Canucks and Beyond

Canucks Sign Owen Nolan and Todd Fedoruk to Tryout Contracts

08/04/2011 at 3:09pm EDT

Vancouver, B.C. - Vancouver Canucks President & General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the Canucks have signed Owen Nolan and Todd Fedoruk to professional tryout contracts.

Nolan, 39, has played 1,200 career NHL games and recorded 885 points (422-463-885) and 1,793 penalty minutes. The 6’1”, 205-pound right winger has played for seven NHL teams and spent the 2010-11 season with Zurich of the Swiss League where he recorded 26 points (7-19-26) in 24 games. A native of Belfast, Ireland, Nolan was originally selected by the Quebec Nordiques first overall in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft.

Fedoruk, 32, has played 545 NHL games and recorded 97 career points (32-65-97) and 1,050 penalty minutes. The 6’2”, 235-pound left winger has played for seven NHL teams. A native of Redwater, Alberta, Fedoruk was selected by the Philadelphia Flyers 164th overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

Update 5:15pm ET: More on this tryout contract:

Judging from Twitter (and yes, I do see the stupidity of judging anything from Twitter, but what the hell…) much of Canucks nation is having a small heart attack that the Canucks are giving Nolan and Fedoruk a shot. But don’t count me among them.

There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain here. Will either of these guys make the team? Maybe (even ‘probably’) not. But why not let them show their stuff? There’s really no downside here. They’re not being signed for $20 million for 10 years… they’re just taking their shot at a roster spot. Competition from veterans like this can’t be a bad thing.

Speculation is that interest in Nolan is especially related to the Ryan Kesler injury, and concerns he won’t be back to start the season. Regardless of the reason, it’s not like anyone is likely to be picking Nolan over a healthy Kesler… but if he (or Fedoruk) can help, where’s the harm?

A few words from Nolan:

“I don’t want to say I’m happy that opportunity is there, you want those guys to be healthy, especially if I’m going to be part of that team,” said Nolan, reached at his off-season home in San Jose. “But there is an opportunity there and I’m going to give it everything I have to take a job.”

Nolan and agent J.P. Barry had a number of PTO offers on the table, but Vancouver was the best fit for the 39-year-old and five-time all-star. Here he can be a player who complements the Canucks’ core group, which makes sense seeing as his best years are behind him.

“One of the main reasons I’m still playing is I want to win and I think Vancouver has a great chance of that,” he said. “My goal is to just make the team. I’m not focused on where I’m going to play or how much. I’m just going to come in with a positive attitude and give it my all and hopefully they’re impressed with what they see.”

Sounds good to me. I’m looking forward to hearing how training camp goes. Never say never.

P.S. For more on Nolan’s career, Nucks Misconduct’s Sean Zanberg has posted this.

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