Vancouver surprised nobody today when they announced on Twitter they would not be re-signing recent acquisitions Brandon Saad and Eric Staal.
Brandon Saad, who plays both wings on ice, was brought in along with farm sensation Emil Bemstrom in exchange for fan favourite Conor Garland. Detroit also retained $1 million of Saad's salary ($2mil already retained), along with a draft pick exchange in 2023.
Future hall of fame scoring centre Eric Staal came to the Canucks from the Dallas Stars in a move which would see Vancouver also send 2nd rounders in the next 2 drafts to Dallas, with the Canucks getting late picks and a salary retainment on Staal.
In all, the Canucks are paying $1 million for the remainder of this season to Saad, and $1.5 million to Staal. The duo has combined to become the teams hottest forward players over the last 6 games, all from the 4th line. This success has managed to earn them a move up to the 3rd line, and possibly higher if it should continue.
With all of this success, some may wonder why the Canucks are not bothering to re-sign either of these very strong players.
"(Staal and Saad) know exactly why they were brought in here," said Canucks GM Aaron Sanderson. "These guys are here to help Vancouver win a Stanley cup by providing experience and skill to our lineup.
"We did well to fit them within the constraints of the salary cap, but the financial reality is that there is no way we can afford to offer either of these fine players a contract going forward. We see each of them making more than $3 million per season - maybe double that - and deservedly so.
"We just do not have the room for that."
"Yeah, this is part of the business," explained Staal after a morning skate. "I know what my role is here. I'm not the number one guy, and that's fine. I'm here to give it 100% every shift, and bring my playoff knowledge to the team and help for the cup run."
Saad couldn't be reached for official comment.
The Canucks have recently clinched their playoff spot and are challenging for the top spot in the Western Conference.