Monday, October 06, 2008

Getting Down to 23

It's nice having some depth isn't it? On the other hand, it's not much fun losing players for nothing as the Canucks found out as Nathan McIver was snapped up by the Ducks, and promptly scored an overtime winner against his former team. Right now Mike Gillis is in a bit of a predicament...

With Cody Hodgson returning to junior, there are currently 26 players remaining on the Canucks roster, 3 of them have to go by Wednesday's noon deadline. In an interesting development, the Canucks have decided not to put Mike Brown on waivers due to fears of losing him. So where does that leave them?

The Fowards (16)

  • Steve Bernier
  • Mike Brown
  • Alexandre Burrows
  • Pavol Demitra
  • Jannik Hansen
  • Darcy Hordichuk
  • Ryan Johnson
  • Ryan Kesler
  • Jason Krog
  • Matt Pettinger*
  • Taylor Pyatt
  • Mason Raymond
  • Rick Rypien
  • Daniel Sedin
  • Henrik Sedin
  • Kyle Wellwood

The Defense (8)

  • Kevin Bieksa
  • Rob Davison
  • Alexander Edler
  • Willie Mitchell
  • Lawrence Nycholat*
  • Shane O'Brien
  • Mattias Ohlund
  • Sami Salo

The Goalies (2)

  • Roberto Luongo
  • Curtis Sanford

Coming out of the pre-season it appeared that Jason Krog and Mike Brown were on the outside looking in and that Lawrence Nycholat would have a very hard time knocking anyone out of the top 7 on defense. However, all 3 of those players must clear waivers and it appears that Gillis doesn't want to lose any of them. The situation on defense could sort itself out as Nycholat is scheduled to undergo an MRI to find out how serious his back injury is, but this is only a temporary resolution as the Canucks will have to do something once he is healthy. Up front an injury to Matt Pettinger may help relieve some of the roster pressure, but his injury does not sound serious, so again the Canucks will be stuck in the same position. They appear to really want Krog to go to Manitoba, but there may be another team willing to take on his salary and give him a shot at the NHL level.

So the conclusion to draw from all this is that two things will happen: 1) The Canucks make a trade; 2) The Canucks take their chances with the waiver wire; Considering the unusual step they have taken in keeping Mike Brown I have a feeling someone else is on his way out... maybe Matt Pettinger.

I'm very interested to see how Gillis manages this situation. Trading someone away in order to keep someone who was essentially cut isn't a great message to send to your team. On the other hand maybe Brown was cut because they thought they could sneak him through waivers rather than a Pettinger who would likely be claimed and lost for nothing.

I'm also really not sure how keeping Brown makes the Canucks a better team. Can you really keep him around just because you don't want to lose him as an asset? It's a strange situation and it will be interesting to see how it all works out...

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