No youth in Canucks’ expected opening night lineup

At the Canucks’ season-ending press conference in May, Mike Gillis repeatedly emphasized the idea of a reset and stressed the need for youth. “We need to have a different look,” he told reporters, ”We need to get younger.”

That message continued during the summer, as Gillis reiterated, “I want to have opportunities for young players on this team.”

Now, after a busy weekend, those opportunities have disappeared. None of the Canucks’ highly-touted young prospects will be on the ice in San Jose as the Canucks face the Sharks to open the season. In fact, only two players under the age of 25 is expected to be in the lineup: Chris Tanev and new acquisition Zac Dalpe. For Canucks fans excited to see homegrown prospects make the team, the Canucks’ current roster has to be a disappointment.

This is particularly true when you consider some of the players that were kept on the roster instead of giving an opportunity to a younger player.

Admittedly, some of the youth are missing from the lineup for reasons beyond the Canucks’ control. Jordan Schroeder, 23, has a hairline fracture from blocking a shot during the pre-season and is expected to miss three weeks. Nicklas Jensen, 20, suffered an upper body injury that cut short any chance he had at earning a roster spot, though his performance to that point made it a long shot in any case.

There’s also little the Canucks could do about Zack Kassian, 22, getting suspended for breaking Sam Gagner’s jaw. But there were four other young prospects who had a good chance to earn a spot on the roster heading into training camp and were sent packing.

The most understandable cut was Brendan Gaunce, 19, who was a candidate for the open spot at third-line centre, but didn’t stand out enough during the pre-season, despite two goals. He clearly just wasn’t ready for the NHL, which is no crime at his age.

Frank Corrado, 20, getting cut was a bit more disappointing, though still understandable. Corrado is clearly ready for the NHL, but it’s better for his development at his age to play big minutes in the AHL rather than playing 8 or 9 minutes as the sixth defenceman for the Canucks.

With that said, there’s no reason why Corrado wouldn’t be able to play more minutes in Vancouver with a balanced deployment of the defensive pairs. John Tortorella, however, prefers to ride his big guns on defence. Corrado certainly seems like a better option on the blue line than either Yannick Weber or Andrew Alberts, but he would be unlikely to play a large role as a bottom-pairing defenceman under Tortorella.

The truly frustrating cuts were to Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk, who performed well enough to outlast all of the other prospects and stick around when the roster was initially cut down to 23. That isn’t to say that the two 18-year-olds are definitely ready for a full season in the NHL, but that they might be and sending both of them down now hurts the Canucks’ forward depth. Now that both have been sent down to junior, they can’t return to the Canucks this season, removing them as options in case of injuries.

At least one of Horvat and Shinkaruk, preferably both, should have received the nine-game audition that is allowed before their entry-level-contracts kick in, giving them the opportunity to prove they belong in the NHL. It would also allow a bit of time for potential injuries to occur that would provide further opportunities for Horvat or Shinkaruk to play a larger role this season.

With both of them cut, that leaves just three players under 25 on the Canucks’ roster, with only two of them likely to play. One of those is Chris Tanev, who almost feels like a veteran at this point. Both the others, Zac Dalpe, 23, and Ryan Stanton, 24, were acquired this weekend. The trade for Dalpe has the potential to really pay off and cost the Canucks very little, so it’s understandable that they made the deal. It meant, however, that the Canucks needed to remove another player from the roster to make room for him.

One player that would have made sense to send down to Utica is Tom Sestito, as there’s next to no chance that any other team would claim him and his inexplicable two-year, one-way contract. Sestito struggled during the pre-season, with it frequently looking like the Canucks were on the penalty kill whenever he was on the ice. While he did manage to score a goal, it was essentially by accident off a very pretty pass by none other than Horvat. Sestito gave very little reason for him to be on the team, other than the assumed need for a sizeable knuckle chucker, which isn’t something I think the Canucks particularly need.

The Canucks chose to cut Horvat, however, rather than waive Sestito. Still, the argument can be made that Horvat hadn’t done enough during the pre-season and isn’t ready for the NHL. At the very least, it still left Shinkaruk with the Canucks.

Then, however, Mike Gillis claimed Ryan Stanton, a stay-at-home defenceman with minimal upside, who seems unlikely to crack the opening night lineup ahead of Weber or Alberts, let alone the rest of the Canucks’ defence corps. It’s possible that he’ll draw into the lineup at some point, but considering he has just one game of NHL experience, it’s more likely that he gets sent down to Utica before too long.

The waiver claim of Stanton essentially cost Shinkaruk his opportunity to play for the Canucks this season. While it’s likely that Shinkaruk would have been returned to junior once Kassian returned from his suspension and Schroeder came back from his injury, he won’t even get a chance to prove himself this season.

It’s frustrating that the Canucks expected emphasis on youth was thrown out the window in order to claim an unremarkable defenceman and keep around an enforcer with limited ability to actually play hockey. That the Canucks 23-man roster has Stanton and Sestito instead of Horvat and Shinkaruk is extremely disappointing.

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36 comments

  1. Tyler
    October 1, 2013

    This article completely articulates how I feel. Once again, Canucks management says one thing and does the complete opposite.

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  2. Aaron
    October 1, 2013

    Couldn’t agree more. Both Horvat and Shinaruk deserved a longer look, and the players picked up seem iffy. I’m disappointed. Guess we wiill have to just wait and see.

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  3. Fabian
    October 1, 2013

    Mhmmm Chris Tanev is 23 and will most definitely be in the opening lineup, too. So it’s not just one player under 25, but 2. Not like that’s that much better… Just wanted to put that out there!

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 1, 2013

      Oh man, how did I miss that? Somehow I had it in my head that Tanev was 25 already. Argh. Thanks for picking up on that.

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      • Mr. Purple
        October 1, 2013

        All those cigarettes he smokes while playing D really age his face.

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      • Mr. Purple
        October 1, 2013

        All those cigarettes he smokes while playing have really caused him to age.

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  4. Fabian
    October 1, 2013

    As disappointing as this is, let’s not forget about Chris Tanev, who’s also under 25. Still a letdown though, especially after all the interviews, including the most recent TSN one with Torts.

    I might have double-submitted, not sure if comments need to be approved first.

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    • Nee
      October 2, 2013

      No, the PITB comment function is often not working properly. Sometimes your comments just don’t show up, sometimes it tells you you’re posting too often when you’re not…

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      • Harrison Mooney
        October 2, 2013

        Correct. We’ve been trying to get it fixed for awhile, along with a bunch of other stuff, but our IT guy was one of the many people to leave the Sun over the summer, and despite our nagging, they’ve yet to reassign someone else to us. We may have to stage a coup.

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  5. JP
    October 1, 2013

    Completely agree with you on Sestito. Our fourth line looks atrocious. It makes me miss Ryan Johnson. It’s pretty frustrating that while we have cap room, we weren’t able to improve the third and fourth lines. Our third line looks like a fourth line without grit. I sure hope the Sedins and Kesler can play 26 minutes every night.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 1, 2013

      The fourth line doesn’t actually look that bad, as long as Sestito is in the press box. One of Richardson or Dalpe at centre, Weise and Santorelli on the wings? That’s an upgrade on the fourth line. The third line is likely to be Richardson or Dalpe at centre with Higgins and Hansen on the wings. That’s pretty dang good.

      Of course, we won’t see those lines until Kassian is back from suspension. Until then, Sestito will be playing, which is unfortunate.

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      • MB13
        October 1, 2013

        LOL – now THAT was funny.

        the best the Canucks can do for the 4th line is “not that bad”.

        Higgins + Hansen + over their head centre will not be a pretty dang good line either.

        Still wearing the homer glasses?

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        • Daniel Wagner
          October 1, 2013

          It’s a fourth line. “Not that bad” is about what you want out of a fourth line. Find a fourth line out there that people think is better than “not that bad” and I’ll find you a fourth line that is grossly overrated.

          Third line centre is definitely a question mark, but both Higgins and Hansen are borderline second-line players, so yeah, “pretty dang good” is a fine descriptor.

          I don’t wear glasses. I have 20/15 vision.

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          • MB13
            October 1, 2013

            Excuse me, I was thinking you meant “Not that bad” in relation to other 4th lines. If Canucks want to contend, you have to get contributions from the deeper talent. Especially considering the Canucks are not paying their top line and 2nd line like other teams.

            Consider this – compare the Canucks to the Blackhawks (you know – the standard in the NHL).

            The Canucks pay their top 4 forwards a total of $21.7 (according to capgeek) and top 3 dmen $14.2.

            The Blackhawks pay $23.7 and $14.8.

            The Canucks save about $2.6M in top level talent. In doing so, they should get something more than “not bad” from the bottom of their lineup.

            Nevermind that – teams that are winning have young players that contribute in the lineup. When can we expect a single player that Gillis drafted and developed to actually crack the 1st team? It’s part of the formula to winning. Guys like Slava Voynov, Andrew Shaw, Brad Marchand, etc are instrumental. Canucks have done horribly in the draft… and you can’t blame Vignault as Tortorella doesn’t think the talent is there either. Hence no Shroeder, Jensen, etc.

            How long before Gillis is gone? I just hope whoever replaces him makes a point about the cupboard being bear and this team not being close to a contender. Then that person can make cosmetic changes, take a team to the final and expect all the credit.

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            • Daniel Wagner
              October 1, 2013

              Schroeder and Jensen are both injured. Did you not read the post you’re commenting on?

              As for your point about Gillis, it’s pretty weak. Marchand was drafted in 2006, two years before Gillis started with the Canucks. Voynov was drafted in 2008: the Canucks should have Cody Hodgson in the lineup from that draft if he, his dad, and his agent hadn’t essentially ensured that he had to be traded. In any case, the Canucks have Zack Kassian, a 2009 draft pick, on the roster from that trade. Schroeder is also on the roster from the 2009 draft, though he’s on the injured reserve.

              Andrew Shaw is from the fifth round of the 2011 draft. Know who else is from the fifth round of the 2011 draft? Frank Corrado. And, as I pointed out in the above post, I think he should be in the lineup. Based on pure talent, he absolutely should be.

              I agree with you that young players need to contribute. That’s why I’m upset that the Canucks don’t have any youth on the opening night roster. But that’s not because the talent isn’t there. I think Corrado and Shinkaruk should both be in the lineup. Kassian would be if he wasn’t suspended. Schroeder would be if he wasn’t injured, though I’m unsure of his future with the team. Chris Tanev, who wasn’t drafted but was signed out of college by Gillis, will play a big role with the team this year. Again, there’s youth there, I’m just upset that more of those youth aren’t in the lineup.

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              • mb13
                October 2, 2013

                I didn’t comment on Jensen because, as you ever yourself put it, he was a long shot.

                Schroeder has shown absolutely nothing to make one think he is in a class of a difference maker. He’s a roster filler.

                Voynov was drafted in 2008 – and made a big contribution to a cup winner in 2012. If Kassian and Schroeder were drafted in 2009, they should have made contributions last year. Already a year behind a winning schedule.

                The problem is with the Canucks is they are full of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve. They have this secret formula to success but haven’t brought in or drafted a single difference maker. Look at Krug from Boston – out of nowhere and contributes to a cup finalist with 4 goals and a plus 5 in 15 games. The Canucks have Corrado… LOL.

                It’s a results based business. I’m sorry – I’m not seeing any results. Process is all fine and dandy but nobody cares that when you’re 1-8 in playoffs last two seasons. All with an aging core and a management history of inability to draft and develop talent. Future does not look bright.

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          • Canucksfan3322
            October 1, 2013

            I think the Capitals’ fourth line counts as better than “not that bad” with Michael Latta, Tom Wilson, and Martin Erat.

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        • John in Marpole
          October 2, 2013

          There’s something about an adult* using “LOL” that makes me not want to take what they write seriously.

          *Yes, I know, this is an assumption on my part

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  6. Nee
    October 1, 2013

    Amen. Before training camp I was very excited about the possibility of an injection of youth. Disappointed that we won’t get to see that now.

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  7. ikillchicken
    October 1, 2013

    “With both of them cut, that leaves just two players under 25 on the Canucks’ roster, with only one of them likely to play.”
    Uh…what? Tanev, Weise, Weber? And if you also add Schroeder and Kassian, who as you just acknowledged would be there if not for injuries/suspensions, that means we have 7 guys under 25 (and Lack is exactly 25). That’s almost a 3rd of the team. Besides, you’re looking in the wrong place focusing on rookies. The young guys who will be called on to make an impact this year and, as Gillis said, will have opportunities, will be Tanev, Kassian and Schroeder. They’re the ones who are NHL ready. Some under 20 kid that we drafted in the last couple years was never gonna come in and be an impact player in all likelihood. Especially not long term. And I’d really rather they get send back down than play a 4th line role. Look, it’s fine to be disappointed here. It would have been fun and exciting to see these guys for a bit. But don’t confuse your disappointment with this being a bad decision. The truth is, while it would have been nice to give some of our young guys their 9 games, it is gonna be fairly meaningless in the long run. It makes more sense to stockpile depth players instead unless you actually think a player has a shot at making the team.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      October 1, 2013

      I corrected the post since you read it to add Tanev. Weise and Weber are both 25. It’s still up in the air of Schroeder will be on the team once he returns from suspension.

      And again, I’m fine with adding depth, but cutting Horvat and Shinkaruk actually hurts the Canucks’ depth this season as they’re gone now with no chance of returning. And they didn’t lose their spots in favour of better, more valuable players: Sestito and Stanton are taking up two of the 23 roster spots and neither seems particularly worth having on the roster. Maybe Stanton will surprise everyone, but Sestito is who he is.

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      • ikillchicken
        October 1, 2013

        Ah yeah. You’re right that Weber and Weise turned 25 like a month ago give or take. But then, that just shows that your point is largely a technicality. It rests entirely on your picking 24 as your arbitrary age to qualify as a “young player”. In doing so you cut out 3 guys and slash the number from 4 to just 1 (Tanev). You’re going out of your way to make it sound worse than it is.

        “It’s still up in the air of Schroeder will be on the team once he returns from suspension.”

        Unless I’m mistaken he is now waiver eligible so they’re not gonna send him down. He’ll at least stick with the team. What role he plays is debatable but he’s certainly gonna get his shot. Look, if your contention is that Schroeder will get sent back down once he’s healthy…well okay. If that happens I’ll agree with you completely. That would be idiotic. But I see no reason to assume as much right now. They’re not gonna risk losing him.

        “cutting Horvat and Shinkaruk actually hurts the Canucks’ depth this season as they’re gone now with no chance of returning.”

        Is that any less true if they play 9 (or more likely 5) games and then get sent down anyway? There’s really next to no chance of either sticking permanently. These guys WILL be sent back to junior this year eventually which means they were never depth options to begin with. So what difference does it make if they get a few games in first? Nothing is being lost here. On the other hand though, if we go and waive a veteran player, or simply don’t bother to pick them up as with our new acquisitions, now THAT is a loss of depth. Because unlike our prospects, those guys can simply sit in the press box meaning they won’t be lost as options as soon as Kassian and Schroeder return.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          October 1, 2013

          Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I don’t think they’ll send Schroeder down, but I’m not sure what role he’ll play, how much time he’ll spend in the press box, or if the Canucks will look to trade him. I don’t know.

          I think there was a chance that Horvat or Shinkaruk could have stuck with the team this year. At the very least, give one or both of them 9 games to see how they fit and if they can compete.

          As for picking 25, it wasn’t all that arbitrary. Other NHL blogs do a top 25 under-25 to rank their young players. 25 is pretty widely considered a cutoff for when a player isn’t considered a prospect anymore. If I wanted to pick an arbitrary age, I would have said 23: the Canucks have just one player on the roster under 23 and he’s suspended right now. With all the talk of getting younger and giving youth a chance, Kassian will be the youngest player on the roster.

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          • ikillchicken
            October 1, 2013

            “The Canucks have just one player on the roster under 23 and he’s suspended right now.”

            But is that so unreasonable? How many good teams actually have a bunch of 18-20 year olds playing, especially on their season opening roster? We have several young players, Kassian (22), Schroeder (23), and Tanev (23) who will make the team and who we will look to to play a much bigger role this year. In all likelihood Corrado (20) will also be back, maybe even sooner rather than later. There’s also Eddie Lack who is 25 which is certainly still young for a goalie. I’m just not seeing this supposed lack of youth. The fact that these guys are 23 as opposed to 21 or whatever hardly means they aren’t still youth. If anything it’s a good thing that our young players are a little further along. I’d certainly rather go into a season with a bunch of 22/23 year olds than 20/21 year olds. The prior group is actually the ideal one as they’re gonna be less green but still all on super cheap and flexible contracts.

            “I think there was a chance that Horvat or Shinkaruk could have stuck with the team this year.”

            I think the problem is that they’d need to not just make the team but do well enough to merit a lot of ice time. It would downright hurt their development to keep them on all year as 4th liners or sit them half the time. And is Shinkaruk gonna usurp Burrows, Booth or Kassian for a top 6 role or even Higgins or Hansen for that matter? That seems like an extremely long shot. Really, even as 3rd liners it isn’t ideal. Unless we immediately suffer a long term injury in the brief window between now and when their 9 games are up, I just don’t see it happening. All things considered, I’d rather stockpile some depth than chase a dream that they stick this year.

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      • Chris the Curmudgeon
        October 1, 2013

        Daniel, don’t forget that the Canucks’ most NHL-ready forward and defenceman not on this roster are Nicklas Jensen and Frank Corrado, who are both just a phone call away. Sure, Jensen didn’t wow us in pre-season, but he’s still arguably the team’s top prospect, and he’ll have the chance to earn a mid-season call-up with strong play in Utica with the chance to be an impact player down the stretch. Same thing with Corrado, who’s almost certain to be in the NHL for much of this season.

        I happen to agree that not keeping the two for at least the 9 games is a little puzzling, but both are top 6 forward material and would be miscast as bottom of the roster guys anyways. When you figure that the forward depth chart has Sedin*2, Burrows, Kesler, Booth, Hansen, Higgins, Kassian, Schroeder and possibly Jensen and Dalpe (ie: 11 guys) all ahead of them as candidates for ice time, whereas both are going back into scenarios to lead their respective teams in scoring and ice time, this isn’t really that big of a travesty.

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        • Daniel Wagner
          October 1, 2013

          That’s a fair point. I would prefer Corrado to be in the lineup sooner rather than later, though.

          Maybe I worry too much about injuries. When I look at that depth chart, I wonder who’s replacing Booth, Hansen, Higgins, or Kassian if they get injured: if they got seriously injured while Shinkaruk and/or Horvat was still with the team for their 9-game audition, then you have a talented young player who can step into that role. Or, if one or both of them seriously impresses in those 9 games, they get promoted to that role without an injury being necessary.

          It just frustrates me that Gillis never seems willing to use that 9-game cushion.

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          • Chris the Curmudgeon
            October 1, 2013

            Totally agree with the last point. A lot that Gillis does puzzles me.

            As it looks to me, the team will have 13 forwards + Sestito on the NHL roster when suspensions and preseason injuries are all over with, so there’s a little depth there while not counting on Sestito to actually play any significant role. While it’s true that either Horvat or Shinkaruk could be an early season bulwark against injury, they’d have to make a decision for the season long before they’d know if they really want to burn an ELC year just for the possibility of depth late in the year. Being that these are two guys they picture being top forwards and not spare parts down the line, perhaps the idea of making decisions on them based on roster needs, rather than development optimization, did not appeal to Gillis. Figure that Jensen is the first call up in case of a top 6 injury, whereas bottom 6 injury depth is what Ferriero and Hamill were signed for. It’d be nice to see the kids get more of a look, but I respect the idea that rushing them to the league for depth purposes at the expense of playing time isn’t Gillis’ ideal scenario.

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  8. steveB
    October 1, 2013

    meanwhile, the guy the Canucks traded for the pick that became Horvat “was perfect for 158:29 minutes before allowing his first and only goal of the 2013 preseason.”

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    • clutch fan
      October 1, 2013

      Well, Canucks messed up the Luongo contract, but the good side is that at least we still have Luongo! I think it is funny teams are still messing up contracts, I might be proven wrong, but Kessell for 8 years at 8 mio is pretty bullish by the leafs.

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      • mb13
        October 2, 2013

        Whew!

        Thankfully the Canucks have a goalie who melts down year after year when the stakes are highest!

        When is this city going to realize that Luongo is …. average.

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  9. HoobaJooba
    October 1, 2013

    I think we were all expecting Canucks prospects to be given every opportunity to make the team based on MG’s comments at the end of last season. As pointed out already, there actually are a few players less than 25 years old on the roster which is a good change but not quite what we were expecting since guys like Dalpe and Weber weren’t developed by the Canucks. Kassian, Tanev and Schroeder (if he even sticks) are the only ones who qualify for that but among those three, Schroeder was the only true question mark for the opening night roster.

    The roster, as it currently stands, could have more Canuck-developed youth but, IMO, there were never really that many positions open to begin with, especially in positions that would place a player in a position to succeed. The top 9 was essentially set with the biggest question marks being whether Booth could stay healthy, whether Kassian could consistently contribute and whether we would find be able to find anyone to center the third line. IMO, the last question mark was the only one that had a legitimate chance of being answered by any of our prospects (Gaunce, Horvat, Lain, etc). Until some of the older players in the top 9 begin to retire or really start to play poorly, it will be hard for any prospects to break in (let’s not forget that all signs point to the Sedins re-signing). I’m forgetting the D, the top-4 being essentially immovable.

    The other thing that may have to change or adjust is team philosophy. In some ways, the team can’t be scared to play some highly touted prospects on the fourth line (at least to begin with). From what I recall, there was an argument made that the Sedins started out as 4th liners as 19 year olds. I can’t say I recall that or that I can back that up with stats, but I distinctly recall them being the Canucks 3rd line for a year or two before eventually establishing themselves as the go-to line for offense.

    The philosophy of the team has been to REALLY keep from rushing prospects and there is wisdom in that. It might be helpful in the long run to at least play some prospects on the fourth line so that they can start. Maybe this only happens after a couple of seasons in the AHL but it has to start happening.

    I think that we will start seeing more prospects make the opening night roster next season. By next season, most of our prospects who have shown a reasonable chance of making the NHL will have been seasoned in the AHL for at least 2 seasons (much like Schroeder is this season). Gaunce has a good chance of making the team after the end of his junior career and if his “pace” has improved. Horvat and Shinkaruk will again make a strong challenge for a roster spot also (but, at least in Shinkaruk’s case, may have to wait for Booth to play out his final year). Even guys like Archibald, Mallet and Lain could make the team and are better suited to the expected role of the fourth line. Corrado may be a shoe-in for the team next season and maybe the 7th d-man role can go to a guy like Andersson, Sauve or Polasek after their years of toil in the minors.

    Interestingly enough, I saw very similar frustrations being voiced among the Red Wings fan base. Guys like Tatar continue to wait while the GM and coach continue to run with old faithfuls (e.g. Cleary).

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  10. Kev
    October 1, 2013

    I think Gillis is smart. The Canucks have gotten younger with the last minute pick ups. I agree Sestito is a step backwards and should be sent down to give someone else a chance. But Bo and Shinkaruk need a bit more time to mature both physically and mentally, they need lots of ice time which they wouldn`t get with the Canucks now. Sometimes allowing players to mature like a nice wine is the best course, despite impatience with the process. I would hate to see Shinkaruk
    get concussed or worse because he is simply too light. He weighs about the same as Raymond does (though he is shorter).

    I think the Canucks have a bright future, this season is going to be really interesting and I think the team will be more exciting to watch under Tortorella. I often felt under Coach V whether they wanted to win or not. They seemed to be coasting. There will be no more coasting.

    I loved the old Canucks teams of 81-82 and 93-94, for their heart. Imagine the current team with as much heart. Can you say Stanley Cup contender? I think we have a shot this year.
    I really do.

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  11. akidd
    October 1, 2013

    geez, daniel, it seems like we’re on the same page here:)

    underwhelmed indeed with the opening-night, bottom-two lines. just nine games, fer chrissake. sell some tickets, give us a reason to get excited. whip that green tea latte!

    i’m little way of gillis’ decision valuing these days. is there a voice in his head?– “can never have enough depth dmen. can never have enough. no matter what anyone says. do it! claim him! do it!”

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  12. Locky
    October 2, 2013

    No, I disagree with this.

    As you say, neither Horvat nor Shinkaruk has shown anything yet that suggest they should stay with us for the entire season. One would expect that, given they did not show such readiness in the relatively relaxed atmosphere of the pre-season, they would not against full-strength NHL line-ups playing hard in actual NHL games.

    If you only intend to play them for 9 games as an extension of the ‘sighter’ you have already given them, keeping them necessarily limits your opportunities to take advantage of teams dumping contracts (Dalpe) and waiver wire pickups (Stanton). If you only intend to play Horvat and Shinkaruk 9 games (let’s be realistic here, Shinkaruk especially is not physically ready), their presence has no bearing whatsoever on the full season results or playoff results this team may achieve. Dalpe and Stanton do have, at the very least, an opportunity to impact on these things.

    On their performances up until now, I think only a delusional idiot would say Horvat or Shinkaruk has earned a meaningful role in this team. This move makes this team better *this season*, and Horvat and Shinkaruk will still be there next season, when the contract status of Dalpe or Stanton will have zero bearing on whether they can make the team or not. Do you want the kids to play so you can be optimistic, or do you want this team to have a better chance of performing well the whole season?

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  13. smj
    October 2, 2013

    I may not have all the facts/rules correct, and not saying I disagree with the post. But maybe they want to use the 9 games after the Jr. Season during playoffs, only burning entry level if we go deep enough to merit it? Did they learn a lesson using corrado for too many reg season then burn elc in a bad post season?

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  14. Collin
    October 2, 2013

    The organization made the right call. Horvat, Shinkaruk, Gaunce, Jensen, etc. didn’t do enough to start in the NHL. The only chance Horvat and Shinkaruk had was due to Schroeder’s injury and Kassian’s suspension. They would have been sent down with Gaunce were those two in the line-up.

    Shinkaruk was the only young guy that showed some skill/ability that wasn’t already present in most of our bottom 6 players. That is to say, his skating and shooting looked to be better than Richardson’s or Weise’s. The rest of the young guys were unfortunately outplayed by actual NHL players.

    None of the young guys were ever going to displace Sestito. He’s on the team to fight and none of the young guys fight.

    The real travesty is Alberts. Never had a single good game during preseason. He’s willing to hit but is not very good at it. He always takes himself out of the play with the hit. He’s not tough. He has 18 regular season fights in his whole 9 year career. George Parros for example has had 18 or more fight per season on 6 different occasions. Alberts’ preseason play should have played him off the roster. With so many decent NHLers getting squeezed this year due to the cap, the Canucks should have been able to find a better NHL depth defenseman than Alberts for similar money. Hal Gill, Wade Redden, these guys used to be top pairing defenseman. Could they not beat out Alberts for a spot on the roster? Suffice it to say: I’m not pleased with Alberts.

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