The Vancouver Canucks hit quite an important change this week, when the team and its president Trevor Linden announced Wednesday night they had “amicably” agreed to part ways, but no specific reason was given. Linden is leaving the organization, reportedly to "pursue different endeavours," after serving four years in the role. He was hired in April 2014 to take over from Mike Gillis. It is believed Linden and ownership might not have seen eye-to-eye on the direction of the team’s current rebuild.
It just added to the many other projects the Canucks have this summer to improve their roster and become a contender once again, starting as early as possible. However, some players in the lineup are struggling to create offense, and it seems like general manager Jim Benning is looking at the option of helping one specific winger to regain his offensive power.
Then, Benning would be able to finally trade him...
According to Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province, the Canucks are facing one of their most-challenging projects in helping winger Loui Eriksson regain his scoring touch. In his first two seasons with the Canucks he’s managed a total of 21 goals. While Vancouver is reportedly looking to move him, fans appear doubtful that it's possible because of Eriksson’s contract ($6 million annual cap hit through 2021-22). People see him as untradeable.
However, Botchford has great news for fans: he points out the winger received a $6-million signing bonus for this season, leaving his actual salary at $1 million. In actual salary, Eriksson is due to be paid $14 million over the next four years, which could make his contract movable if the winger shows he’s can return to his old habits, and be an offensive threat once again.
Botchford also revealed in his article that only one team in the National Hockey League has shown interest in acquiring Eriksson. He said the Montreal Canadiens are the only team that’s expressed interest in Eriksson thus far, however, if the Canuck's elaborate plan to push the winger forward and make him regain his offensive touch works, many more suitors could come forward and attempt to land him, possibly closer to the trade deadline.
Will this plan work? Or will it fail and Eriksson will remain doomed to remain an untradeable player?
Source: Vancouver Province
Photo Credit: Zuma Press