Wanted: Feel-Good Story

After a four-day, five-team Young Stars Tournament and a three-day training camp in Penticton, Canucks fans are still looking for a feel-good story. The Young Stars tournament was only mildly-entertaining and Canucks training camp was mostly uneventful. More notably however was the fact that, after a week of drills and scrimmages, we’re still waiting for someone to step up, stand out and steal a roster spot.

Last year, Sergei Shirokov surprised everyone when he left Russia and successfully made the Canucks’ opening roster. Ditto Aaron Rome who signed out of nowhere and played his way on to the team, even if only as their no. 7 defenseman.

So who are this year’s version of Shirokov and Rome?

After a seemingly seamless transition from college to the Moose late last season, Jordan Schroeder was largely ineffective in the Young Stars tournament and ordinary in training camp.

Bill Sweatt showed flashes of brilliance but also a lack of finish.

Brendan Morrison is a sentimental favorite to make it, but while the Canucks are encouraged by his performance in camp, they are also well aware that there is a difference between performing well in drills and performing well in games.

Lee Sweatt may be in the same boat as Morrison (more on Lee in a separate post), and I think it says something that no one’s talking about Peter Schaeffer.

So far this year, no one seems poised to surprise and make the big squad. I realize that’s partly because there are veteran incumbents already in place in most positions, but, IMHO, there are four, maybe five or six, spots available up front (bottom-six) and on defense (depth) and there are no clear front-runners for any of them. Maybe it speaks more that the competition for these spots is fierce, and with the first of nine preseason games starting tonight, there is still ample opportunity for someone to step it up and seize a roster spot.

The question is, over the next two weeks, who will it be?

J.J. Guerrero

Founder and Executive Editor of Canucks Hockey Blog. Proud Canadian, hardcore Canucks fan. I would like nothing more than watching the Canucks win the Stanley Cup. Against the Leafs.

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3 Responses

  1. VancityAllie says:

    So very true. Would have really loved a success story this year.

    Oh and yes, I am very excited we signed Shirokov. Can’t wait to see him in action again, hopefully a little more experienced this time around.

  2. That’s the hope. He’ll get some chances too. I think the plan is to get him some time with the Sedins to see how he keeps up. Even roomed with Daniel.

  3. Hockey Dude says:

    I wonder too if some of these guys fighting for jobs are also playing it a little safe, not trying to stand out by making a mistake. Seems like that is a quick ticket out of camp these days. Lots of pressure, not many opportunities. It will be interesting to see as players are reassigned or let go if players like Morrison step up and get noticed for all the right reasons.

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