The Vancouver Canucks announced today that Chris Tanev has been assigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. This may initially come as a bit of a surprise: while Tanev hasn’t been outstanding, finding himself a healthy scratch twice, he also hasn’t been terrible. It appeared that Vigneault was rotating Tanev and Alberts in and out of the lineup depending on the opponent, with Tanev in against speedier, more skilled teams and Alberts in against larger, more physical teams.

This move wasn’t about how well Tanev was playing, however. Instead, it’s about his contract status. Since Tanev is on his entry-level contract and hasn’t played in enough NHL games, he’s exempt from going through waivers to get down to the AHL. The only other player on the Canucks’ active roster who is exempt from waivers is Cody Hodgson.

The only reason that the Canucks would need to send a player down is if they will soon be exceeding the 23-man active roster limit. This means that a player on injured reserve will be returning soon, perhaps in time for tomorrow’s game against the Rangers. Guess what: Ryan Kesler skated on the second line and with the first-unit on the powerplay in practice today. All signs indicate that he is ready to return, much sooner than his timetable of November indicated. (Edit: it has been confirmed that Kesler is in the lineup tomorrow)

Tanev being sent down is great news for Hodgson, who skated on the second line with Kesler and Chris Higgins in practice. It looks like he’ll be given the opportunity to skate on Kesler’s wing. Meanwhile, the Canucks still have Alexander Sulzer on the active roster to be their seventh defenceman until Aaron Rome returns from his injury.

This isn’t all bad news for Tanev, either. He’ll be given plenty of ice time with the Wolves and will have more of an opportunity to develop all aspects of his game. While he wasn’t going to see any time on the powerplay in Vancouver, he may get some opportunities on the man-advantage in Chicago. The Canucks truly believe that Tanev can develop into an offensive threat as well as a poised defender and he will get the chance to prove that in the AHL.

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7 comments

  1. Kate Fullerton
    October 17, 2011

    Its been too long Canucks Fans!! tomorrow’s game is gonna be one to remember: THE BEAST IS BACK!!!

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  2. Zach Morris
    October 17, 2011

    Beast news I’ve heard all day.

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  3. peanutflower
    October 17, 2011

    Okay, the Van Sun is taking it too far — I think it’s Elliotte Pap — he’s trying to fit as many puns into the column as he can:
    He’s healthy again, instead of being out with a tragically torn hip. He announced his return following Monday’s full-out practice.

    Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/Canucks+Ryan+Kesler+cent+return+Rangers+Chris+Tanev+thrown+Wolves/5562642/story.html#ixzz1b6AO6aMh

    Love it. Tragically Torn Hip.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      October 17, 2011

      Hahaha. So great.

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    • sunnydee07
      October 18, 2011

      So now he’s “fully completely” healed?

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  4. sunnydee07
    October 18, 2011

    I like that they think enough of Tanev to give him the opportunity to play regularly and keep his skills up. After all, that’s why he was brought up last year in the first place.

    If I were him, I’d be more worried if they just benched him.

    He’ll be back.

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  5. Rituro
    October 18, 2011

    Aw… damn. I really did like seeing Tanev next to Ballard to start the season but I will admit Ballard is playing well regardless of his defensive partner. If sending Tanev down means he gets better, so be it.

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