(Vancouver Canucks photo)

Vancouver Canucks sign veteran centre Sam Gagner

Gagner, a 27-year-old native of London, Ont., had a career-high 50 points in 81 games last season

The Vancouver Canucks were busy on the opening day of free agency Saturday, signing centre Sam Gagner to a US$9.45-million, three-year contract and defenceman Michael Del Zotto to a $6-million, two-year deal.

The Canucks also signed goaltender Anders Nilsson to a $5-million, two-year contract and inked defenceman Patrick Wiercioch, forward Alexander Burmistrov and forward Anton Rodin to one-year deals. Wiercioch’s deal is worth $650,000, Burmistrov’s contract is worth $900,000 and Rodin’s deal is for $700,000.

Gagner, a 27-year-old native of London, Ont., had a career-high 50 points (18-32) in 81 games last season with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The five-foot-11 202-pound forward has 402 points (142-260) in 696 career NHL regular-season games. Gagner, who spent his first seven NHL seasons with the Edmonton Oilers, has also played for the Arizona Coyotes and Philadelphia Flyers.

“Sam is a hardworking, right-shot centre with good speed and skill,†Canucks general manager Jim Benning said in a release. “He brings tremendous experience to our team and will set a good example for our younger players.”

Del Zotto, 27, had six goals and 12 assists in 51 games last season for the Philadelphia Flyers. He has 189 points (47-142) in 484 career regular-season games.

“Michael is a mobile, playmaking defenceman who adds depth and scoring to our blue line,” said Benning. “His ability to log big minutes and contribute in all situations will help our team be competitive every night.”

Nilsson, 27, played 26 games last season with the Buffalo Sabres. He had a 10-10-4 record along with a .923 save percentage and a 2.67 goals-against average.

“Anders has a big, athletic frame and we expect that he will compete at high level when called upon,” said Benning.

Nilsson has a 29-32-8 record in 78 career NHL games with a .908 save percentage and 2.94 GAA.

Wiercioch, 26, had 12 points (4-8) in 57 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. He has 74 points (16-58) in 268 career regular-season games.

Burmistrov, 25, split last season between the Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes. He had 16 points (5-11) in 49 games.

Rodin, 26, missed most of last season due to injury.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Editor bids farewell

Editor Paige Mueller will be leaving The Free Press team at the end of July

Aislinn Dressler competes in 2020 Youth Innovation Showcase

Dressler was a finalist at the showcase, exhibiting her energy efficient fridge design

Stories decorate city pathways for new reading initiative

The Fernie Women’s Resource Centre began the initiative in support of the local early years community

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

Metal detector rings true for Cranbrook couple

A Cranbrook couple went looking for a missing ring after reading a plea on Facebook

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Michael Buble among 13 British Columbians to receive Order of B.C.

Ceremony will be delayed to 2021 due to COVID-19

U.S. border communities feel loss of Canadian tourists, shoppers and friends

Restrictions on non-essential travel across the Canada-U.S. border have been in place since March 2`

Rollout of COVID-19 Alert app faces criticism over accessibility

App requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system

Alleged impaired driver sparks small wildfire near Lytton after crash: B.C. RCMP

Good Samaritans prevented the blaze from getting out of control

B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital twinning’ software to better manage territory

Software allows users to visualize what a mountain might look like if the trees on its slopes were logged

All inquiry recommendations implemented after fatal Port Hardy RCMP shooting: Ministry

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. cleared the RCMP officers involved of wrongdoing

Most Read