Chris Higgins set to return Wednesday vs. Penguins; Baertschi out

Thomas Drance
November 04 2015 12:13PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks will welcome reliable two-way winger Chris Higgins, who was injured in the club's very first preseason game in North Saanich back in September, back to the lineup on Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"(Higgins) seems good to go," Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins told reporters on Wednsday, adding that Higgins will replace Baertschi in the lineup.

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Report: NHL teams 'monitoring' SHL leading scorer Anton Rodin, who is still Canucks property

Thomas Drance
November 03 2015 01:00PM

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Former Vancouver Canucks second-round draft pick Anton Rodin will reportedly be monitored by curious NHL teams at the upcoming Karjala Cup in Finland, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

"Hard to say how many potential European free agents can make an impact in North America," Friedman wrote in his latest 30 Thoughts column, but there are at least two others who will be monitored in Finland. Both are Swedes. 

 "One is Anton Rodin, an about-to-be-25-year-old forward drafted in 2009 by Vancouver. He played in the AHL, but couldn’t get a one-way contract and went home. (UPDATE: I had checked to see if Vancouver retained his rights and misunderstood the results. He is still Canucks property.)"

Would Rodin interest the Canucks? And if not, could the club potentially finagle an asset from another team that's willing to roll the dice on the SHL's leading scorer?

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Canucks earn Reeves reviews with 4-1 victory over Flyers on 'Grizzlies night'

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 11:38PM

Courtesy: Matthew Henderson

The Vancouver Canucks celebrated Vancouver Grizzlies night on Monday, baffling Philadelphia Flyers beat writers and Canadian Press national reporters with a discordant sort of celebration of a team that left the city 15 years ago.

Shareef Abdul-Raheem was in attendance! So was the original Grizzlies dance squad! Alex Burrows played his 700th game! Henrik Sedin recorded his 1000th career point - cumulative between playoffs and the regular season. And Bo Horvat and Jake Virtanen, respectively, had the strongest games of their respective seasons. So there was a lot to like.

"It's pretty special getting your first one on home-ice in front fo the fans, pretty special," Virtanen told reporters of scoring his first career goal on Monday, somehow forgetting to mention that it was special because the goal occurred on Grizzlies night...

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Jake 'Big Country' Virtanen scores 1st career goal on Grizzlies night

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 10:32PM

Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

In what has to be one of the strangest moments in Vancouver sports history, prized Canucks rookie forward Jake Virtanen - nicknamed Big Country by his teammates - scored his first career NHL goal during a Vancouver Grizzlies-themed home game at Rogers Arena. 

What a time to be alive.

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Benning: next pressure point for McCann, Virtanen will be the World Junior tournament

Thomas Drance
November 02 2015 09:54PM

Photo Credit: Hockey Canada

The Vancouver Canucks have opted to allow Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to play NHL hockey beyond the nine-game mark, after which point their respective entry-level contracts will be tolled. 

Despite the pomp and circumstance of this weekend's video-meeting prank, Canucks general manager Jim Benning has made it clear that McCann and Virtanen will have to continue to prove themselves lest they find themselves playing hockey at a level below the NHL in the not-too-distant future.

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