Today is Saturday July 10, 2010

Shane O'Brien has accepted his qualifying offer, and agreed to re-sign with the Canucks for one year at $1.6 million.

The contract leaves the Canucks with 22 roster players signed and less than $300,000 of cap space. At $59.133 million, the Canucks are just $266,000 under the NHL salary cap. A team can go over the cap by as much as 10% before the start of the season.

But the Canucks' cap number right now doesn't include Cody Hodgson's $1.6 million cap hit, or the new contract for Mason Raymond, who filed for arbitration Monday. As it stands now, O'Brien is the Canucks' seventh defenceman and, at his price that's a luxury few teams can afford.

Behind O'Brien, Vancouver also has both Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts under contract as depth defencemen.

The next shoe to drop is expected to be a trade and the biggest name on the block is Kevin Bieksa, whose cap hit is $3.75 million. There was a lot of interest in Bieska initially as GM Mike Gillis took 10 calls about his availability before he took a couple of days off.

A Bieksa deal interestingly is exactly what it would take to get both Hodgson and Raymond on the roster with some wiggle room. But the Canucks can't take much salary back as it stands now.

It's possible then that O'Brien is not a lock to last the summer as a Canuck. Even if Bieksa is traded, bumping O'Brien up, the blueliner's price tag is still unusually high, considering he would then be Vancouver's sixth defenceman.

Still, he's a better option than either Rome or Alberts. He has been tripped up by his immaturity a couple times since coming to Vancouver, but the enthusiasm he brings to the game is needed on what can be a pretty staid group of guys in the Vancouver locker room.

O'Brien can also play a top-four role for a couple weeks if needed because of injuries, and not look out of place. That makes him a good fit in terms of talent as a sixth d-man.



Your Comments

dave D

Salo should be taken out of the picture and if nothing else buy him out and get rid of him, he's a has been and can't play any more, he's to old , no legs.

July 07, 2010
5:55 PM

The Canucks should really try to get Salo to waive his no trade and move him for picks as well as Bieksa.  Keep O'Brien as the #5 Dman, and yes, let him play top 4 when there's an injury.  It just doesn't make sense to keep Salo around, he's too fragile.  Frankly, he's a bigger strategic risk than O'Brien.  At least you know what you're going to get from SOB, and every year it seems to be a little bit better than the last.

July 07, 2010
1:26 PM
Buck Naked

He'll be gone and the new management in Vancouver will regret it. The current management didn't even post this on their website. No class at all!

July 07, 2010
11:20 AM

“He’s got familiarity here so he wanted to come back,” said Canucks assistant GM Lorne Henning. “We like him, he’s versatile. He’s got a good skill level, he got good size, he’s a good skater and gets in on the forecheck and he’s good on the penalty kill.”

This is how they describe Bolduc, and they are paying him 500K a year. So here is Bieska getting 3.6M a season, anyone would have a problem putting together two of the six qualities mentioned above to describe Bieska.  Good riddens to you & Demitra both.

July 06, 2010
9:42 PM

You had me at 'Trade Bieksa'.  All attitude and nothing to back it up.

July 06, 2010
9:33 PM
No Love for lightweight Euros

Bieksa is a lightweight pretender, Hansen, filing for arbitratration is a retarded move. Both KB + Hansen would look great playing in the AHL.

SOB is the only Canuck of size, the only Nuck over 220 lbs. The team needs SOB's size + grit.The sooner the hitless, handless, Hansen + woosey, error prone, Bieksa are gone the sooner the team gets better.

July 06, 2010
7:46 PM

O'Brien was once traded for a first over all draft pick, Ducks to Lightning, and when you see Andrej Meszaros going for a 2nd rounder, who was a minus 14 and put up all of 20 points. It's not out of the realm to think SOB could go for a 2nd rounder. If you haven't noticed this off season defenceman are a premium.

July 06, 2010
6:49 PM

How could you not keep O'brian after the heart he showed in the playoffs ?? He is EXACTLY the type of player this team needs, especially since he is on a 1 year deal, which should help to keep him in check. He is a gutsy, much improved player and i think that Gillis would be nuts to dispose of him and keep some of the others he has hanging around ( Bieksa, Rome , Alberts). As goofy as the guy can be, he's got passion and you just cant buy that ! A keeper for sure !!!

July 06, 2010
5:31 PM

At 1.6 million SOB is expensive for a #6 defenceman. Beiksa will go, of course, but that still does not leave enough cap room to fill out the team. I agree that if Burrows starts the season on IR that delays the crunch, but the crunch will come and some salary will have to go. I like SOB but I still think the chances are good that the Canucks will trade him..

July 06, 2010
3:14 PM

o'brien for a high draft pick?  what are you smoking cnkfn80?  that price tag is too high for his abilities.  i can't see teams being quite so interested in offering up anything too much for bieksa after a mediocre year and knowing the position the canucks are in.  

July 06, 2010
3:09 PM

Alex Burrows will probably be on the long-term injury list for 1-2 months into the season to heal his shoulder.  He's only a 2 mil cap hit, but his replacement should be significantly less than that.  That should help to alleviate any cap space issues for the opening night roster.

July 06, 2010
2:52 PM

It would be tough to fit him in the lineup, but his game advanced miles this past year. The Caps should be looking to pick him up through trade for a high draft pick. Him and Green would be a great D pairing and O'Briens defence abailities would allow Green to play his game. Plus O'Briens grit could protect the Cap's highly skilled players!

July 06, 2010
2:15 PM

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