Canucks Recall Troy Stecher (!!!) and Jayson Megna From Utica


Photo credit: Vancouver Canucks twitter (@canucks)

The Canucks resisted the urge as best they could, but they have finally succumbed to the inevitable and recalled Richmond legend Troy Stecher from Utica. Fans rejoiced around Vancouver as they’ve been clamouring for this since he was reassigned to the AHL prior to the start of the season. Vancouver’s hot start to the season assuaged some of the Stecher-angst, but their first regulation loss last night has turned the tide. The Canucks need Troy Stecher!

They’d do anything to get him here, so they’re even letting him bring a friend. Stecher has chosen 26-year old right shot centre Jayson Megna to be his travelling companion.

The call ups were no doubt in response to a series of injuries that have suddenly popped up in the Canucks lineup, which has already resulted in the unsavory occurrence of Alex Biega playing as a forward.

Derek Dorsett took a tumble in Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. He immediately headed to the dressing room and did not return.

Later in the same game, Alex Burrows had his poor face smashed into the dasher. He was somehow able to finish the game, despite all the hubbub about the new concussion spotters, but didn’t dress last night in Anaheim.

Additionally, there are rumors that Chris Tanev could be headed to the infirmary. Tanev had a rough go last night against the Ducks, and was belted to the ice on at least a couple of occasions. Known for being willing to take a big hit to make the ideal play, Tanev might have bitten off more than he could chew against a Ducks forecheck that looked hellbent on destruction.

A potential Tanev injury opens the door for Troy Stecher, who spent 55 of the 65 minutes he played in preseason paired with Alex Edler. If the Canucks are intent on winning, the ideal move is probably to shoehorn Stecher right into Tanev’s spot on the top pairing, rather than trying to jam Alex Biega in there somehow.

Stecher has been alright in Utica so far. He’s played four games, all of them on the top pairing with Andrey Pedan. Stecher and Pedan also form the top penalty killing tandem on defence, and Stecher is also getting power play time, typically quarterbacking the second unit – though he has appeared on the top unit of couple of times (during a 5-on-3, and when Jordan Subban was scratched). He has one assist to show for his efforts so far, a primary power play marker from setting up a Subban slap shot. Despite the lack of points, Stecher has been the more reliable defender in his own zone, and has continued to handle the puck with poise and creativity.

The Comets’ penalty killing has been abysmal so far and Stecher has been on the ice for a lot of the opposing power play goals, though that’s slanted towards the first couple of games rather than the last couple. Stecher would likely be asked to kill penalties in Vancouver as well, if he did in fact come into the lineup in place of Tanev. Tanev trails only Alex Edler in penalty kill time so far this season, while third pairing right hander Phillip Larsen doesn’t kill penalties at all, leaving a large void. Stecher spent about nine and half minutes on the PK with the Canucks in preseason play.

Stecher has been wearing number 2 in Utica – no word on whether they’d grace him with Dan Hamhuis’ old number in Stecher’s eventual NHL debut. I sure hope so, I’m getting tired of all these high numbers.

Jayson Megna, an offseason signing who spent last season in the New York Rangers organization, has a goal and two assists in four games in Utica this season. He’s a versatile forward that plays multiple positions up front and in all situations. In Utica’s first two games, he played right wing on the first line; in the second two games, he centered the second line. Likewise with the power play, he’s played both wing on the top unit and centered the second unit. He’s also formed a penalty killing tandem with Michael Chaput that is usually second or third in the rotation.

While Stecher is in search of his NHL debut, Megna has already played 55 games in the NHL, split between Pittsburgh and New York over the past three years, including six last season with the Rangers. He’s tallied six goals and added six assists in that time, while averaging 10:48 of ice time. All of his points have come at even strength, giving him 1.30 points per 60 minutes. He also has a Corsi-for percentage of 46.1, and the three forwards he has spent more time with than anyone else are Brandon Sutter (!), Evgeni Malkin (!!), and Tanner Glass. Megna’s CF% would improve to 47.9 percent if it weren’t for Tanner Glass.

  • UKCanuck

    I wouldn’t get too excited. Stecher will be eating popcorn in the press box unless the Canucks are intent on irritating Tryamkin and driving him back to the KHL.

  • TheRealRusty

    Amazing that GMJBTL choose not to pick up Sven Andrighetto and send JV down to Utica for some top line minutes. Now that the inevitable injury bug has happened, we are looking at Jason Megna as our next best option for a injury call up. Can u say paper thin organizational depth? Yikes!

  • wojohowitz

    Do you think the Canucks learned anything after a weekend in California. Like the Canucks coming to town is a big yawn. Like swat them aside like fruit flys. Did Anaheim/LA break a sweat. No respect earned or given. The Canucks come out of this weekend bruised, battered, bloody, beaten and injured. Has the high point of the season been reached already and its all downhill from here.

  • Larionov18

    I want to see Tryamkin get a shot. Sbisa has been a nightmare again. Started out so promising but has fallen off a cliff. Edler has been questionable as well on the PK. That lazy clear attempt led to the 2nd goal for the Ducks. Maybe a water bug like Stecher can get him to pick up his game pace.

  • Beefus

    Elder looked revitalized when paired with Stecher in the preseason. With Tanev he looks like his old tentative self. I’d like to see Sbiza in the press box and Tanev paired with Tryamkin.

  • Jimjamg

    Can someone tell me why we have a guy like Tyramkin on our team and then do not use him in a back to back against the big California teams? We deserved to get trampled.

  • JuiceBox

    Wow, listen to all the negativity about the California games…. Come on guys, its not like the team died here, they got out played. Lets be honest did we expect any different?

    The defence has been pretty good this year (Anaheim game aside) at shot and scoring chance suppression but they don’t quite pass the eye test. I can’t put my finger on it but something feels off. This corps doesn’t have that calm coolness about it. Every time the puck comes back into the Canucks end it’s almost like there is a tension on the ice and it’s leading to stupid mistakes. While I know Tanev is not the problem, it will be nice to see Stetcher into the line-up for two or three games. He looked good in the pre-season lets see if he plays with the same kind of tenacity now.

    And for all you lamenting the fact that Tryamkin didn’t play in California, it appears that he is severely out of shape – he would have been a pylon out there and its likely he would have been more detrimental to the team than helpful. We need to keep in mind that this coaching staff isn’t dumb, they know there is a good chance they would get run-over by those teams. If there was any chance that Tryamkin could have helped the team win, they would have surely played him. We need to start giving this coaching staff a little more credit.

  • KCasey

    This whole Tryamkin scenario is starting to worry me to a degree. I have so much hope that he will grow to be the sizable top 6 defender we all want him to be but he is more of a thorn in the side at this given moment. The conditioning issues are not exactly ideal when trying to get into a lineup but trying to play hard ball with the same people trying to help you develope by refusing to play in the AHL for a brief stint is kind of a rough play of your cards. Even if you have an out clause doesnt mean you should dangle it at every turn to have your way. I feel that managment may play hard ball back by not letting him get his chance when the moment arises such as tonight. Even still I have a soft spot for him to stick around and be the big man this team needs but its time for the guys in suits to get creative in finding ways to get him on board with a development path other than hiring a personal trainer/coach. If he were wise he would take notice that Stetcher spent a mere few weeks in the AHL and has earned nothing but respect and experiance through of the whole process. I hope Virtanen can go the same route peacefully if managment decides to do so. Tryamkin however will need a level of unique development to make his career path even get started. Hopefully it all comes together and they make the monster a reality on ice.