Canucks recall Brendan Gaunce from Utica

The Vancouver Canucks announced earlier this morning that they’d recalled forward Brendan Gaunce from the Utica Comets and that he would join the team in Pittsburgh.

Vancouver reassigned Gaunce to the Comets on February 6th, where he’s been near a point-per-game player since.

He appeared in four games for Utica, where he posted two goals and one assist. He didn’t wait long to make his mark on the scoreboard, lighting the lamp less than two minutes into his first AHL game of the season:

Gaunce has appeared in 47 contests for the Canucks this season – he has zero goals and five assists.

The recall was necessitated by Bo Horvat suffering a bone bruise from blocking a shot in Sunday’s game against Buffalo. He is listed as day to day.

The Canucks previously assigned Gaunce to Utica, as they reached the 23 man roster limit and since Gaunce was the only non-waiver eligible forward, his assignment was the easy solution to the situation. Most expected that it just required another injury, and Gaunce would make his way back up to the Canucks. That injury happened to Sven Baertschi the following night, and he was placed on IR.

Gaunce is expected to draw into the lineup for the Canucks tonight, but at this time there is no information on how the lines will shake out.

  • wojohowitz

    In my world he replaces Horvat at center, plays with Burrows and Hansen and gets a regular shift.

    In Willie`s world what good is a fourth line winger who gets minimal minutes and can`t score instead of Megna, Chaput and Skille who have what? 10 goals between them and all three are up and down the lineup.

  • Jabs

    I think Gaunce is a very good player and has a reaL future as a Canuck. I sure hope Willie doesn’t spoil this by making him “that guy” that is up and down from the farm on a regular basis and only giving him 7 minutes a night in the NHL.

  • natevk

    I think with Gaunce’s usage the last couple years it’s easy to forget that he’s a first-round pick. Gaunce is a legitimate blue-chip prospect in the organization and may one day turn into that third-line, shutdown centre that some considered to be Bo Horvat’s ceiling.

    With his possession stats this season on the fourth line, and his ability to score at the junior and AHL level, I’d love to see him have the opportunity to develop into that solid third-line C.

  • Steamer

    Good to see Gaunce back – thought he needed a brief stint back in the ‘A’ just to get his offense going again – for whatever reason, he has struggled in that area this year, but believe he has a lot more to give. Going to be tough without Baertschi, Horvat & Sutter. What about the Habs dumping Therrien for Claude Julien? Did Canucks miss the boat on this one?
    Don’t think there’s any doubt that Julien is a superior coach to WD. Thoughts?

    • TheRealPB

      It’s not really a mystery as to why Gaunce has struggled in the NHL — less than ten minutes on the wing on the fourth line with grinders will do that to you. As someone else said, give him third line C minutes and see what he can do. They’ll probably get killed but at least let’s see.

      As for Julien, he’s a good coach but I’m not sure he’s the one you want right now. What are some of the biggest complaints about WD? That he plays the vets to the exclusion of the younger players, that he makes odd lineup decisions and deployment choices. What were the big complaints about Julien in Boston? That he continued to play Kevin Miller, Adam McQuaid, Chara, Seidenberg, and even Rinaldo last year rather than Seth Griffith, Joe Morrow, Ryan Spooner, and a number of their other younger players. Like WD he’s limited by the hand dealt by the GM (which in both cases wasn’t great though I would argue that Benning isn’t anywhere near as incompetent as Sweeney and Neely despite the hate for JB amongst the pundits) but he’s still the one that made a mess of the Bruins goaltending situation.

      I don’t think WD is a particularly good coach but I don’t think Julien would fit a roster in transition.

      • Steamer

        Thanks for your thoughts PB! Yeah, I really like Gaunce – thought last year was a big step forward ( pardon the pun ), then seemed to stall this year. You may well be right in attributing this to limited minutes & there’s no doubt he & his linemates have been good in the shutdown role – guess increased minutes will tell us more. Julien – you may be right in the similarity to WD’s preference for vets – & they’re not alone – tough for all coaches who need to win 1st, develop talent #2 – damned if you do, etc.
        I have a grudging admiration for WD, although his deployments & a perceived stubborness/failure to adjust often frustrate me no end, but wonder what the future holds as next year is final one of a 4 yr deal – if not resigned before next season, it’s ‘lame-duck’ time – wondering what – if any – plan is for Green, who has shown himself to be a coach able to get everything from his players ( not unlike WD? ). Again, time:)