Back on April 16, we offered up our opinion that Willie Mitchell had played his last game in a Canuck uniform. Today, it was confirmed as Willie accepted a 2 year deal at $3.5 million per from the Los Angeles Kings.
Make no mistake (despite what you might have heard) Mitchell’s fate in Vancouver was sealed long ago. Long before he got hurt. As a pending free agent, Willie was looking at a significant raise before the dirty hit from Evgeni Malkin. Had the Canucks wanted him as part of their future, they could have locked him up before last season started. They chose not to. And why not, Willie and his big stick were reasonably effective, but essentially one dimensional and past prime.
As much as his injury hurt the Canucks’ fortunes this past season, it opened the possibility that they might be able to resign him as damaged goods with a further hometown discount. But his surprisingly quick summer recovery changed all that.
Credit goes to Willie and his agent for their dog and pony show that convinced a number of quality teams that he’s ready to play. So long for now, Willie. We’ll be seeing plenty of you this season.