With opening night only a day away, the Canucks made their final training camp cuts Friday, trimming the roster down to the league maximum 23.
It was simple, really: they just gave the Chicago Wolves their team back.
The Canucks had borrowed 9 members of their AHL affiliate for training camp, not so much to actually give them a shot to make the team, but so they’d have enough guys to stage a scrimmage on Wednesday and Thursday night in anticipation for the real action on Saturday. Friday morning, they sent home 8 of them: Peter “Laser Eyes” Andersson, Darren Archibald, Joe “Debbie Downer” Cannata, Kevin Connauton, Andrew “Escaped mental patient” Gordon, Derek Joslin, Anton Rodin, and Bill Sweatt.
Of course, there was a few notable absences among this group. Jordan Schroeder and Zack Kassian didn’t catch the private jet home.
Schroeder was a surprise. A night after doing what some thought to be the impossible — turning Mason Raymond into an unstoppable scoring machine — it appeared as though Schroeder had done the truly impossible by convincing Alain Vigneault that the Canucks should ice a raw rookie over a trusted veteran in the top-six. Did he make the team?
It definitely would have made me look stupid if he had, since I predicted the exact opposite a few days ago. But I’m obviously okay with looking stupid. So did he?
Sadly, no. There’s a reason we call it the impossible, and it’s not because it stars Naomi Watts. In the end, Schroeder was unable to overcome the twin impediments that slow down most Canuck prospects these days: hassle-free re-assignment (the bubble vets would all have required waivers), and Alain Vigneault’s aversion to risk-taking.
Friday afternoon, Schroeder was the final training camp cut as the Canucks’ finally finalized their 23-man roster.
The worst part? Now he has to fly home alone. Instead of sitting between his buddies, like Andrew Gordon and Darren Archibald, Schroeder will probably wind up beside a baby. Here’s hoping he at least gets a window seat.
The other worst part? Jordan Schroeder was just cut so the Canucks could keep Cam Barker, whose name practically begs to be said with a sneer.
On the bright side, Mike Gillis seemed pretty confident we’d see Schroeder this year. “If Jordan Schroeder doesn’t start with us,” Gillis said on the Team 1040 morning show, “We fully anticipate him playing meaningful games for us very shortly.”
For what it’s worth, I hate that Schroeder won’t be playing meaningful games for the Canucks right now. He and Ebbett are already pretty close, but only one of those two guys is playing at his ceiling. A little time for Schroeder to grow his game in the bigs and it’s possible that he and Ebbett are no longer comparable.
But I get it. It was evident that the team’s depth at centre was already pretty spotty when they had Schroeder and Ebbett fighting for a second-line job in training camp in the first place. But if that’s where your depth is at, you can’t afford to strike any more blows to it by risking the loss of one of the two to waivers. If Schroeder had gotten hurt in the opener and Ebbett had already been waived and claimed, we’d all be pretty upset at the Canucks for being so extravagant with their thin crop of tiny centres. So I can stomach this move from a roster management perspective, even if I don’t particularly like it.
Anyway, enough talk about training camp cuts. Opening night is a sleep away. Let’s talk about who will be starting in goal:
—Strombone (@strombone1) January 18, 2013
Never change, Lu.Tags: camp cuts, Chicago Wolves, Prospects