With the Vancouver Canucks acquiring foraward Brandon Sutter, Jim Benning believes the Canucks may be ready to start the season. This upcoming season will see a Western Conference vastly updated and stronger to take on the Stanely Cup champions, Chicago Blackhawks. This is a need Vancouver needed to do from an offense standpoint but also a salary cap too. Sutter will be jumping right behind the Sedins line which consist of Henrik and Daniel Sedin and complemented by scorer Radim Vrbata.
A reminder to our readers that the Canucks acquired Brandon Sutter with a conditional third-round draft pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. In exchange, the Pittsburgh Penguins receives forward Nick Bonino, defenseman Adam Clendening, and a second-round pick in 2016.
“When the games mean something that’s when he’s at his best,” Canucks general manager Jim Benning said of Sutter. “We looked at the other teams in our division and they all improved from the end of last season to now, and I think this move makes our team deeper and it gives us a better chance to compete with the teams in our division and in our conference.”
In an interview, yesterday, Jim Benning the general manager of the Vancouver Canucks admitted it wasn’t easy to trade Nick Bonino and Adam Clendening but without hesitation would pull the trigger on another trade, if he has to.
“If we don’t do anything more, I’m happy with the group we’ve assembled right now,” Benning said. “We’ve got some good competition among the forward group, and our defense has become more mobile and will transition the puck faster. I like our team heading into the season.”
A new deal on the horizon
The 26-year-old Sutter, who has one year left remaining on his current contract is an annual cap hit of $3.3M, he signed a two-year contract last year with the Penguins, he will be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer if he remains unsigned.
“We’ll be working with his agents on a new contract today and I’m hoping in the next few days we can get something locked up,” Benning said.
Sutter found out about the trade while on vacation and declared he was happy the canucks were engaged in wanting him resigned prio to the upcoming season.
“It’s a good feeling and hopefully over the next few days we’ll get something figured out,” he said. “If you would have asked me four years ago if I thought I would have been traded twice by now, I would have said no, but I didn’t want to go through the process of playing the whole year and not knowing each day what will happen and have to worry about the trade deadline.”
Reasons for letting Sutter go
Reasons are simple from a Pittsburgh penguins perspective. SALAR CAP!
Jim Rutherford admitted the salary cap was the reason for trading Brandon Sutter and allowing him to add more depth. The addition of Phil Kessel despite a salary portion being assumed by the Leafs left the Penguins in a position where they had to give themselves some flexibility for adding more depth. Sutter who was also employed on a third line, needed an increased ice time load. The trade of Sutter allowed Jim Rutherford to add free agent Eric Fehr who played last year with the Washington Capitals. Fehr signed a three year deal worth 6 million dollars with the Penguins and is a better and cheaper fit on the third line.
Bonino and Clendening
In his first season with the Canucks, Nick Bonino, 27, scored 15 goals and 24 assists in 75 games played with Vancouver. his first with the Canucks. The team acquired him in the 2014 off-season from Anaheim in the trade that sent centre Ryan Kesler to the Ducks. He was a sixth-round pick (173rd overall) of the San Jose Sharks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, Bonino has scored 48 goals and 73 assists in 264 career games with the Ducks and Canucks.
Bonino is entering the second season of a three-year contract, he signed prior to the 2014-15 campaign worth an average annual value of $1.9 million.
Clendening, 22, appeared in 21 games with the Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks in 2014-15, scoring one goal and three assists. The Canucks acquired him via trade mid-season in exchange for defenceman Gustav Forsling.
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