It’s a solid signing at the right price for the Canucks as they ink ex-Kraken defenceman Carson Soucy for three years at $3.25-million per season.
The big lefty, 6-foot-5, 210-pounds wanted a little more dough and a little more ice time. One down, one to go, and he should get it.
As we suggested in a preview of his departure Friday, the bottom pair blueliner was 6th in percentage of ice time among the Kraken regulars, a group that stayed remarkably healthy, while putting up solid numbers.
He’ll make an impact on the penalty kill with the Canucks.
He contributed the points one would expect in 2022-’23, chipping in 3 goals and 13 assists in 78 games. His job is taking care of business in his own end. He’ll deliver hits, block shots and work the walls effectively. He’ll use his large frame to pin guys.
Some of those he’ll be pinning will be his ex-Kraken teammates, which will add a little spice to what should be a burgeoning regional rivalry. Depending on the line-ups, we might get somewhat of a harmless taste of it in a preseason.
The first for-real meeting between the two clubs will happen November 24th at the Climate Pledge Arena. Given the franchise is only two seasons old and Soucy was there for both of them, he’ll probably get a nice little welcome back moment. Not sure if it qualifies for a video tribute, but these days they seem more frequent.
There will be love in the building until he delivers his first big hit, or vice versa.
As we speak the Vancouver Canucks now have five NHL defencemen under contract. The team also signed versatile 34-year-old former Stanley Cup winner Ian Cole to a one-year deal worth $3-million. He won Cups with Pittsburgh in 2016 and 2017 and played last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Vancouver is the lefty’s 8th NHL stop. Regardless as to where he’s played, his teams have made the playoffs for the last nine consecutive seasons.
He’s another experienced, strong PK option.
Another new face essentially will be right-handed, 25-year-old Czech D-man Filip Hronek. Acquired March 1st from the Detroit Red Wings, he arrived injured and played in only four games for the Canucks.
This past week, the club didn’t offer injured righty Ethan Bear a contract and he became an unrestricted free agent (UFA). He had shoulder surgery in mid-June and is expected to be out for up to six months.
The Canucks also added forward Teddy Blueger on Saturday for one season at $1.9-million.
Canucks GM Patrik Allvin could obviously still do some dealing. He also has some other D-men on two-way contracts with NHL experience. He’ll address selected media at Rogers Arena at 1:15 pm pacific time.
Kraken General Manager Ron Francis will speak with us at 2:30 pm pacific time Saturday at the Kraken Community Iceplex. Right now, other than departures and a new contract for goalie Joey Daccord, there’s not much else to talk about. The Kraken haven’t pulled the trigger on any free agents … yet.
Will he be taking a plunge into free agent waters, or replacing Soucy with the likes of talented 21-year-old Ryker Evans? Former Canucks undrafted signee out of Quinnipiac University Brogan Rafferty was also very good for the AHL Coachella Valley Firebirds last season, but to our knowledge he’s not an NHL plug-in for Seattle at this point. He previously played three NHL games for the Canucks.
Surely they’re not thinking 30-year-old Jayson Megna, just because he’s even bigger than Soucy at 6-foot-6, 220-pounds, is an adequate replacement. He’s a 7th or 8th NHL defenseman.
A body or two will have to be added and the Kraken have the cap space and contracts available to go in a number of different directions. Admittedly there is no rush, particularly if you’re signing lower-end guys, and the market never closes.
(A version of this story appeared at SeattleHockeyInside.com)