When the lockout ended, the Canucks immediately called up five players from the Chicago Wolves: Andrew Ebbett, Zack Kassian, Chris Tanev, Jordan Schroeder, and Kevin Connauton. That combination certainly makes sense. Four of the five are likely to start the season with the Canucks and Connauton has a chance to make the team out of camp as well.
The move left a large number of Canucks prospects on the Wolves, but it was assumed that with an abbreviated training camp, the team didn’t want to call up prospects when they had such a short time to give them a long look. Instead, it turns out the Canucks were just biding their time. Alain Vigneault announced today that he expects to call up 6 or 7 more players after the Wolves have completed their two-game series against the Abbotsford Heat this weekend.
The timing does make sense: after all, with the Wolves playing in Abbotsford Friday and Saturday, it’s a quick drive down Highway 1 to report to Canucks training camp on Sunday, which is when camp is assumed to be starting. As long as the Port Mann Bridge doesn’t become sentient and try to kill them along the way (which has been happening), it shouldn’t be much of a hassle. The Wolves don’t play again until Wednesday, so these new call-ups will have three days to impress at camp without having to miss a game.
So who might the Canucks call up from the Wolves? Here are the 7 that I think are most likely to make the trip.Continue Reading —›
Well, thank heaven that’s over. I don’t know about you, but I found the NHL lockout absolutely excruciating. It’s a relief to be able to write about actual hockey-related things on this hockey-related blog.
Speaking of which, there are a whole bunch of hockey-related things that are going to be happening in the next little while. As soon as the NHL’s fancy new CBA gets ratified by the players, training camps will kick off and last for a week or less. Then the season will start. That’s not a lot of time and it’s likely that a metric whackload of stories will happen in a very short span of time.
To get you prepared for all of the craziness that’s about to ensue, here are 6 storylines to watch for at Canucks training camp.Continue Reading —›
Like that one movie about racing, the cuts are coming fast and furious. What was that movie again? Oh yeah, Cars.
It was just announced that forward Mark Mancari and defenceman Ryan Parent were waived today. Both will need to clear waivers in order to report to the Chicago Wolves. While neither cut was unexpected given their performance during the preseason, both players have the potential to play in the NHL and they have to be disappointed.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks made another round of cuts this afternoon, sending Mike Duco, Eddie Lack, Yann Sauve, and Jordan Schroeder to Chicago, Nicklas Jensen to his junior club in Oshawa, and releasing Todd Fedoruk and Anders Eriksson outright. While there is still one final round of trimming to go, as a number of players that will need to clear waivers remain with the team (Mancari, Parent and/or Sulzer), today’s cuts were, in effect, the final round, giving us a fairly clear indication as to who will be in the lineup on opening night.
As we have been throughout this process, PITB is here to break down the moves.Continue Reading —›
Part of me wonders if the Canucks decided to only dress the Sedins for one game out of the seven preseason contests they’ve played so far in an attempt to make us miss them. At the end of last season, all Canuck fans could do was grumble about the twins, but after being reminded Wednesday night of how much better they are than anyone else on the team, another game without them was an exercise in dull pain. The Sedinless Canuck team dressed for the penultimate preseason game was about as threatening as a kitten in a felt hat, and nowhere near as adorable.
I ask you, is there anything worse than the realization that you just sat through a three-hour preseason shutout? No. There is only shame, and I feel this shame, because I watched this game.Continue Reading —›
The defensive pairings for Wednesday night’s preseason tilt with the Anaheim Ducks have been released, and they are as follows: Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Bieksa, Alex Edler and Sami Salo, and Chris Tanev with Andrew Alberts. Needless to say, this group bears a strong resemblance to what we can expect to see on opening night. Hamhuis and Bieksa, last season’s standout pair, are back together, and Alex Edler and Sami Salo, the presumed second unit, are paired as well.
But, bearing the implications in mind, there is one suspicious absence from the six-man unit: Keith Ballard, for whom a fresh start was promised. Is this evidence that the promise was somewhat exaggerated?Continue Reading —›
Considering that the last 18-year-old to make the Canucks was Petr Nedved in 1990, it’s probably safe to say that 29th overall pick Nicklas Jensen is a longshot to win a spot on the roster come opening night. But if you’ve seen Jensen play, and, moreover, if you’ve been keeping up with Alain Vigneault’s praise for the kid, it might not be as far-fetched as you think.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks trimmed their training camp roster by 11 players today, and as usual, PITB is here to break down every cut. Here’s a detailed look at the factors that led to Frank Corrado, Adam Polasek, Stefan Schneider, Matt Clackson, Nathan Longpre, and Manny Legace getting bounced from the training camp roster.Continue Reading —›
The Canucks trimmed their training camp roster by 11 players today, and as usual, PITB is here to break down every cut. Here’s a detailed look at the factors that led to Kellan Tochkin, Anton Rodin, Alex Friesen, Prab Rai, and Taylor Ellington getting cut from the training camp roster.Continue Reading —›
Despite Alain Vigneault’s claims that the next round of cuts wouldn’t come until Friday, the Canucks made two minor reductions today, sending 2011 third round draft pick Alexandre Grenier back to the QMJHL and releasing prospect camp invitee Karel St. Laurent to their AHL affiliate Chicago Wolves. Followers of Grenier on Twitter saw this coming, as he tweeted this morning that he was on his way back to the Halifax Mooseheads.
As always, PITB is here for the explanation. Since we’re not too far into training camp and the preseason just yet, the explanations are not too difficult. Grenier is clearly not ready for the NHL yet and there’s just no room for Karel St. Laurent in Vancouver.Continue Reading —›
Another minor roster trim this morning, as the Canucks have announced that 18-year-old goaltender David Honzik, their 3rd pick in the 2011 draft, has been reassigned to the Victoriaville Tigres. As usual, when a player is cut, PITB makes effort to explain the decision, and, just like yesterday’s cuts of Sawyer Hannay and Marc Anthony Zanetti, this one’s a no-brainer: Honzik isn’t ready for pro hockey.Continue Reading —›
On the eve of tomorrow’s split squad games with the Calgary Flames, the Canucks have trimmed their preseason roster by two, sending defensemen Sawyer Hannay back to Halifax and releasing Marc Anthony Zanetti outright. Any time this happens, we at PITB will do our best to explain why these players were cut, and it’s pretty easy this early into training camp. Neither was good enough.Continue Reading —›
Considering that Sami Salo was paired with Kevin Connauton yesterday, it probably isn’t wise to read too much into the duos the Canucks are icing during the early stages of training camp. Still, it’s difficult not to notice that Keith Ballard and Chris Tanev have already been matched up.Continue Reading —›
Harrison is up in Penticton for the duration of the prospects camp, hobknobbing with the elite and bein’ famous. Also, he’s checking in with the blog every morning, because he knows who butters his bread.Continue Reading —›
Harrison is up in Penticton for the duration of the prospects camp, hobknobbing with the elite and bein’ famous. Also, he’s checking in with the blog every morning because he knows who butters his bread.Continue Reading —›
Jordan Schroeder rode into camp last year with high expectations, both from the Canucks and from himself. A year removed from leaving the University of Minnesota to join the Manitoba Moose just in time for the Calder playoff run — a stint where he put up 15 points in 17 games, including a hat trick — it was assumed that Schroeder’s first full pro season would yield an AHL superstar, and possibly even an NHLer.
Instead, Schroeder hit a wall, underestimating the gruelling schedule and the conditioning level required to suffer through it.Continue Reading —›
Back in July, there was a rumour that the Canucks had signed hulking winger Brad Winchester to patrol their fourth line. As time passed with no official announcement, it seemed the rumours were all smoke, no fire. But those rumours have been re-sparked thanks to Brad Winchester skating with the Canucks in an informal practice today, although he wore Ducks gear and could not comment on the possibility of signing with the Canucks.
So is Brad Winchester the kind of player the Canucks want in the line-up? It seems that the answer is yes, as they have brought in similar big-bodied fourth-liners this summer in Byron Bitz and Mark Mancari, though Mancari is not as physical. They also signed other, slightly smaller forwards with a tendency towards punching, like Steve Pinizzotto and former Twitter aficionado Mike Duco, as well as inviting Steve Begin and Todd Fedoruk to camp on professional tryout contracts. Even Owen Nolan is likely more suited for fourth-line duty at this point in his career.Continue Reading —›
The Vancouver Canucks have just released their 2011 training camp schedule, with two of the dates open to the public. The camp will kick off on Friday, September 16th with a press conference, with the open practices taking place over the next two days. Fans can register for the open practices on the Canucks website. Doors open at 8:30 am on Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th.
The team has also released the expected roster of players. While the press release indicates that 38 players plus prospects will attend the camp, the released roster has 40 players, with the late additions of Manny Legace and Matt Clackson likely explaining the difference.Continue Reading —›
Considering the way that Mike Gillis is throwing around invites these days, you’d think he had just discovered Facebook events. Not long after word got out that the Canucks had invited former Bruin Steve Begin to training camp, word got out that Vancouver had reached out to former NHLer Manny Legace as well. What does Legace’s invite mean for the Canucks goaltending situation?Continue Reading —›
If there’s any silver lining to Ryan Kesler’s injury (which may very well have cost the Canucks the Stanley Cup, so there really isn’t), it’s that an opportunity–a genuine opportunity–will finally be afforded to Cody Hodgson.Continue Reading —›