The Canucks after announcing cuts announced their roster of forwards for the upcoming 2009-2010 season which starts this Thursday October 1st on the road against the Flames in the Pengrowth Saddledome.
D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows
Shirokov – Kesler – Samuelsson
Raymond – Wellwood – Bernier
Hordichuk – Johnson – Glass
There’s several things to take away from this. Firstly it looks like Vigneault has faith that the Sedins and their long lost french third twin will pick up where they left off last season. Shirokov’s snatched the top 6 spot that was up for grabs between him and Hodgson, and Glass surprised everyone by cracking the roster and earning a 4th line checking role.
Jannik Hansen’s injury for the time being put’s an interesting spin on things, as today we found out the extent of the damage. After exploding his hand on Brule’s face it looks like he has 3 broken fingers and a broken hand. This changes the dynamic a little because after being on the bubble it looks like any chance of him hitting the waiver wire was put on hold. it looks like Glass has taken the 4th line checking spot Hansen was auditioning for, but with Rypien only out with the flu there is the chance Hansen will be the press box healthy scratch after Glass goes down. (Glass is on a two way contract – easier to send him down than risk losing Hansen on waivers and absorbing half his cap hit in the loss).
An interesting situation arises upon the return of Demitra. The 4 million dollar man isn’t going sit out. I wouldn’t expect a guy taking that chunk to be a regular healthy scratch. I can see Samuelsson getting benched for the night if his play isn’t up to snuff. With Demitra’s eventual return there’s going to be some reshuffling. All of this does revolve around Shirokov’s play and if he plays the way he showed he could play in the preseason. If he does, a struggling Mason Raymond or Steve Bernier might get the night off. I think Shirokov’s going to be a floating part that hops between the second and third lines from night to night once Demitra returns. The 3rd line has the versatility to go from being a 3rd line checking line to a 2nd second line. The Canucks second and third lines on nights, with Demitra back, could become Line 2a and Line 2b. Depth is a nice problem to have isn’t it?
Apart from those two there were really no surprises on the Canucks roster. The defensive pairings haven’t been officially announced yet, but after Funk, Nycholat and Lukowich were sent down no matter how you pair them our defense looks solid. It looks like Rome earned his spot on the team through his pre-season play and once again the Canucks will start the season with one of the strongest defences in the NHL.