The Final Cut

Thomas Drance
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.

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Thomas Drance lives in Toronto, eats spicy food and writes about hockey. He is an NHL News Editor at theScore, the ex-managing editor of CanucksArmy.com and an opinionated blowhard to boot. You can follow him on twitter @thomasdrance.
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#1 Jesse
January 18 2013, 01:05PM
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If Schroeder loses his job because Gillis wants to keep Barker as the 9th defenseman, heads are going to roll.

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#3 antro
January 18 2013, 01:48PM
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Not sure it changes what you are saying much, but Jim Vandermeer is also on a two-way contract. I'm guessing that he also has to clear waivers? Though would anyone claim him?

Too bad, I liked Patrick's argument for Schroeder.

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#4 BrudnySeaby
January 18 2013, 01:53PM
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Would it make a difference for the roster if they put Booth or Kesler on the Injured Reserve list? This would also save some capspace that might come in handy later in the season towards the trade deadline.

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#5 Patrick Kelly
January 18 2013, 02:10PM
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@BrudnySeaby

Both would have to be out for a minimum 10 games and 24 days, in order for that to open a roster spot. When either of them came back the Canucks would have to get back to the roster number by sending players down.

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#6 Patrick Kelly
January 18 2013, 02:17PM
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".....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, two of them are on two-way deals per Capgeek (Andrew Ebbett 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"

Actually all 4 of those players are on two way deals. Schroeder just happens to make the least amount of all of them in the AHL. That is hardly a sticking point for the Canucks.

If the Canucks can keep the 1st and 3rd lines in tact they obviously will. Moving Schroeder down would require Higgins, or Lappiere to move up to the 2nd and completely ruin the dynamic of the 3rd.

Im thinking Barker or Vandemeer are going...in all likelyhood its Barker. No one is picking up either of those guys on waivers.

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#7 Patrick Kelly
January 18 2013, 02:24PM
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@Patrick Kelly

I made a mistake on Barker. He is not on a 2 way deal. But Im guessing he is still first in line to go down.

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#8 antro
January 18 2013, 02:52PM
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@Patrick Kelly

That's true, another way to see "cap management" is to waive Cam Barker. No one wants that contract--you want him, you pay him 700,000.

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#9 BrudnySeaby
January 18 2013, 03:26PM
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@ Patrick Kelly. Thanks for clarifying; wasn't sure if it had changed under the new CBA.

Yet I still think that it would have been / would still be a sensible thing for the Canucks to do. Placing Kesler and Booth on IR thing I mean. It's confirmed Booth is out for 4-6 weeks. The Canucks play their 10th game on 7 February against the Wild. No way will he be back before that. Even doubt that Kesler will be in the line-up before that.

It's really too bad that AV didn't give the kid a chance. Even if it wasn't on opening night but against the Oil. How is he ever going to become an NHL-er without ever getting a shot. And if the Canucks were able to shelter Hodgson last year, why not do it this year with Schroeder. Yes, it's a shortened season, but we'll still make the play-offs.

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#10 Mantastic
January 18 2013, 05:26PM
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@BrudnySeaby

canucks were only able to shelter CoHo last season because they had Kesler and Sedin. when you don't have the C depth, you can't properly shelter especially with AV's line deployment.

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#12 Patrick Kelly
January 19 2013, 01:33AM
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@Thomas Drance

Bah no biggie. I swore that Barker was on a two way. (How was he not signed to a 2 way?!?!?!)

Either way I doubt Barker sticks and it sound like they might actually use Vandemeer as a forward at times on the 4th to add some toughness.

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#13 Patrick Kelly
January 19 2013, 01:49AM
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@BrudnySeaby

To be clear the rule is 10 games AND 24 days, not whichever comes first.

I think there is more to this than AV and Gillis not giving Schroeder a shot. Given his ability to pass freely because he isnt subject to waivers, I would imagine that had a big part in the decision.

I expect we will see JS early in the season

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