Canucks are getting off nearly $25 million in contracts this summer

The Vancouver Canucks have a big summer ahead of them.

The team exceeded all expectations this season and was one game away from the Western Conference Finals. They now need to find a way to improve the roster to get over that hump.

The good news is that the Canucks are getting rid of nearly $25 million in contracts. This means they’ll have money to attract free agents and facilitate trades as they look to bolster the roster.

Some of that newfound cap space will go to re-signing players with expiring contracts. Filip Hronek, Dakota Joshua, Elias Lindholm, and Nikita Zadorov are players who the Canucks will negotiate with and who will command a significant amount on their next deals.

Players like Tyler Myers, Teddy Blueger, Ian Cole, and Sam Lafferty are also free agents and will need to either be re-signed or replaced.

The Canucks also have to deal with the Oliver Ekman-Larsson buyout penalty increasing to $2,346,667. That’s a jump of more than $2 million from the $146,667 he cost the team last season.

They still have Tucker Poolman and his $2.5 million salary for one more season. He’s on long-term injury reserve and is not expected to ever play again.

The team’s CapFriendly page currently shows them as having 10 forwards, just three defencemen, and two goalies signed for the NHL next season. That leaves them with a lot of roster spots to fill and just under $24 million in cap space to do so.

Projected roster cap hit $61,575,000
Dead cap hit $2,346,667
Projected total cap hit $63,921,667
Projected salary cap space $23,778,333
Projected salary cap $87,700,000

This year’s wildly successful defence group, which helped the Canucks rank among the league’s best teams in terms of goals against, will likely look much different next year.

The team’s biggest needs include new defencemen and top-six wingers. They’ll need to get creative to replace all the outgoing players while also getting better.

Last year, the Canucks hit it out of the park in free agency and found lots of bargain players who ended up being key pieces. Patrik Allvin and Jim Rutherford will be put to the test again this summer, but they have inspired confidence that they can do it again.