The Canucks have some salary cap space to work with on July 1, but not as much as you’d think.It’s called free-agent frenzy by the cliché-happy sports networks, when NHL teams have an opportunity to upgrade, patch holes or find a star. It’s a time when enough money can buy happiness or at least offer hope where it may not have existed after the annual entry draft.Starting on Canada Day, the Vancouver Canucks will have a chance to address their needs when the free-agent window opens. But competition will be stiff and the cost won’t be cheap.Here are a few things you may want to know:1.) How much cap space does Vancouver have to play with?Because of Roberto Luongo’s official retirement this week, the Canucks are working with a salary cap roughly $3 million below every other NHL team. Vancouver has about $16.5 million in cap space to work with.2.) Are the Canucks going to sign Tyler Myers?The popular answer with local puck pundits seems to be “almost certainly yes!”3.) Are the Canucks going to sign any other free agents?Vancouver general manager Jim Benning said he’s been focused on acquisitions that make the team better, so “maybe?” There isn’t a lot of wiggle room in the cap if you sign Myers.4.) Would Vancouver like to make more trades?Almost certainly, but the abundance of highly paid — but low production — forwards may keep Benning from doing much.Both Loui Eriksson and Brandon Sutter hold roster spots you assume the Canucks would like to hand to younger players, but their big salaries make them difficult to move.The Canucks could offer to retain some of each player’s salary — Sutter has two seasons left at $4.375 million, Eriksson three years at $6 million — to sweeten a pending deal.If they could move either, they’d open cap space to make another move or two. Buying out the final year of Ryan Spooner’s contract would also create some cap space for the Canucks.
The Canucks already have 20 players on their NHL roster. (CapFriendly.com)
5.) Who is still left to sign in Vancouver?The Canucks have a number of restricted free agents who need new deals: Brock Boeser, Tyler Motte, Josh Leivo, Nikolay Goldobin, Josh Teves and Brogan Rafferty.Boeser and Leivo figure to be on the NHL roster next fall and between the two they’ll likely chew up $10 million or so of that remaining $16.5 million.Benning says he’s still talking with unrestricted free agent defencemen Ben Hutton and Luke Schenn, but they feel like low-priorities at the firstname.lastname@example.orgTwitter.com/risingactionCLICK HERE to report a typo.Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email email@example.com