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.

Stanton, a left-side defenceman, went undrafted, then signed with the Chicago organization back in 2010 and has spent the past four years with their AHL affiliate, the Rockford Ice Hogs. He skated in one game for the Blackhawks last season. In other words, he’s a bubble player at best. Sure, he was named the Ice Hogs’ most improved player in 2010-11, which is promising, I guess, but it’s also incredibly odd, since he played just 4 games for them the season prior. How bad must he have been in those 4 games?

Everything about this claim is odd. The Canucks are trying to get down to the 23-man limit, and they just added a guy they can’t possibly be planning to keep. They already have seven defencemen on the roster (Hamhuis, Garrison, Edler, Bieksa, Tanev, Weber, and Alberts) and John Tortorella has said a few times that he only plans to carry seven, so having eight defencemen makes little sense. Unless they were truly unimpressed with either Alberts or Weber and think a guy with no NHL experience can do a better job, I guess.

It seems more likely that the Canucks want him to strengthen the Comets’ roster, where he’d be a valuable veteran presence, but if that’s the case, then they’re going to have to get him down there, which means putting him right back on waivers and hoping that Chicago doesn’t just claim him right back.

That’s one theory. Here’s another: Mike Gillis had a really busy weekend, as you know, acquiring centres Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh late Saturday night then re-signing Jannik Hansen to a four-year contract extension early Sunday morning. It seems likely, then, that he didn’t get much sleep, and might be walking around in a bit of a haze right now. People do silly things when they’re tired.

This is probably how it happened. In a somnambulistic state, Gillis was scanning the waiver wire. He saw the name Ryan Stanton. That made him think of baseball star Giancarlo Stanton, which makes him think of actor Giancarlo Esposito, which made him think of hockey great Phil Esposito. Knowing the Canucks could use another impact centre, and too groggy to realize he was knee-deep in stream-of-consciousness dissociative word association (and that it’s not 1971), Gillis put in a claim on who he thought was Phil Esposito, then fell completely asleep, only to awaken now to the news that he actually claimed Ryan Stanton.

Makes sense to me, but I didn’t get much sleep last night either.

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19 comments

  1. Kyle
    September 30, 2013

    the actual reason is they’re probably unhappy with Alberts or Weber and one of them is getting waived.

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  2. Chris the Curmudgeon
    September 30, 2013

    Totally disagree. Gillis was clearly unimpressed with Eddie Lack’s subpar performance in his last game and was obviously trying to acquire Tony Esposito to be an experienced backup for Luongo. Geez Harrison don’t you ever think before you type?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      September 30, 2013

      I said I’m tired!

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      Rating: +14 (from 16 votes)
  3. DanD
    September 30, 2013

    Perhaps this was an ill-advised effort to stick it to the Blackhawks? Maybe Gillis gets vengeful when he’s tired.

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    Rating: +4 (from 8 votes)
  4. PB
    September 30, 2013

    Cheaper than Murzyn 2.0 (aka Alberts)? Alberts has looked terrible with Yannick Bisson in the Murdoch Mysteries, so maybe he’ll be waived.

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  5. Jacob
    September 30, 2013

    I think it’s more likely that Laurence Gilman was reading the waiver wire aloud, and instead of Ryan Stanton, Gillis heard “Ryan Stanchion”. Given how much success the Canucks have had using stanchions to beat the Sharks in the playoffs, it was a natural choice.

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  6. George Stevens
    September 30, 2013

    This move is a setup to a slight-of-hand trick Gillis is planning.
    He’ll want to send several players to the Comets very soon, but they will be dangling on the waiver-wire – so Gillis wants to hide their names in a big list of other names so they sneak through un-claimed.

    Same trick is used when you’re buying a car and you suddenly realize the dealer added a bunch of hidden costs while you were distracted.

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  7. Jesse
    September 30, 2013

    Maybe in his delusional sleep deprived state, Gillis through he was picking Stanchion off of waivers and remember fondly of how useful Stanchions have been for his team.

    “A left-handed Stanchion might be the defensive partner Kevin Bieksa needed all along!”

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  8. Van fan
    September 30, 2013

    Yes those are all good theories. Or maybe he misread it as another leg for his defence to Ryan Stand-on. Hey thats just as bad as Harrison’s four degrees of Espo.

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  9. Aaron
    September 30, 2013

    Um I was hopeing the comments would help make sense of this pick up. After reading the comments I am even more confused, and very entertained.

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  10. Doop
    September 30, 2013

    Maybe after a night of listless sighing and alcohol abuse MG looked at the roster and decided it was time for the messiest divorce in hockey history

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  11. Nee
    September 30, 2013

    Gillis mis-read Ryan Stanton as former Canuck Ryan Shannon and Tortorella demanded he claimed him since Shannon was good at blocking shots back in the day (and nothing else, really).

    My actual, non-sarcastic guess is that they claimed him to send down to Utica to stock the farm and aren’t particularly concerned that he might get claimed on waivers when they send him down.

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  12. Pinner
    September 30, 2013

    Pretty sure he thought he read Ryan Suter’s Stand-in.

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  13. Tom1040
    October 1, 2013

    This is Gillis’ best signing ever…by far.

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  14. Don't worry about it
    October 3, 2013

    How many of you actually watched this guy play or do you just have your head up your butt like this writer who was clearly only hired because his employers were “too tired” to read his garbage posts

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  15. Saul
    October 3, 2013

    Well, he was a black ace for Chicago during the playoffs, and Chicago did win the Stanley cup. It was just unfortunate for him that Chicago could not keep him because they already have top D men. The fact that he was a black ace must mean something good right? He must be an ok hockey player to have been called up in the first place. And while he is out making a nice pay check, playing in the big leagues you are at home sucking on your mommas tit.

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  16. idiots....all of you
    October 3, 2013

    Are all of you Canuck fans idiots? Stanton is a great player! Has anyone here actually seen him on the ice? He has a very bright future ahead of him with whatever team is lucky enough to have him. This article is just plain rude and based on an outright ridiculous “theory”.

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    • Dust
      October 3, 2013

      I must have missed his 1 game during his 3-year entry level contract.

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  17. Zapp Mosby
    October 8, 2013

    I take it NHL GM’s have scouts at AHL games, right?
    They must of been eyeing him for awhile to jump at a waiver claim?
    His stats seems decent for AHL numbers, and if you can save the hassle of working out a contract with some free agent and add to your depth on your rosters, I suppose there’s no harm in trying. He did end up picking up an assist and is a plus player with having played the Canucks first 3 games, so that kid must being doing something right.
    However Gillis does seem to be a bit of an odd ball GM. I can’t see him lasting much longer unless this team kicks ass in the west and battles deep in the playoffs? I can’t see it now, but it is still early. My Oils are off to a shaky start, still hope for them. But, best chance for a Canadian team this year, as much as don’t want to post it, The Leafs! :p

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