The Canucks talent up front is unquestionable. The depth, however, still has question marks.
One of the main keys for success in the NHL is to collect depth...just ask the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the Canucks do have a plethora of players chomping at the bit to make the team at all positions, extra depth is something that you can never have enough of.
Although preseason action is already underway, it’s not entirely out of the question that the Canucks may consider bringing in an additional player on a professional tryout contract. Considering the Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes contract stalemates, as well as the uncertainty of Travis Hamonic being available for opening night, the Canucks could benefit from bringing in an extra body to add a certain layer of security to their lineup.
There are still a few intriguing options for Jim Benning to choose from. If you include Pettersson and Hughes, the Canucks currently find themselves at 46 contracts, leaving enough wiggle room to bring in additional bodies if needed.
Let’s look at a couple of players the Canucks could still potentially consider bringing in on a PTO.
Demers brings many attributes to the table that the Canucks would surely like to add to their backend. He’s reliable defensively and can easily be deployed against the top players of opposing teams at even strength or even the penalty kill. In addition to that, he always adds a layer of snarl to the lineup and his experience of almost 700 games in the league would make him a great mentor for the younger players on the blueline.
Furthermore, He spent the last 4 seasons with the Coyotes, predominantly playing on a pairing with newly acquired Oliver Ekman-Larsson so there is some familiarity there as well.
However, the potential red flag here is the fact that Demers may not be all too intrigued with the idea of playing for the Canucks. According to TSN’s Pierre Lebrun, Demers nixed a trade to Vancouver back in 2017 in a deal that would have seen Erik Gudbranson heading back to Florida. Regardless though, there is a significant difference between what the Canucks roster looked like then as opposed to now, and especially if Travis Hamonic isn’t available to this team for the next little bit, bringing in Demers would definitely be a low-risk high-reward counter approach.
Another low-risk, high reward option to strengthen the bottom 6 depth of this squad, Pirri is definitely someone the Canucks should consider adding to their group.
According the Rick Dhaliwal, the Canucks have been in touch with Brandon Pirri’s camp in regards to potentially signing him to a tryout. The 30-year-old forward who has spent parts of the last 4 seasons playing within the Vegas Golden Knights organization, there is no denying the fact that Pirri does have a decent scoring touch. He’s rippled the mesh 72 times in 276 NHL games, and Pirri is just a couple of years removed from a season where he potted 12 goals in 31 games (a pace of 31 goals in a full 82 game season).
In addition to that, Pirri can play in all three forward positions which would add versatility and flexibility for the Canucks in the bottom half of their lineup.
In conclusion, I really believe the Canucks will benefit from adding at least 1 more player to their roster before they play the Edmonton Oilers 3 weeks from now on opening night. A team that has had quite the history of being bit by the injury bug pretty often, some extra help and options would definitely be beneficial throughout the duration of this season. What do you think Canucks fans? Do you think the Canucks should sign at least 1 more player to a PTO? Who are some other potential options you would like to see the team target?