Will Canucks Retain Andrew Ebbett, Dale Weise, Byron Bitz and Aaron Volpatti?
Canucks fourth-line in flux, again
The last we heard from Andrew Ebbett was via Twitter, a heartfelt thanks to everyone the diminutive centre crossed paths with in Vancouver before his long 40-hour drive back to Michigan last week. That’s Ebbett, a serviceable little man in a big man’s game and even a better person. A broken collarbone on just his third shift during an epic win at Boston on Jan. 7 didn’t kill his spirit or drive to survive a sizeable setback to his career. In the end, he had five goals in 18 games, understood his depth role and was on the top line for the final game of the regular season in the absence of the concussed Daniel Sedin and also centred the fourth line in the second game of the playoffs.
However, Ebbett’s next tweet could be from Europe because as a 29-year-old unrestricted free agent, his best options are probably elsewhere. A $525,000 US low-maintenance depth forward who can play centre or the wing and help the second power-play unit, is always a great value. That could afford Ebbett a look as the 13th forward, but the Canucks have more pressing needs. A third-line centre has become even more of a priority because Ryan Kesler is sidelined six months by shoulder surgery and somebody is going to have to eat up his minutes until the Selke Trophy winner returns in November.