Canucks Army Year In Review: Linden Vey

Expectations were high for Linden Vey when the Canucks dealt a second-round pick to the Los Angeles Kings to acquire him in the summer of 2014. There were ups and downs during his first full NHL season, but fans hoped that with a year of full-time NHL experience and a full summer of training under his belt, he would be able to build on a 10-goal, 24-point campaign. 

Unfortunately those hopes were dashed when he was a surprise cut on the last day of training camp, losing his spot to rookie Jared McCann.

HERO Chart: 

Crunching Numbers: 


Linden Vey Boxcars

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Linden Vey Corsi


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Linden Vey Goal-Based

Scoring Chances: 

Linden Vey Scoring Chances

The numbers don’t shine a positive light on Vey, posting negative relative goal, scoring chance, and shot-attempt differentials across the board. (Though it’s important to note just how awful the entire team was down the stretch when Vey was recalled.) The traditional boxcars look a little better, however, showing a modest uptick in points per game from his previous campaign.


To say that Linden Vey had a rough season would be an understatement. Not only did his on-ice performance lag well behind expectations, but we now know he was struggling with some pretty serious off-ice issues as well. With the emergence of Jared McCann, the acquisition of Markus Granlund, and the possible addition of Pierre-Luc Dubois at the draft, it appears as though Vey could be the odd-man out heading into restricted free agency. 

That being said, the team would be wise to tender him a qualifying offer. His underlying numbers are in the wheelhouse of fellow reclamation projects Markus Granlund and Emerson Etem, two players the team will likely roll the dice on in the hopes that they can improve their overall game. It’s hard to envision a scenario where things could go any worse than they did this past season for Vey, so he likely deserves another chance in the same way that they do. 

While Vey has refused to use his family situation as an excuse for his disappointing performance, it seems reasonable to think he can be a more effective player with all of the off-ice distractions put behind him. Truth be told, I’m of the mind that Linden Vey is closer to being what management seems to think Markus Granlund is than Granlund himself: a responsible, versatile bottom-of-the-lineup piece that can play up the lineup if need be. And even if he struggles again to prove himself at the NHL level, he’s proven to be an elite AHL contributor, something every organization can find use for. 

There weren’t a ton of memorable moments for Vey this season, but he did score a nice power play goal against the Blue Jackets: 

Next season will likely be Vey’s last shot at proving he belongs in the NHL. I think it’s well within the realm of possibility that Vey can carve himself out a role in a team’s bottom-six next year if given the opportunity. 

What remains to be seen is whether or not he gets that opportunity in Vancouver.

  • #12MorrisLukowich

    Stamkos is going to suit up for the Canadiens next season. This is big.

    They want Tanev too. This is newer.

    This allows the Canucks to re-sign Hamhuis.

  • Bud Poile

    Vey had 15 points in 41 games on a team loaded with kids.
    Since he looked like the only center man with a pulse going down the stretch (with a 30 pts. over 82 games projection that would place him 5th on team scoring ) he has enough skill and determination to secure a spot next year and send a kid to the AHL.
    Sutter,Hank,Bo and Linden with a Granlund rover should cover them until McCann is ready.

    • The_Blueline

      “with a 30 pts. over 82 games projection that would place him 5th on team scoring”
      If you make a statement based on projection, you need to apply it to all players. Bae would have had 33 pts, Edler 31, so…

      Regardless, for me it is a no brainer to sign Vey. What’s the worst thing to happen? If he does not make the team out of camp, he either goes to Utica as a call up, or is picked by another team and off the payroll.
      Not signing a NHL ready center is a no go for this team. It’s not like we have dozens of them.

  • Dirty30

    Let me make something crystal clear.

    This past season, 28% of Canuck goals were scored by players under the age of 23. In other words, 52 of 186 goals (Horvat: 16, Baertschi: 15, McCann: 9, Virtanen, 7, Others: 5).

    During the 1983-84 season (a season during which the Canucks actually made the playoffs), 49% of Canuck goals were scored by players under the age of 23. In other words, 149 of 306 goals (Tanti: 45, Sundstrom: 38, Lanz: 18, Neely: 16, Lemay: 12, Belland: 7, Petit: 6, Others: 7).

    The Canucks subsequently missed the playoffs in 1985, got swept in 3 quick games in 1986 by the Oilers, missed the playoffs in 1987, and missed the playoffs in 1988. It wouldn’t be until almost a decade later that the Canucks would win a playoff round, in 1992. None of those ’83-’84 “young guns” were still with the team by then.

    The point is two-fold:

    1) As much as everyone likes to say the Canucks “went young” this year, the fact is, empirically, they really didn’t.

    2) The Canucks are in for a long, long, long road ahead of them. By the time they are any good again, it is very likely Virtanen, Hutton, McCann, etc. will be long gone.

    • #12MorrisLukowich

      You’re talking about the Canucks here.

      Torts= The team is stale.

      Trevor Linden- I disagree, the team is not stale.

      Says it’s not arebuild but a retool. Then dismantles the team except for the sisters.

      You’re better off trusting BestBuy execs.

    • Dirty30

      Let me make something crystal clear.

      In 1983-4 season, all of the Canucks you listed (aside from Neely) were not rookies, and several had in fact been through the playoffs all the way to G4 of the Stanley Cup finals two seasons earlier, if only as Black Aces. Looking at rookies, the Canucks dressed Neely (56gp), Lanthier (11), Hall (4), Martin (12), and Lidster (8). Together they scored 19 goals, or 6.2% of their goals were scored by rookies with no prior NHL experience.

      In 2015-16, the Canucks dressed Hutton (75), McCann (69), Virtanen (55), Tryamkin (13), Gaunce (20), Zalewski (3), Grenier (6), Friesen (1), Shinkaruk (1), and Pedan (13), also known as twice the number of rookies. Taken as a unit, they also scored 19 goals, of the team’s 186 goals, or 10.2% of their scoring.

      The point is two-fold:

      1) The average NHL career is 5.5 years. The fact that after a decade the list of players you named (all but one of whom had already started their NHL careers) weren’t playing for the Canucks is more of an assertion that they were not outlier freaks like the Sedins are (certainly a correct observation) than any kind of observation about the length of time it takes to build a competitive team.

      2) any idiot can compare apples to kumquats and come up with a ridiculous assertion that looks fact-based, but is in fact so much bunkum.

  • Bj

    I think Vey could be a decent utility player if he can settle into a spot on the third or fourth line, but I hope the Canucks have enough depth in the future not to need to move him up the lineup. He’s shown that he can provide a new wrinkle on the power-play, but only if he’s not over-used there. I hope he can shake free of the personal stuff and show some of the stuff that tempted the brass to bring him here.