Canucks sign Vandermeer, add to collection of bad ex-Oiler defensemen

Thearon W. Henderson

Despite earlier rumors to the contrary, the Sharks won't be bringing back defenseman Jim Vandermeer who signed with Vancouver today.

Jim Vandermeer, who played 25 games for the Sharks last year, was reportedly in negotiations with the team a week ago to return for another season. Mercifully, that won't be happening as Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis continued his conquest of the worst defensemen available on the free agent market by signing Vandermeer to a one-year, two-way deal at a $600,000 NHL cap hit a day after inking Cam Barker to a one-year, $700,000 contract.

Vandermeer provides toughness, I guess, but he was slaughtered in heavily protected minutes last season in San Jose and would have been a poor choice to re-sign even with the Sharks' injuries on defense. With Brent Burns and Jason Demers still unlikely to be healthy in time for Sunday's season opener, Doug Wilson could dip into the free agent pool yet but it's more likely that either Matt Irwin or Matt Tennyson makes the club out of training camp.

But it won't be Vandermeer in that spot and that's good enough for me. Next landmine to avoid: Colin White.

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