The Canucks closed out a cut-heavy Sunday night by losing four more members of the training camp roster, assigning Matt Climie and Antoine Roussel to the Wolves, and reassigning both Owen Nolan and Niko Dimitrakos from their tryout contracts. Once again, PITB is here to break down the moves, although if these four need any explanation, it’s possible you won’t even comprehend the one I provide.
Matt Climie didn’t see any preseason action, which is fair, because there really wouldn’t have been much point. He wasn’t breaking into the top two on the Canucks’ goaltending depth chart, and unless Eddie Lack has a serious regression in his sophomore year, Climie won’t be usurping the number three role, either.
In fact, it’s surprising that the Canucks didn’t send Climie to the minors earlier, especially since prospects camp invitee Karel St. Laurent, now his competition for the AHL backup job, has already been there a week. One assumes the Canucks wanted Climie to get in a little extra work in with Canucks’ goaltending coach Rollie Melanson. For his sake, here’s hoping the extra time with the big club helps him hold onto the job on the little club’s bench.
Speaking of invitees, Antoine Roussel‘s demotion to Chicago makes him the third of the prospect camp invites to be assigned to the Canucks’ affiliate. Roussel has to like his chances of getting a contract, especially since he stayed at main camp the longest.
At the tail end of the Young Stars tournament, many fans were enamoured with the play of Nathan Longpre, but the Canucks seemed to prefer Roussel. His play Sunday night versus the Sharks gave us a little insight as to why: he’s feisty, he’s willing to stick up for teammates, and he brings energy to the lineup.
Rumour has it the Canucks think they might have found another Alex Burrows in Roussel. That’s high praise, and it will be interesting to see if he maintains such a special place in their hearts. As it stands, between invitees St. Laurent, Longpre, and Roussel, if we’re betting on which, if any, gets a contract, my money’s on Roussel.
Now on to the big-league tryouts. Niko Dimitrakos, we hardly knew ye.
What’s there to say about this guy? He didn’t have much of an impact in the games he played, and the Canucks, like myself, simply didn’t care to see him play another. With the veterans slated to return to the lineup on Wednesday, the Canucks no longer have need for a roster-padding tryout vet, and Dimitrakos didn’t do enough to convince them he was worth useful in any other way.
And finally, we are gathered here today to say goodbye to Owen Nolan, whose oldmanocity was both a large part of his charm and his downfall. He wore his heart on his sleeve (and his age on his back), but his body simply couldn’t handle the rigours of the NHL. After three preseason games, Nolan was nearly hobbled. That in mind, the 100+ regular-season games the Canucks plan to play this year simply weren’t in the cards.
Like Greg Wyshynski said, “Anyone that saw what Mark Recchi did for Boston in the Stanley Cup Final knows the Canucks lacked the same kind of clutch geezer on the ice and in the room,” and Nolan could have been that guy, but his body wouldn’t have held out until then. The Canucks had no choice but to cut him.
That leaves only Anders Eriksson and Todd Fedoruk remaining on player tryouts, leaving one to suspect there will be no Peter Schaefers emerging from training camp this year.Tags: camp cuts, Invitees, Matt Climie, Owen Nolan