Canucks claim Ryan Stanton off waivers, because Mike Gillis didn’t sleep this weekend

A lot of players were placed on waivers over the weekend, as teams continued to move pieces around in an effort to get to the NHL’s 23-man roster limit ahead of the league deadline. On Monday morning, Bob McKenzie reported that all these waived players had cleared. Except for one.

Ryan Stanton, a defenceman in the Chicago Blackhawks’ system on a two-way deal that pays $550k in the big show and $100k in the little show, did not make it through. He was claimed by the Vancouver Canucks. It is a mystery as to why.

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Guest Post: Canucks 2013-14 season preview, by Fear the Fin

There have been some big changes for the Canucks this offseason, but the one that could have the most impact is realignment, which brought an unfortunate end to the crack den that was the Northwest Division and threw the Canucks into the far more functional and together Pacific Division. Bummer.

But let’s not dwell on what’s lost. Let’s look to the future and meet some of our new divisional buddies! We’ve invited a stable of Pacific Division bloggers to preview the Canucks season, the new division, or their own teams for us here at Pass it to Bulis, and over the next week, we’ll be sharing the results with you. (Warning: most of them chose to roast us, which is probably what we would have done.) Next up: San Jose Sharks blog Fear the Fin.

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Canucks photocopy Chris Higgins’ contract, give it to Jannik Hansen

Jannik Hansen has had a pretty good September. In five preseason games, the winger put up four points (2 goals, 2 assists). He also saw quite a bit of time with the Sedins as John Tortorella explored his options with a new roster, and Hansen showed well enough that he’s likely to be deployed there on occasion come the regular season. Furthermore, he somehow managed to take the only good headshot on picture day. And, on Sunday, the Canucks gave him 10 million dollars. As months go, I’d say that’s pretty okay.

Capping off a weirdly busy weekend that also saw the acquisition of forwards Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Walsh from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Kellan Tochkin (the second-best Kellan in Vancouver’s system) and a fourth-round pick, the Canucks announced a four-year contract extension for Hansen that would pay him $2.5 million a season.

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Canucks acquire Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh for Kellan Tochkin and a fourth round pick

NHL General Managers don’t get the weekends off, which means that neither do NHL bloggers. With a late night trade on Saturday, Mike Gillis ensured that I would have to stay up late writing instead of staying up late drinking and dancing on tables. So thanks, Gillis, for saving me from a bunch of embarrassment. Really, it was for the best.

The Canucks sent the 22-year-old Kellan Tochkin to the Carolina Hurricanes along with a 2014 fourth round pick for the 23-year-old Zac Dalpe and 25-year-old Jeremy Welsh and, in the process, increased their good ‘ol Ontario boys quotient. A surface-level reading of the trade marks this a win for the Canucks, who bring in two players with a combined 47 NHL games for two assets that are unlikely to ever play a single NHL game.

Let’s look at the pieces of this trade in more detail and see just who the Canucks are adding to their organization in Dalpe and Welsh.

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Guest Post: Canucks 2013-14 season preview, by The Royal Half

There have been some big changes for the Canucks this offseason, but the one that could have the most impact is realignment, which brought an unfortunate end to the crack den that was the Northwest Division and threw the Canucks into the far more functional and together Pacific Division. Bummer.

But let’s not dwell on what’s lost. Let’s look to the future and meet some of our new divisional buddies! We’ve invited a stable of Pacific Division bloggers to preview the Canucks season, the new division, or their own teams for us here at Pass it to Bulis, and over the next week, we’ll be sharing the results with you. (Warning: most of them chose to roast us, which is probably what we would have done.) Next up: the hilarious LA Kings blog The Royal Half.

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Camp Cuts: Frank Corrado and Brendan Gaunce get the axe, Zach Hamill gets double-axed

When the Canucks finished their final game of the pre-season against the New York Rangers, John Tortorella wasted no time making the final cuts of training camp. By the time he took the podium at the post-game press conference, he had already met with each of the players and delivered the bad news. Contrary to what Cat Stevens, Rod Stewart, and Sheryl Crow may say, the final cut is the deepest.

Brendan Gaunce got shipped back to junior with the Belleville Bulls, while Frank Corrado and Zach Hamill were reassigned to the Utica Comets. For Hamill, it was his second time getting cut this training camp, as he initially got sent down to Utica a week ago, only to get called up again when Jordan Schroeder suffered a hairline fracture blocking a shot. The reasons for Hamill getting sent down haven’t changed.

The most important part of these last few cuts is that the Canucks’ final roster is pretty much set. Assuming Schroeder gets put on the Injured Reserve, the Canucks now have a 23-man roster, though it includes the suspended Zack Kassian. The biggest news is that both of the Canucks’ first round picks from this year’s draft are still with the team: Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk. We’ll have more on this development later, but for now let’s look at the final cuts.

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I Watched This (Pre-Season) Game: Canucks vs New York Rangers, September 26, 2013

When an old flame comes back to town, you want to make them miss you. You want to show them how much worse off they are without you. You want to make them regret that break-up.

That’s what the Canucks did Thursday. With Alain Vigneault back in Rogers Arena for the first time since his dismissal, with his new flame, the New York Rangers, in tow, the Canucks got all done up and they flaunted their goods. They made the Rangers, that hussy, look silly. They strutted their stuff. They flexed their game. And I watched this game.

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On 33rd birthday, Sedins receive Internet’s highest honour: the front page of Wikipedia

Two Canucks share a birthday today. Can you guess which ones? Here’s a hint: one of them is Daniel Sedin. Another hint: the other is not Jannik Hansen.

The Sedins turn 33 today, which seems as good a time as any to reflect on the incredible careers they’ve had. Over 12 NHL seasons, they’ve reaped a great many accolades: back-to-back Art Ross Trophies, a Ted Lindsay Award (for Daniel), a Hart trophy (for Henrik), the Canucks’ franchise scoring lead, gold in the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2013 World Championships, the and even the 2011 Victoriastipendiet, given to the Swedish athlete of the year.

But nothing compared to the accolade they received Thursday: front page of Wikipedia.

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Camp Cuts: Nicklas Jensen reportedly heading to Utica

The Canucks 2013 training camp is nearing its completion, as they play their final game of the pre-season tonight. Prospect forwards Hunter Shinkaruk, Bo Horvat, and Brendan Gaunce are still around, with all three having a chance to make the opening night roster, particularly with Jordan Schroeder injured, Zack Kassian suspended, and David Booth questionable until he actually sets foot on the ice.

There’s still one prospect forward who hasn’t officially been cut from training camp: Nicklas Jensen. According to his agent, however, he won’t be starting the season with the Canucks after suffering an upper-body injury against the Oilers on September 21st.

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Guest Post: Canucks 2013-14 season preview, by Battle of California

There have been some big changes for the Canucks this offseason, but the one that could have the most impact is realignment, which brought an unfortunate end to the crack den that was the Northwest Division and threw the Canucks into the far more functional and together Pacific Division. Bummer.

But let’s not dwell on what’s lost. Let’s look to the future and meet some of our new divisional buddies! We’ve invited a stable of Pacific Division bloggers to preview the Canucks season, the new division, or their own teams for us here at Pass it to Bulis, and over the next week, we’ll be sharing the results with you. First up: Megalodon of Battle of California.

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Travesty Alert: Roberto Luongo doesn’t make Sports Illustrated’s top 100 Twitter follows

This is, my friends, an outrage.

Sports Illustrated doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to covering hockey. They named a poorly framed picture of Wayne Gretzky scoring a goal as the greatest hockey photo of all time. They suggested that “Robert” Luongo might get traded to Vancouver during that whole saga, which, I suppose, ended up being pretty close to the truth.

Even when hockey gets on the cover of Sports Illustrated, they somehow get it wrong, as with the recent “Chicago Blackhawks saved hockey!” debacle.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that hockey got short shrift in their Twitter 100. What’s astonishing is just how badly they got it wrong.

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The 2nd annual Canuck headshot awards, starring a weary Roberto Luongo

There are a number of reasons to get excited about the opening of Canucks training camp. There are storylines galore, especially this season, from the new coach and system to the rookies knocking on the door to the bargain-bin offseason signings attempting to prove they’re worth the contract. There’s the fact that training camp is the harbinger of real, meaningful hockey.

And, of course, there’s picture day.

Picture day is the best. It’s the day every player invited to Canucks training camp sits down in front of the weird, paint-daubed background, smiles or scowls, depending on their mood, and allows Jeff Vinnick to capture the headshot that will be used alongside their name all season long. Amazingly, despite how frequently these photos will be used, few prepare for it (although Sean Avery once brought some fashionable frames) and few make the effort to look their best.

The result is comedy by the bowlful, and since we like comedy here at PITB — although we’re only middling at it — we’d like to highlight a few of our favourites, just as we did last year, in the second annual headshot awards.

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I Watched This (Pre-Season) Game: Canucks at San Jose Sharks, September 24, 2013

In many ways, the pre-season is about finding out what doesn’t work. You find out which prospects aren’t ready for the NHL just yet, you find out which line combinations are unlikely to gel, and you find out which defencemen should never, ever, ever be paired together.

In this game, we got the latter. Andrew Alberts and Yannick Weber are, individually, reasonable depth options on defence: not NHL regulars, but players that can cycle in and out of the bottom pairing as needed. Together, they are an endless void of despair and suffering. I was provoked to hyperbole when I watched this game.

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Camp Cuts: Canucks send ten more to the Utica Comets

With just over a week remaining until the start of the NHL season, the cuts from training camp are beginning to resemble the Battle at Whiskey Outpost from Starship Troopers. We shouldn’t be surprised, really. During the Canucks’ first practice, John Tortorella could be heard screaming at them, “Come on you apes, you wanna live forever?”

Over the weekend, ten more players were cut from camp, including one minor surprise. Five defencemen, three forwards, and two goaltenders were assigned to the Utica Comets. In other words, that’s half of Utica’s opening night roster.

With all the other Canucks news happening this week, it took us a little longer to get to these cuts, but they’re all fairly easy to understand.

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I Watched This (Pre-season) Game: Canucks vs Phoenix Coyotes, September 23, 2013

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I was really looking forward to Monday night’s preseason game. I know, I know. Exhibition games aren’t something one generally looks forward to (unless you have tickets and they were cheap), what with their absence of things like meaning, effort, or good hockey players. But after the shenanigans that spilled out of Saturday’s game versus the Oilers and filled the last two days with bickering and suspensions — after 48 hours of hearing from Edmonton fans with nauseating regularity — I was glad to see the puck drop on a new game.

As it turns out, my optimism was warranted. For the first time this preseason, the Canucks showed up, scoring six goals, and looking like a team that, at the very least, can beat up on a mixed roster of Phoenix Coyotes and non-NHLers wearing Phoenix Coyotes uniforms. And I watched this game.

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Dale Weise suspended three pre-season games for check to Taylor Hall’s head

The undercard to Zack Kassian’s disciplinary hearing for breaking Sam Gagner’s jaw with his stick, Dale Weise’s hearing for hitting Taylor Hall in the head was almost forgotten. After all, Hall stayed in the game and suffered no apparent injury. Weise received a two-minute minor and was overshadowed by Kassian’s reckless stick-swinging.

Unsurprisingly, Weise’s suspension will also be overshadowed by Kassian’s, as Weise will merely miss the remainder of the pre-season, while Kassian misses actual regular season games. Brendan Shanahan clearly saw Weise’s infraction as less severe, though this may, unfortunately, be a case of suspending to the injury.

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Zack Kassian gets eight games for ‘recklessly swinging his stick’, breaking Gagner’s jaw [VIDEO]

As expected, the Department of Player Safety has chosen to swing the banhammer in Zack Kassian’s general direction, and we have good news and bad news on that front. The good news: fortunately for Kassian, the Department’s swing was not hard enough to break his jaw, so he got off easier than Sam Gagner.

The bad news: he still took a pretty big hit. Kassian will sit for the next eight games, the remaining three of the preseason, and the first five games of the season (meaning he’ll miss the rematch with the Oilers, which is probably for the best, since Steve MacIntyre will likely be in the lineup, looking to prove his relevance.) Kassian is eligible to return Saturday, October 12th versus the Montreal Canadiens.

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Farewell Mason Raymond: winger signs one year-deal with Maple Leafs

It took a great deal longer than we had anticipated, but Mason Raymond finally has a new NHL contract. Just as we suspected, Raymond has aced his professional tryout with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and on Monday, the Leafs gave him his reward: a shiny new deal worth $1 million for one year.

Great deal for Toronto. I think even Canuck fans would take him back at that price.

But now it’s too late, and with that, we’d like to take a moment to say goodbye to one of the most divisive Vancouver Canucks of the modern era. Don’t worry, though — we’re not going to fall all over ourselves. That’s Raymond’s thing, not ours.

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Hockey season arrived over the weekend; Canucks need answers in a hurry

Not much has gone right for the Canucks so far this training camp. David Booth’s return lasted two practices, Zack Kassian is probably going to miss a big chunk of time due to suspension, and the team has lost all three games they’ve played, and badly at that (although, on the bright side, these games are considered tune-ups, so getting completely and thoroughly tuned is sort of the point, right?).

But there is solace. The preseason is over.

Sure, there are still three games remaining in the Canucks’ exhibition schedule — visits by and to new divisional rivals San Jose and Phoenix, respectively, as well as the first meeting with the New York Rangers since they and the Canucks swapped coaches in the summer — but I’d argue that, this weekend, the season officially started.

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Zack Kassian broke a guy’s jaw, so he’s probably in trouble [VIDEO]

Ever since the hiring of John Tortorella, it’s been assumed that, barring a major mishap, Zack Kassian would be opening the season skating alongside the Sedins in place of Alex Burrows. Yeah, about that. Saturday night in Edmonton, there was a major mishap.

On Sunday morning, the Oilers announced that Sam Gagner, a pretty important part of their forwards corps as the only guy without a hyphen in his name capable of playing centre in their top six, would miss a significant amount of time due to injury. The injury: a broken jaw, suffered when Kassian caught him with a high-stick.

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I Watched This (Pre-season) Game: Canucks at Edmonton Oilers, September 21, 2013

When we here at PITB first exhorted Canucks fans to avoid “flipping the pool,” as it were, it was on the eve of the 2011 playoffs. We encouraged fans to keep from panicking in case of a post-season loss that could not be explained in light of the Canucks’ dominant regular season. Don’t panic! Don’t freak out! Don’t flip the pool!

An early round exit from the playoffs after a Presidents’ Trophy-winning season? That might be a reason to flip a pool. And yet, just a couple years later, we’re saying the exact same thing just a few games into the pre-season. It seems like Canucks’ fans threshold for panic has been significantly lowered as the Canucks’ perceived Stanley Cup window has begun to close. The Canucks are 0-3 in the pre-season and there are actually people worried about it.

Look: the Canucks need to play better. A good start would be better players, such as a veteran top-six forward or six. The Canucks didn’t bring the Sedins, Kesler, Burrows, Hamhuis, Bieksa, Garrison, or Luongo. The Oilers had Hemsky, Hall, Eberle, Gagner, Smyth, and Yakupov. Don’t flip the pool.

I watched this game.

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Camp Cuts: Alex Biega gets waived, because Canucks apparently forgot to waive him yesterday

On Thursday, the Canucks waived three players they signed during the 2013 off-season. This wasn’t too surprising, as all three players — Zach Hamill, Pascal Pelletier, and Colin Stuart — were signed to be AHL depth and were not expected to challenge for a roster spot out of training camp. If they play with the Canucks this year, it will be because of injuries.

There are a few other players that fit that description at Canucks camp and one more was waived Friday: defenceman Alex Biega.

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David Booth likely to play, not hunt, rare game Saturday

It’s not often that Mike Gillis shares actual news during his radio appearances, but Thursday morning on the Team 1040, the Canucks’ General Manager stopped by that weird new tangentially sports-related morning show and did just that. Asked about David Booth’s status the day after Booth was made available to the media — a sure sign that he’s nearing a return date — Gillis disclosed by Bro Jake and Dave Pratt that Booth’s first game would likely come quite soon.

“David has been cleared to play, so I think he’s good to go,” Gillis said. “I expect him to play on Saturday.”

John Tortorella echoed the expectation Friday.

And so it begins.

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Every Goal, 2012-13: Alex Burrows

Why is Alex Burrows so sad in the above photo? Maybe it’s because he knows new coach John Tortorella plans to give his job, that plum position to the right of the Sedins, to Zack Kassian. Not cool, Torts.

For the past five seasons, Burrows has been to the twins what the Doomsday Device was to the Legion of Doom, or the Dudley Death Drop was to the Dudley Boyz: a legendary finisher. Ever since being paired with the pair, Burrows has been a lock for around 30 goals per season. That said, last season was his least productive in that role. It was the first time he’s failed to score at a 28-goal pace since 2008-09, his first season on the top line. So maybe it is time for a change?

If 2013 was Burrows’ last as the third Sedin, while it didn’t go as well as it normally does, it didn’t go too terribly, either. He finished the year with 13 goals, good for the Canucks’ team lead in scoring. Not too shabby — as ways to go out go, “on top” is always preferable. We close this year’s player-by-player look at every goal scored last season with the man they call Burr.

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Camp Cuts: Canucks place Zach Hamill, Pascal Pelletier, and Colin Stuart on waivers

At some point the cuts from Canucks training camp are going to become less and less obvious and, depending on the player, even upsetting for some Canucks fans. Today is not that day.

Instead, the Canucks cut three players that were signed during the off-season to one-year, league-minimum, two-way deals, ostensibly to provide AHL depth. Today, the ostensible became actual, as Zach Hamill, Pascal Pelletier, and Colin Stuart were placed on waivers in order to be reassigned to the Utica Comets.

If you’re looking for reasons why these three players were cut, suffice it to say that all three are players that can be placed on waivers with essentially no risk of being picked up by another team, not even the waiver-happy New York Islanders. Players that will slide through waivers that easily don’t need to stick around too long at an NHL training camp.

If you’re looking for more specific reasons and information on each player, then you’re in luck: PITB is on the case.

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