So much for the Vancouver Canucks’ monster fourth-line from last season.
After Tyler Motte departed at the trade deadline, we learned today that the other two members of the vaunted fourth line — Matthew Highmore and Juho Lammikko — will also become unrestricted free agents after they weren’t qualified by today’s deadline.
Both players had career years for the Canucks last season.
Matthew Highmore became a Bruce Boudreau favourite after returning from a two-month absence following the Christmas break. He registered career highs with five goals and 12 points in 46 games, averaging 12:42 per night.
Juho Lammikko found himself in Travis Green’s doghouse as a healthy scratch, registering only lonely assist in 20 games under the Canucks’ old bench boss.
Under Boudreau though, the Finnish centre posted seven goals and 14 points in 55 games. He was also competent defensively and in the faceoff circle.
Highmore and Lammikko were serviceable fourth-liners, but they did see their effectiveness waver after the departure of Motte.
While both could be had on cheap contracts, the Canucks must see some other more intriguing pieces on the UFA market.
DiPietro qualified & other notes
The Canucks did announce that goaltender Michael DiPietro was extended a qualifying offer.
That was a must for the Canucks, although it doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll be back next season.
27-year-old Justin Bailey, who played 14 games for the Canucks last season, was not extended a qualifying offer.