The Canucks' pro-scouting deserves some serious cred. I might be putting the cart before the horse here but I applaud the moves to bring in Andrew Ebbet, Mark Mancari and Alexander Sulzer.
Re-signing Higgins and bringing Sturm shows the direction this team is going. The lessons learned from coming up one game short in the Stanley Cup Finals is: We need offensive depth.
While most fans hoped we'd get tougher in the process it appears that the game plan is not to fight fire with fire but to smother it with a plethora of offensive threats. For similar money I would probably take Raffi Torres over over Sturm or Higgins but it is clear the team has a direction and I will trust it. Amidst rumblings that Gillis and Co. are still in the impact player market I have to say if the moves made thus far are it then I'm OK. This team has a proven track record of finding diamonds in the rough.
Mancari is a power forward playing a point-per-game in the AHL. I believe they see him as a possible Torres replacement with far greater offensive upside and that he will be given a fair shake in training camp. Ebbet also had a point per game last season in the AHL and the diminutive puck moving centre and former BCHL star is a great depth signing. Alexander Sulzer taking a two-way deal as a pretty well established NHLer is a great pick-up. All three will vie for time with the big club, and the signings are a testament not only to the scouting of talent but the ability to attract it.
All three of these players would have better chances of making lesser teams but are willing to fight to try to earn space with last year's runner up: why? Because this franchise is top notch, and, not only that, there must be some measure of dialogue about where these players fit in to future plans.
So the Canucks didn't over-pay (as of yet) for an impact player, but they might just turn a few up on the cheap.