Canucks ink O'Brien, add goalie Raycroft

The Vancouver Canucks bolstered their goaltending depth on Monday, adding free agent Andrew Raycroft to the fold.

The Vancouver Canucks on Monday re-signed defenceman Shane O'Brien and bolstered their goaltending depth by signing free agent Andrew Raycroft.

Both players were signed to one-year deals.

O'Brien, 25, was acquired early last season from Tampa Bay in a trade that saw Lucas Krajicek head the other way.

O'Brien recorded 10 assists and a plus-6 rating in 76 regular season games for Vancouver, adding 196 penalty minutes. He scored in the team's Game 6 playoff loss to Chicago, adding an assist in 10 playoff games.

The Port Hope, Ont., native has six goals and 41 assists in 234 games in a career that began with Anaheim.

The six-foot-three blue-liner will earn $1.6 million next season.

"I'm never going to be an offensive guy, but I think I can contribute more offensively," he said. "Hopefully I will get a little bit more of an opportunity this year with ice time.

"You have to earn your ice time. If I get a little more ice time I can contribute a little more offensively and continue to be real solid in my own zone and be tough to play against."

Raycroft, 29, was a backup goalie with the Colorado Avalanche last season, going 12-16-0 with a 3.14 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage.

The numbers weren't great, but were actually an improvement over a dreadful season with Toronto in 2007-08.

The Belleville, Ont., native has played in eight NHL seasons with Boston, Toronto and Colorado, posting a 94-96-16 record with six shutouts, a 2.90 GAA and .899 save percentage in 230 career games.

Raycroft was signed to a one-year deal worth the league minimum of $500,000 US and has the chance to replace Jason LaBarbera, who signed a two-year deal with the Phoenix Coyotes last week.

Raycroft told The Canadian Press he understands the role will involve a lot of waiting and watching star goalie Roberto Luongo.

"[Luongo] is the top goalie in the league," said Raycroft. "He's going to play when he feels good. I understand that. I am well aware of that.

"Whenever you get the call you have to play well. Practice becomes very important."

Vancouver is also reportedly close to signing Luongo to a long-term contact extension, which would eliminate his free-agent status next summer.

With files from The Canadian Press