Linden Vey Recalled for Canucks

With forward Henrik Sedin out, the Vancouver Canucks are running short on offensive options. 

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Brandon Sutter is out injured already, and now Sedin could be missing for a chunk of time. The Canucks have dropped from a playoff spot to sixth in the Pacific Division, and they’ve gone 2-6-2 in their last ten games – the worst record over that period in not only their division, but the NHL at large. 

That calls for desperate measures, so the Canucks are doing desperate things: on Friday morning, just ahead of the roster freeze, the club recalled Linden Vey. 

Drafted 96th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, Vey was dealt to the Canucks for a second round pick in the summer of 2014. 

The 6 foot even, 200 lbs right shot has since appeared in 75 regular season NHL games with Vancouver, recording 10 goals and 24 points in that time frame. He was reassigned to the AHL’s Utica Comets this season following a one year re-signing by the club just ahead of the free agency period, though, which made his ‘put up or shut up’ contract look like a placeholder for something better to come in Vancouver’s mind. 

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Over 26 AHL games this season, the right winger has put up three goals and 15 points with Utica. That’s good for a tie for second on the team in scoring, matching Alex Grenier and falling just behind wunderkind Hunter Shinkaruk (who boasts 19 points and counting on the year). 

Why Call Up Vey? 

If you’re the Canucks, you have two options: recall a middle-tier scorer like Vey or Brendan Guance, or bring up Shinkaruk. 

With 19 points in 20 games, it seems like Shinkaruk is a smarter option for a team that needs to start winning again (and fast). Vey is producing, but he isn’t finding the back of the net prolifically at the AHL level – that doesn’t suggest that he’ll be an adequate tourniquet for the bleeding sustained by Vancouver with two significant offensive injuries.

What that doesn’t take into consideration, though, is the possibility that Henrik Sedin is healthy to play again before the roster freeze is lifted. With a player like Shinkaruk, there would have to be a commitment to keeping him at the NHL level and in the lineup for his entire tenure during the call-up, and that’s not a guarantee during a roster freeze. 

Besides, this gives Vey that last-ditch chance he very much needs in order to hopefully stick with Vancouver in the long run. The team very badly needs a hero right now, and any offense produced by the sophomore skater at the NHL level will be looked upon favorably by the club when it comes to re-signing him this summer. 

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The Canucks play their next game this evening, when they take on the Atlantic Division’s Detroit Red Wings. 

  • TrueBlue

    Only issue is that he’ll have to clear waivers again if he loses his spot when Henrik & Sutter come back, correct? Unless this is a testing ground to see if he can hold down McCann’s role in case they decide to send him back to the CHL.

    • wojohowitz

      This. Gaunce has been a LW for a while now. Henrik went down so they needed a centre just in case he can’t go tonight. The front runners are Vey and Friesen. I would have gone with Frisen but he is injured so that leaves Vey.

      I don’t think this is a desperate move. I’m not sure why the author thinks it is. You get and injury and you call someone up. Pretty routine.

      Interesting lack of grammar on the News1130 twitter comment.

      • wojohowitz

        Unfortunately, Benning didn’t sign or resign enough depth this off-season. This is why it is desperation for a team that saw itself as a playoff contender and a 100 point team.

  • Thefreshpots

    At least play him in the middle six, not with Prust and Dorsett. I’m interested in seeing if his off-season conditioning will allow him to play an NHL game as a scorer/playmaker. Sticking him with possession anchors and giving him 12:00 minutes per game during this call-up isn’t helpful.

    • TrueBlue

      Would love to see Johansen in Vancouver, but what would Columbus accept in return. Fine for us posters to say Vrbata, Higgins & Burrows etc.but that is totally unrealistic, just like if Columbus asked for Horvat, McCann, Virtanen, Boeser, Demko & 1st rounder. We need to hope that we can count on Bennington to make sure we have depth at all levels and within all age ranges. Thanks to Bennings predecessor we had a very slim amount of depth in the age 24-30 range. (IMO) the urgency to acquire/sign Sutter & Sbisa.

      • The Flying Skate

        Columbus likely wants at least 2 and probably 3 of those assets you mention with Hutton possibly factoring in as well.

        In my opinion, they can afford to offer 1 of Horvat/McCann and 1 of Virtanen/Boeser/Demko/Hutton as well as a conditional 1st rounder based on whether or not they’re in the lottery and such.

        Prospects are great but sometimes it can be difficult managing a large number of young assets at the NHL level at the same time.

        One of the biggest issues is relying on two young centres like the Canucks are doing this season with Horvat & McCann.

        You have to give them a fair opportunity but also have the appropriate veterans to shelter them.

        When Henrik and Sutter were healthy, the Canucks were a surprisingly solid possession team despite having a fairly weak defense core behind Tanev, Edler & Hamhuis.

        When Sutter (and now Henrik) gets hurt, the wheels fall off completely.

        Even without a defensive upgrade, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks were the 2nd best team in the division if they were running Henrik/Johansen/Sutter and one of those 2 youngsters down the middle.

        The game goes through the centre iceman was we are reminded virtually every season at playoff time.

    • The Flying Skate

      Little do people know half the time I’m the one wearing the Henrik jersey.

      But Henrik has never been injured long enough for me to pull out my secret weapon and blow our cover.

    • Dirty30

      What is this obsession that fans have with fringe NHLers like Kassian, Corrado & Lack?

      Is it because they convinced themselves over the summer that they actually had significant trade value?

      I’m prefectly willing to get mad if one of them, you know, actually does something worth getting upset about.

      • Dirty30

        Never mentioned Lack or Corrado or trade value … And Vey did not fail to disappoint in tonight’s game.

        Mentioned Kass because he could have been had for half price, totally disposable if he didn’t work out and a nice asset if he did.

        • Dirty30

          Kassian in business terms is an example of the law of diminishing returns. The team has no desire to get involved with someone who has shown a lack of desire to play the game on a professional level. Especially when we have youngsters who want to play, and deserve the opportunity afforded them.