Canucks look to rebuild bottom six forwards once again
Here are five forwards — assuming they reach July 1 — who might intrigue the Canucks as they look to become more abrasiveness and add more scoring punch to their bottom-six group:
1. Right-winger Joel Ward (Nashville, age 30, cap hit $1.5 million in 2010-11): An outstanding checker and penalty killer, Ward also exhibited his scoring touch during the second playoff round against the Canucks.
2. Right-winger Tyler Kennedy (Pittsburgh, age 24, cap hit $725,000 in 2010-11): A classic third-liner, Kennedy is small but speedy and fearless. He is coming off an excellent 21-goal, 45 point season but wasn’t qualified by the Penguins, who claim they still want him back. Kennedy might not make it to Friday.
3. Left-winger Tomas Fleischmann (Colorado, age 27, cap hit $2.6 million in 2010-11): Scored 23 goals in 2009-10 with Washington but only 12 last season, which he split between the Capitals and Avalanche and was cut short to 45 games due to a blood disorder. He is supposedly better. Who knows? Is he worth the risk?
4. Right-winger Anthony Stewart (Atlanta/Winnipeg, age 26, cap hit $632,500 in 2010-11): One-time first-round pick in Florida in 2003, Stewart is a big body at a listed 6-2 and 240 pounds. Coming off a career best 39-point campaign with the Thrashers.
5. Left-winger Sean Bergenheim (Tampa Bay, age 27, cap hit $700,000 in 2010-11): Not big at 5-10, Bergenheim came up big in the playoffs, scoring nine goals in 16 playoff games for the Lightning. His career best regular season is just 15 goals so buyer beware. Was he a one-hit playoff wonder, or a player on the cusp of bigger things? A first-round pick by the Islanders back in 2002.