It’s not a rebuild or a reload for the Vancouver Canucks, it's a reset. Whatever the term — and reset is kind of a catchy one, don't you think? — general manager Mike Gillis has some work to do in massaging the Canucks’ lineup. And it's going to be all about money. The Canucks have been a spend-to-the-cap team under Gillis, but that cap is coming down significantly in the 2013-14 season due to the lockout that squandered millions in NHL revenues. Gillis will have to shed at least $6 million in salary to stay within the new $64.3-million limit. The Canucks currently have 16 players under contract for 2013-14 at a total cost of $63,502,777. This includes out-going netminder Roberto Luongo (we think, finally) and out-of-favour defenceman Keith Ballard, which would remove more than $9.5 million of cap space. The 16 players are broken down into two goalies, six defencemen and eight forwards, certainly not enough to ice a team. At the very least, the Canucks needs to carry seven defenceman and 13 forwards. Management will have to find cap space to fill out those positions as well as accounting for a backup goalie. Gillis and right-hand man Laurence Gilman have two compliance buyouts with which to work in reducing payroll. It is expected Ballard will be one unless Gillis can pull off a miraculous trade with a team wanting a $4.2-million bench-warmer.
Canucks face killer cap crunch in reset mode
Vancouver Sun | May 11