Monday, July 06, 2009

Canucks Re-Sign O'Brien and Sign Andrew Raycroft

The Canucks took care of some business today re-signing defenseman Shane O'Brien and replacing Jason Labarbera with Andrew Raycroft.

Shane O'Brien and the Canucks agreed to a 1 year $1.6m contract, avoiding salary arbitration. O'Brien had an up and down season last year, the low point being the whole mess or "misunderstanding" over management wanting him to drop the gloves more. O'Brien is only 25 and certainly has some untapped potential. He kinda reminds me of Jovanovski in a way. By no means does he have Jovo's wheels or offensive skills, but he does have confidence in carrying the puck. Unfortunately he also share's Jovo's propensity to make mental mistakes. It will be interesting to see how he develops, he will never be a top pairing guy, but I think he has the potential to be a solid #4 defenseman.

Considering the increase in pay it is likely the Canucks will also hope to increase O'Brien's role. With the loss of Ohlund, O'Brien currently sits fifth on the depth chart.

As for Andrew Raycroft, this has "depth move" written all over it. Raycroft has (reportedly) signed for the minimum $500k and will have to beat out Cory Schneider for the backup job. You could do a lot worse and spend a lot more money filling the backup goaltender position. Raycroft's chances of playing a game for the Canucks likely ride on whether Cory Schneider is traded or not.

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