(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

Kitimat registers biggest drop in property assessments

The residential property in the north with the highest value was $2.892 million

Former mayor Ray Brady passes away

“What I can say is that he was passionate about his beliefs and he would fight for them.”

CDC’s housing section looking for new home

CDC executive director says it has until Jan. 31 to move out.

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

Who wants to live here?

Northwest governments partner on marketing plan to attract workforce, residents

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Sentencing hearing begins for ex-BC Liberals employee in ‘quick wins’ scandal

Former communications director Brian Bonney pleaded guilty last October

Sunwing vacation passengers left at Abbotsford airport

YXX staffers receive praise for help to passengers; airline criticized

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

Most Read