which Evolving Wild recently predicted. I don’t think that’s likely because there are better, cheaper options available, but perhaps Holtby’s name cache couple with the Canucks this list of good, unprotected players makes selecting the 31-year-old a legitimate possibility. If Seattle doesn’t select Holtby during the expansion draft on July 21st, the Canucks would have until July 27th to buy him out. Nothing will happen on the Holtby front until at least the 21st of July anyways, since he fulfills the Canucks expansion requirements as an available goaltender who is under contract next season.

For the rest of the buyout candidates, particularly those that want to see Antoine Roussel, Jay Beagle and Loui Eriksson bought out, unfortunately the Canucks basically get better cap savings by just burying them in the minors. They’ll have eat those contracts until the end of the 2021-22 season.

Toronto, why you gotta be like that?

It’s always cute when Leafs’ writers think they know what’s going on outside of the Centre of the Universe.

Our SB Nation NHL familia over in Toronto did an article on the buyout window opening last Friday. In the column, they had two buyout candidates for the Canucks (not named Virtanen or Holtby). One was Loui Eriksson (which as we know, doesn’t make sense). The other...

There’s some quality work coming from the Pension Plan Puppets factory, but this has to be one of the worst takes I’ve read in a long time...and that includes reading over my own work!

Boeser might have to be qualified at $7.5 million next season, which is a high number, but he’s also proven to be a first-line, play-driving forward. He was also the Canucks most consistent forward last season.

Calling jaded-Leafs writers “cute” for their tone-deaf takes is the nicest thing I can say.

Other Canucks News

  • The cap-strapped Canucks have a long to-do list this offseason [Sportsnet]
  • 9 trade and UFA targets for the Canucks at centre [The Athletic]
  • The Seattle Kraken announced their preseason schedule, which begins at home (in Spokane) against the Canucks on September 26th. [TSN]
  • Should the Canucks draft Simon Edvinsson? [Vancouver is Awesome]
  • Will Lockwood checks in as the Canucks 7th-best prospect on this list. [The Province]
  • Nick Bondi will record another episode of Power of the Towel today. If you missed it, go check out the last episode featuring Bik Nizzar of Sportsnet 650. [Nucks Misconduct Podcasts]

Around the NHL

  • After spending far too long decades in the broadcast booth, Pierre McGuire finds himself back in the front office with the Ottawa Senators, naming him Senior Vice-President of Player Development. [Ottawa Sun]
  • In Elliotte Friedman’s latest 31 Thoughts column, he focuses on Olympic participation and other NHL offseason tidbits. [Sportsnet]
  • Finally, you’ll see the Canucks selection in the SB Nation NHL Mock Draft soon, but our Sabres family over at Die by the Blade got things started this morning. [Die By The Blade]