Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Canucks May Let Former Vernon Viper Santorelli Slip Away:

Former Vernon Vipers forward Mike
Santorelli appears headed to unrestricted free agency. 

Santorelli finished his first season with the Vancouver Canucks after spending last season with Tingsryds AIF (Sweeden) during the NHL lockout. Once the NHL season started Santorelli played with the American Hockey League's (AHL) San Antonio Rampage & Florida Panthers before being claimed off waivers by the Winnipeg Jets on April 3rd 2013. In 7 games last year with San Antonio Santorelli collected (2-goals-3-assists-5-points). In 24 games last season with Florida Santorelli picked up (2-1-3). In just 10 games with the Jets Santorelli collected (0-goals-1-assist-1-point).  Santorelli signed as a free-agent with the Canucks on July 7th 2013. 

Santorelli was drafted by the Nashville Predators in Round 6 178th overall at the 2004 NHL Entry Draft before being traded to the Florida Panthers on August, 5th 2010. Santorelli who was acquired in a off season trade with the Langley Hornets played one season in Vernon (2003-2004). In 60 regular season games with the Vipers Santorelli collected (43-goals-53-assists-96-points).

Mike Santorelli's Player Profile:


This was in the Vancouver Sun Newspaper:

Canucks may let Mike Santorelli slip away

By Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun Columnist

June 26, 2014

PHILADELPHIA — The Vancouver Canucks are close to losing a centre, and not the one named Ryan Kesler. They may also be losing their minor-league coach.

Mike Santorelli appears headed to unrestricted free agency after his agent, JP Barry, said Thursday that negotiations have stalled over the National Hockey League team’s refusal to offer more than a one-year contract to the Vancouver-born forward.

A Santorelli exit from the organization could be matched by Utica Comets head coach Travis Green, who has received permission from the Canucks to speak with the Pittsburgh Penguins about becoming Mike Johnston’s assistant.

With Kesler likely to be traded, either at the draft or this summer, losing Santorelli could leave the Canucks especially thin at centre.

“He really wanted to see if he could stay in Vancouver,” Barry said of Santorelli, 28, who was a great NHL comeback story last season. “He really liked the hockey team and we were hoping something could get worked out. But it doesn’t look like it.

“We’ve had discussions for two or three months and the issue is mostly term. Mike played on a one-year deal last year and he showed that he’s still a young player who can help a team. We think a longer term will be available to him (in free agency).”

Santorelli, who grew up in Burnaby, had 10 goals and 28 points in 49 games last season before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in January when he was mauled by Phoenix Coyote Martin Hanzal.

Traded by the Florida Panthers and waived by the Winnipeg Jets the previous season, Santorelli appeared on his way out of the league when he agreed last summer to a two-way contract with the Canucks that paid him the NHL minimum of $550,000.

Santorelli not only made the team at training camp but became a key player, averaging 18:33 of ice time and finishing his abbreviated season at plus-nine.

Canucks general manager Jim Benning has not given up on re-signing Santorelli.

“We haven’t made a final decision on that yet,” Benning said. “It’s definitely something that could happen in the next couple of days. I like him as a player. He can really shoot the puck.”

When Santorelli was signed, most people figured he’d be playing in the American Hockey League for Green.

Green has coached only one season in the Canucks’ farm system, but he may leave for Pittsburgh to rejoin Johnston, who was named the Penguins’ head coach on Wednesday. Johnston and Green worked in junior together with the Portland Winterhawks.

“We’ll never stand in anyone’s way,” Canucks president of hockey operations Trevor Linden said.

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