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.
Zach Hamill was a reclamation project for the Canucks, a former 8th overall pick by the Boston Bruins that had stalled at the AHL-level and is considered a bust at this point. He needed to have an extraordinary training camp in order to have any chance at starting the year with the Canucks, but that just didn’t happen.
Hamill was noticeably disappointing in the preseason game against the San Jose Sharks and he didn’t get another game to prove that first impression wrong. In order to earn a call-up this season, he’ll need to impress with Utica. At this point, the odds are against him, with the Canucks more invested in developing their drafted prospects.
Pascal Pelletier is a 30-year-old veteran who has played in Switzerland for the last three seasons and was likely signed to help provide leadership to a young team in Utica. I speculated when he was signed that he may end up as the captain of the Comets, considering he was the captain of his Swiss team and had experience with Team Canada at the Spengler Cup.
Pelletier’s a proven scorer at the AHL-level, but has no points in his 13 NHL appearances. If he is to be the captain, the sooner he can join Utica’s training camp, the better.
Colin Stuart was signed at the same time as Hamill and, like Pelletier, is an AHL veteran who was playing in Europe. He’s also another candidate for captain in Utica, having captained the Rochester Americans in his last AHL season. Stuart is a two-way forward capable of playing on both the wing and at centre, so could potentially provide some fourth line depth for the Canucks if necessary, but is expected to play the entire season for the Comets.
Stuart does have more NHL experience than Hamill and Pelletier combined, playing 56 games between the Atlanta Thrashers and Buffalo Sabres, but he gave no reason for the Canucks to keep him in training camp in his preseason game against the Oilers.Tags: camp cuts, Colin Stuart, Pascal Pelletier, Zach Hamill