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UFA of the Day: Mike Santorelli

Jun 5, 2014, 9:30 PM EDT

Mike Santorelli AP

Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…

Mike Santorelli

Looking to resurrect his National Hockey League career, Mike Santorelli decided to head home last summer, signing with the Vancouver Canucks as an unrestricted free agent. His deal at the time: a two-way contract worth $550,000 at the NHL level, according to Capgeek.com.

So, the Canucks certainly didn’t have to go out and spend big dollars on the now 28-year-old forward.

After a difficult 2012-13 season, playing for four different teams, including the Florida Panthers, Winnipeg Jets, American Hockey League San Antonio Rampage and Tingsryds AIF in Sweden, Santorelli came to Vancouver needing to impress in order to make the Canucks and stick in the NHL. His 20-goal season from 2010-11 with the Panthers wasn’t enough to simply give him a roster spot.

He impressed. Right from the beginning. He was among the top players at training camp when it came to conditioning, and his work ethic in games was infectious. His production wasn’t bad either: 10 goals and 28 points in 49 games. He played most of the season on Vancouver’s second line with Chris Higgins and Ryan Kesler.

But a shoulder injury that required surgery in January abruptly ended his season.

He’s now a pending unrestricted free agent, and whether he re-signs in Vancouver, with the Canucks undergoing a massive change in management this off-season, with the hiring of Trevor Linden and Jim Benning, remains to be seen.

According to News 1130 radio in Vancouver, there hasn’t been any progress in contract talks between the Canucks and Santorelli.

  1. pigeonbutt - Jun 5, 2014 at 9:48 PM

    His whole circumstance is unfortunate. While he wasn’t as hot leading up to his injury he was still one of the most productive and hard-working Canucks in a very bleak season.

    I think in most situations they would jump to resign him on a cheap deal. However I think management is having to go over the large block of ambiguous third/second liners they have (Hansen, Higgens, Booth, arguably Burrows), some who have no trade clauses, and wondering if there is room to keep him as well as have space for more youth to come up.

    I think if they trade Kesler they keep him, not because he’s 2C but because he’s a very handy utility player to have fill holes in the line-up. If Kesler stays I have a hard time seeing Santorelli staying as well.

  2. canucks30 - Jun 5, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Classic tweener.

    Not quite consistent and talented enough to play in your top six and not gritty or defensively sound enough to play in your bottom six.

  3. charlieconway96 - Jun 5, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Slow news day eh Tucker?

  4. nobandwagoners - Jun 6, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    I hope he’s re-signed. He was one of the few bright spots last year. Once he went down with an injury, the Nucks’ season started to slide as well. He added good balance to the lines and has decent skill.

    Jettison Hansen, Sesito, Dalpe, etc. before Santorelli.

  5. tross16 - Jun 6, 2014 at 2:33 AM

    He’s a depth player….

  6. leepetertk - Jun 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Tough to call this one because of injury. Had he kept some pace and healthy throughout the year he would have been resigned by now. But the difficult shoulder surgery might make the Canucks and another team hesitant to give him another chance.

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