January 18 2013 12:37PM
Will Jordan Schroeder be Vancouver's final cut this evening before they set the 23-man roster?
By 5 PM PST today, the Canucks will have to trim their roster to fit under the 23-man roster limit. The Chicago Wolves issued a release stating that the Canucks have already returned eight players to rejoin their ranks and none of the names come as a surprise: Darren Archibald, Andrew Gordon, Anton Rodin, Bill Sweatt, Peter Andersson, Kevin Connauton, Derek Joslin and Joe Cannata.
So that would leave the Canucks with, by my count, twenty-four players still on Vancouver's roster: nine defenseman, thirteen forwards and two goaltenders.
So who will the last cut be? Is Jordan Schroeder really going to crack the opening night roster? Read on past the jump.
Barring a major surprise, it would appear to me that the remaining candidates to be waived by end of day Friday would be: either one of Jordan Schroeder or Andrew Ebbet, or alternatively one of the depth defenseman in Cam Barker or Jim Vandermeer.
Of those four players, three of them are on two-way deals per Capgeek (Andrew Ebbett, Jim Vandermeer and Jordan Schroeder) and I believe that the only player who would be able to be sent down without having to clear waivers would be Jordan Schroeder. I'd qualify that I don't quite have the same familiarity with the new CBA than I did with the old one (partly because no one a fully copy of the agreement has yet to leak or be made public), but my understanding is that Schroeder is a year away from requiring waivers, while Ebbett would require waivers to be sent down based on his NHL experience.
That puts the young, undersized centerman at a distinct disadvantage especially considering the way Vancouver has handled these sorts of decisions in the past. For what it's worth Gillis specifically mentioned on the Team 1040 earlier today that, while no decision has been made on this front yet and that the team does have a couple of "waiver concerns" that they're "dealing with."
One can't help but wonder if Andrew Ebbett, for example, is useful enough that he might be claimed on waivers (if only by a Western Conference rival looking to put the Canucks in a tough spot). I'd imagine the Canucks would be leery about that possibility, as well they should be.
On the other hand, in his Team 1040 interview today, Gillis also said that he wanted to give "younger players" a chance to demonstrate what they could do at the NHL level. Also while the Canucks care deeply about their depth especially along the blue-line, it could superficially make more sense to to keep thirteen forwards on the roster and eight defenseman than it would to keep twelve forwards, nine defenseman and maybe be forced into using Alberts as an emergency forward like they did in a game against Montreal last season. No one wants to see that.
My feel for it is that Ebbett is probably safe (he's just too important while Kesler is out with injury), so that assumption is sound it would leave one of Barker, Schroeder or Vandermeer as the most likely players to be "the final cut" at some point today. It may well be Jordan Schroeder who gets the axe as the team looks to get under the 23-man roster limit, but I'd expect to see him get an extended look in short order - even if he doesn't make the opening night roster.
Update: as suspected Jordan Schroeder is a victim of the "numbers game" and is on his way back to Chicago. He'll be back though folks, probably soon.
Correction: this post originally misidentified Jim Vandermeer as being on a one-way deal.