Why Jared McCann has a realistic shot of breaking camp with the Canucks

Thomas Drance
September 28 2015 11:38AM

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks prospect Jared McCann, 19, has turned heads with his performance during the first week of training camp. The 24th-overall pick at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft won't turn 20 until May, but he's been perhaps Vancouver's best player in the preseason - and really, he's stood out since he throttled the competition at an early training camp scrimmage in Prince George.

There's no doubt that McCann's performance bodes well for his future as an NHL player, but does the 19-year-old centre have a legitimate shot at cracking the club's opening day roster? 

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Should the Canucks pursue disgruntled Bruin Alex Khokhlachev?

Thomas Drance
September 27 2015 10:01AM

If there was any angst in the Vancouver market regarding the sooner-than-expected demotions of notable, popular and fun Canucks prospects Hunter Shinkaruk and Jordan Subban during training camp, then it was relegated to Twitter, fan message boards and the occasional super nerdy hockey bar conversation. 

Certainly neither player said boo, and neither did their agents. Meanwhile, team officials went out of their way to praise both players (Canucks assistant coach Perry Pearn ladled it on thick when discussing the possibility of a Shinkaruk recall this season, for example). There's been no Cody Hodgson-like back and forth in the press, and there isn't likely to be.

The same sense of 'cooler heads prevailing' doesn't apply to the situation that Boston Bruins forward Alex Khoklachev finds himself in at the moment. The skilled, Russian-born forward had some extraordinary comments last week in which he suggested that, perhaps, he hadn't received a fair shot to earn a spot on the team over the past few seasons. Inevitably, a variety of rumours - ranging from Khoklachev heading to the KHL, or being dangled in a possible Dustin Byfuglien deal - are beginning to fly. 

Let's get in on it: does trading for Khoklachev make sense for the Canucks?

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Does it make sense to play Radim Vrbata with Brandon Sutter?

Thomas Drance
September 22 2015 01:59PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

When the Vancouver Canucks elected to remove top sniper Radim Vrbata from a line with the Sedin twins, the Canucks' top playmakers, the idea was to help spread out the club's offensive production throughout their lineup. 

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Preseason shot block has Canucks' Higgins in a walking boot

Thomas Drance
September 22 2015 12:29PM

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Photo Credit: Marilyn Indahl/USA TODAY Sports

It seems likely that Vancouver Canucks forward Chris Higgins will start this hockey season on the shelf with a foot injury.

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Reading too much into the Canucks' training camp lines

Thomas Drance
September 18 2015 02:30PM

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Hilarious young Hamhuis training camp photo courtesy: @VanCanucks

The Vancouver Canucks opened training camp in Prince George on Friday morning, and while injured head coach Willie Desjardins wasn't there, you can rest assured that his lieutenants were busy executing his plans during the club's first on-ice session of the season. 

Desjardins made headlines last fall by putting Daniel and Henrik Sedin with Radim Vrbata right from the get-go at training camp, and then riding that line for several months. It's a maneuver that allows us to read way, way too much into the trios and pairs that Vancouver's coaching staff have composed on Day 1 of camp. 

So let's get into it!

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