Canucks sign ex-Hab Bulis to one-year, $1.3M deal

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks signed free-agent forward Jan Bulis to a one-year, $1.3 million contract on Tuesday.

Bulis scored a career-best 20 goals last season and matched his highest single-season point total with 40 while playing for the Montreal Canadiens. He is a strong two-way forward with the ability to play either center or on the wing.

The 28-year-old Bulis won an Olympic bronze medal in Torino, Italy, with the Czech Republic. He is expected to play on one of the Canucks' top two lines.

Bulis could replace Todd Bertuzzi, who was traded to Florida in the five-player deal for goaltender Roberto Luongo; play on a line with Markus Naslund and Brendan Morrison; or take Anson Carter's spot in a trio with identical twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin.

The Canucks are nearing $37 million in salary and have only 13 players under contract. There isn't much room left under the $44 million salary cap to fill out the roster and sign Carter, who scored 33 goals last season and is seeking a long-term contract for three times more than the $1 million he earned.

Bulis was originally chosen by Washington in the second round of the 1996 draft and has 222 points in 473 career NHL games with the Capitals and Canadiens.