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Canucks re-sign center Teddy Blueger to two-year deal

Teddy Blueger’s cap hit will be $1.8 million, which is less than his last contract with the Canucks.

The Vancouver Canucks continued to set the table for free agency on Wednesday, re-signing a key bottom-six tight end to a very reasonable contract.

Among forwards who spent the entire season with the Canucks, Teddy Blueger ranked fifth in average ice time, playing 14:56 per game. He matched his career high with 28 points in 68 games, was 53.1% from the faceoff circle and was instrumental on the penalty kill – leading all Canucks forward in short ice time.

Blueger would have been a tough player for the Canucks to replace, so thankfully that won’t be necessary as he signed a two-year contract with an average annual value of $1.8 million on Wednesday.

Despite the salary cap going up next season, that’s actually a reduction from Blueger’s previous contract with the Canucks, which had a cap hit of $1.9 million. However, that contract had a term of only one year. The Canucks gave Blueger some security with a two-year contract, which likely helped lower the cap.

The deal also includes a 12-team no-trade clause, which could also have helped keep the cap reasonable as it gives Blueger a small degree of control over where he plays over the next two seasons.

“Teddy was an important addition to our team last year and we are very pleased to have him back for a few more seasons,” Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said in a statement. “His versatility and experience have helped our group tremendously, both in the regular season and in the playoffs. He is a strong leader and someone we will rely on much more in the future.”

The 29-year-old center has been part of one of the best third lines in hockey this season, teaming up with Conor Garland and Dakota Joshua to form a line with many nicknames, such as the Good Job Boys, the No Name Line and the 3st Line. While Garland is still under contract, Joshua could leave Vancouver as he could fetch a high price in free agency.

Re-signing Blueger became especially important when it became clear that the Canucks would not be able to bring back Elias Lindholm. With few centers available in free agency, it makes sense to keep Blueger on a reasonable deal to ensure the Canucks still have strong depth in the middle of the ice.

Adding Blueger’s $1.8 million salary cap to the roster also provides more clarity on the Canucks’ salary cap as free agency approaches on July 1.

canucks-cap-space-with-blueger

The Canucks currently have approximately $17.7 million in cap space with 17 players on the roster. Their biggest needs are a top-six winger – possibly two if they prefer to field Pius Suter in the middle – a right-shot top-four defender and two bottom defenders.