The 2015–16 Vancouver Canucks season was the 46th season for the National Hockey League franchise that was established on May 22, 1970. The season began its regular games on October 7, 2015, against the Calgary Flames with a 5−1 win. On March 25, 2016, the Canucks lost 4−0 to the St Louis Blues and were eliminated from playoff contention. The Canucks missed the playoffs for the second time in three years.
Off-season changes began in late June at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Due to the Canucks having three goaltenders requiring waivers, goaltender Eddie Lack was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes (for a third-round pick at the draft and a seventh-round pick in 2016) to make room on the roster for Jacob Markstrom. This trade was disliked as fans saw the two draft picks as very little compensation for Lack. The Canucks would draft seven players at the draft. A few days later, long-time Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a second-round pick in 2016.
On July 1, Zack Kassian and a fifth-round pick in 2016 were traded to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Brandon Prust. Jim Benning continued by signing various free agents, including former Boston Bruins defenceman Matt Bartkowski and prospects Taylor Fedun and Richard Bachman, coming from the San Jose Sharks and Edmonton Oilers, respectively.
The following day, Hockey Operations Staff Laurence Gilman, Lorne Henning and Eric Crawford were released by the Canucks.
On July 28, the Canucks traded centre Nick Bonino, defenceman Adam Clendening, as well as the second-round pick acquired in the Bieksa trade, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for centre Brandon Sutter and a conditional third-round pick. One week later, the Canucks resigned Sutter to a five-year contract extension, lasting until the 2020–21 NHL season.
The Canucks held their training camp at CN Centre in Prince George, British Columbia, from September 18–20.
Training camp consisted of various activities, such as power-play drills, strength and conditioning exercises, and intra-squad scrimmages.
Head coach Willie Desjardins was unable to attend training camp. Desjardins was forced to have surgery on September 8 (a mere 10 days before training camp was due to begin), due to a flare-up of a chronic hip condition. While Desjardins wanted to be in attendance, the Canucks medical staff was unable to give him clearance to head to Prince George. In his place, assistant coach Glen Gulutzan (former Dallas Stars head coach) stepped up to run the training camp. Assistant coaches Perry Pearn and Doug Lidster were also in attendance.
Many Canucks prospects and minor-league players were invited to training camp. Some, such as Nicklas Jensen, Jake Virtanen and Alexandre Grenier were fighting for roster spots on the NHL club. The preseason came to an interesting end when the Canucks placed centre Linden Vey and defensemen Alex Biega and Frank Corrado on waivers in favour of defenceman Ben Hutton and forwards Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann. Corrado was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs the following day. Biega and Vey cleared waivers and were sent to the Utica Comets. Both were called up in December and would finish the season with the Canucks.
†Traded to Canucks mid-season. Stats reflect time with Canucks only.
‡Traded (or lost by waivers) to another team mid-season. Stats reflect time with Canucks only.