(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.

Just Posted

UPDATE: One injured in collision near Onion Lake

The semi truck and van collided between Terrace and Kitimat at 1:45 p.m. Nov. 15.

MBay park gets provincial cash injection

The money will be used for a fully accessible 800 metre loop trail

Tax cut good news for small businesses

Small-business corporate income tax rate to drop from 2.5 to 2 per cent

Arsonists jailed for 2014 blaze

Supreme Court hears mother and children of Kitimat home still traumatized

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Start on time: Canucks looking to shake first-period struggles

Canucks centre Bo Horvat said the formula for getting a leg up is there for everyone to see

COMMUTER ALERT: Snowfall warnings in effect across B.C.

Travelling this weekend? Check the forecasts before hitting the road

Drones take off to search for missing North Okanagan women

A volunteer search party was supported by professional drone operators

Tips for keeping your personal data safe, from the experts

It’s important to keep your ‘online footprint’ safe

Lights to turn blue ahead of funeral for fallen Abbotsford police officer

Buildings across B.C. are going blue Saturday night in honour of Const. John Davidson

Ride-share pioneer drives up quietly to B.C. battleground

Lyft approaches B.C. without Uber bombast, eyes small towns

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Pine beetles from Jasper National Park moving into commercial forest

In 2014, beetle activity went from a few spots around Jasper’s townsite to rampant

Most Read