September 29 2013 12:27PM
The Vancouver Canucks didn't have to use the waiver-wire to send anybody down on Sunday, but they cut their roster by one by officially sending Bo Horvat down to the London Knights. Both Horvat and fellow first round pick from the Knights Max Domi last until the very end of training camp, and the Knights are again in a position to roll through the Ontario Hockey League in search of their third consecutive J. Ross Robertson Cup.
As for the Canucks, this means that they'll probably switch the newly-acquired Zac Dalpe from winger back to centre, where he'd played at Ohio State but struggled in his first couple of seasons of pro hockey. There are probably still a couple of moves the team has to make before rosters are set Monday at 2 p.m. Eastern, as the Canucks currently stand at 25 players on the roster.
Zack Kassian * ††
Jordan Schroeder **
Hunter Shinkaruk †
Jeremy Welsh ††
Eddie Lack ††
* - Suspended
** - Injured
† - Eligible for junior hockey
†† - Waiver-exempt (Capgeek)
The team can't start the season with players on the long-term injured reserve, so a player other than Welsh is going to have to be sent down in order to get the Canucks to 23 players. That means either a trade (call up Craig MacTavish. Maybe the Oilers want Sestito?) or that Hunter Shinkaruk is going to head down to junior like Horvat.
I also can't find a provision in the collective agreement that says Zack Kassian can't be sent down to Utica as a paper transaction to get the team below 23 players on the roster until the team can put Jordan Schroeder on the long-term injured reserve Tuesday. The American Hockey League would assuredly honour his NHL suspension, but I'd assume he'd be back up and in the press box for the season opener if the Canucks went that route.
Brad Ziemer suggests that Shinkaruk is going down too, but that Shinkaruk was, as of Sunday, still skating with the team on the last day of camp:
Trade likely means Horvat/Shinkaruk heading back to junior. Roster has to be set Monday morning. #Canucks— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) September 29, 2013
Horvat not on ice for today's practice. Shinkaruk skating with Booth and Santorelli. #Canucks— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) September 29, 2013
Still a bit mysterious and we don't want to say anything for certain until the roster is set tomorrow. I imagine Welsh starts the season in Utica, for sure, but cutting from 24 to 23 presents a bit of a challenge.
Leafs have now placed McLaren on injured reserve, potentially opening a spot for another low salaried forward to be kept.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) September 29, 2013
Per the CBA illustrations in Article 50, teams must set their rosters prior to opening day (ie: Monday) but cannot place players on long-term injured reserve until opening day (ie: Tuesday). This was mentioned on Hockey Night in Canada last night, but if the Canucks can indeed put Jordan Schroeder on the injured reserve prior to the start of the season, it saves the team from having to make a move in addition to sending down Welsh to get under 23 players.
Suspension rules are also incredible hazy. Here is the full text of Article 16.4:
16.4 Active Roster Size; Playing Roster:
(a) There shall be a maximum of twenty-three (23) Players on each Club's Active Roster at any one time, provided, however, that, on the date of each season's Trade Deadline, a Club's Active Roster may be increased to any number of Players the Club, in its discretion, so determines, subject to Article 50.
(b) Clubs are not permitted to Loan Players where the result of such Loan(s) would reduce the Club's Active Roster below eighteen (18) skaters and two (2) goaltenders. However, Clubs will not be required to Recall Players to maintain the minimum eighteen (18) skaters and two (2) goaltenders on days which they do not play an NHL Game, provided that the deficiency below those thresholds is a result of an injury that has caused the removal of such disabled Player from the Active Roster.
(c) Except in case of emergency, there shall be no reduction of the required minimum Playing Rosters of the Clubs, below eighteen (18) skaters and two (2) goaltenders.
Do suspended players count against the active roster limit? They count against the salary cap. Bill Daly didn't respond to my email last week asking that question, but I guess we'll find out tomorrow.