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Santorelli ‘100 percent’ wants to stay in Vancouver

Jun 18, 2014, 2:45 PM EDT

Mike Santorelli AP

Mike Santorelli was one of the few bright spots for the 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks. Before he hurt his shoulder in January and missed the rest of the season anyway.

Santorelli — signed by the Canucks for peanuts after a tough 2013 split between Florida and Winnipeg — finished with 10 goals and 18 assists in 49 games, his 28 points good for seventh in team scoring, despite all the time he missed.

Today, the pending unrestricted free agent was on TEAM 1040 radio in Vancouver (audio) and said he “100 percent” wants to be back with the Canucks.

Santorelli, 28, was born in Vancouver and said it was “surreal” and “exciting” to play for the team he grew up watching. Also, his shoulder “feels really good” and he’s hoping to be cleared for contact in the next week or two.

How much the Canucks want him back remains to be seen. Even if Ryan Kesler is traded, Vancouver will want to give youngsters like Bo Horvat and Nicklas Jensen an opportunity to make the club next season. And a Kesler trade may garner an NHL forward in return as well.

Santorelli’s versatility should help his cause, though. He’s a center that can play the wing, and if he “100 percent” wants to be in Vancouver, he’ll likely be reasonable during contract negotiations.

On Monday, Santorelli’s agent, JP Barry, said no progress had been made towards getting a new deal done.

  1. imleftcoast - Jun 18, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    I’m not sure he was ‘one of the few bright spots.’ I think he was the bright spot. Eddie Lack was okay too.

  2. pigeonbutt - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:28 PM

    @leftcoast that sums it up pathetically well. Throw in the last ~15 games Kassian played and that’s pretty much the season.

    Assuming Kesler is traded it would be a great move to give Santorelli another contract, perhaps even two years if it’s reasonably cheap. Where Bo Horvat ends up playing is going to be awkward no matter what as he isn’t old enough for the AHL, outgrown the OHL and they shouldn’t be rushing his development given what his outcome means to the organization.

    However there is still room for competition between Mathias and Santorelli. If both perform you now have trade material in two functional depth centres on very cheap contracts. As mentioned Santorelli is quite versatile – never hurts to have cheap depth.

    • imleftcoast - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      That’s true: Kassian finished strongly once he finally got ice time. It was just a career worst year for nearly everyone on the team. Ryan Stanton played pretty well too after coming over from the Hawks.

      • ikillchicken - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:47 AM

        If we’re being fair we really need to add Chris Tanev to that list too. He really emerged as a quality top 4 player before he got hurt.

    • hosewater2 - Jun 18, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      Therein lies the rub…how cheap will he be…I’d like to see him back in a Kyle Wellwood-nostalgia sort of way.

  3. Wineshard - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:43 PM

    Decent on the draw and can add a bit of finish. I would bring him back for a nominal raise.

    The Canucks season went downhill when he got hurt and Henrik hurt his ribs (same game as I recall).

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