Providing a veteran push
As Mike Gillis promised, he added some veteran presence to this year’s training camp, inviting Dave Scatchard, Mark Parrish, Ronald Petrovicky and Keith Carney. With the Canucks having a surplus of players right now who have realistic shots of making the opening day roster, what’s the point of inviting these additional players?
The answer is simple.
Mike Gillis wants this training camp to be competitive. And whether or not you believe that Scatchard, Parrish, Petrovicky and Carney still have the game to play in the NHL, these four veterans will work hard to try and scrape their way back into the NHL. I have no doubt that they’ll push the rest of the roster and add to the competitiveness of the camp.
But also, all four have had their share of successes as pros – Scatchard as a defensively-minded faceoff specialist, Parrish as a goal scorer, Petrovicky as a hard-nosed winger and Carney as a solid stay-at-home defenseman. Their presence at camp will give the younger Canucks the opportunity to learn from them. Even if they don’t make the team, they’ll have at least contributed something to the camp.
This is yet another subtle example of the culture change Gillis has brought to the Canucks organization. He wants his players to work hard, compete hard, and not to take their roster spots for granted. He’s more likely to accomplish that with guys like the four veterans he’s invited this week, than guys like, say, Patrick Yetman and Vladimir Kutny.