Canucks Reduce Training Camp Roster by Ten

The Canucks announced another round of cuts to their training camp roster this afternoon. Ten players are in the crosshairs, and each is expected to report to the Utica Comets training camp.

Today’s victims of the numbers game include Evan McEneny, Jordan Subban, Zack MacEwan, Michael Carcone, Yan-Pavel LaPlante, Griffen Molino, Ashton Sautner, Alexis D’Aoust, Aaron Irving and Brett McKenzie.

Among the ten players going to Utica, only McEneny will have to clear waivers for the purpose of reassignment. And there’s no guarantee he’ll make it through.

A team like the Colorado Avalanche, for example, are rebuilding, only have four defencemen on NHL contracts and need players that are, at the very least, on the cusp of NHL readiness. Someone like McEneny might be appealing, especially given where they are in their development.

The waiver situation might actually explain why the Canucks have sent McEneny down so early in the process. McEneny hasn’t had a great camp, but he’s looked fine by all accounts, and on the sole basis of merit, deserves to be around a bit longer — certainly longer than Guillaume Brisebois. It’s possible the Canucks think that by sending McEneny down early enough in the process, he’ll get lost in the sea of waiver wire fodder and that he won’t have the opportunity to impress teams further in camp.

Other than McEneny, there isn’t a lot going on in this group. Some will find it disappointing that Jordan Subban didn’t get an extended look, but the simple fact is that he reaffirmed the Canucks every concern about his ability to play defence at the NHL level — he’s just not ready.

That Griffen Molino didn’t last to the bitter end might be a surprise to some, given he played five games with the Canucks to finish last season. Like Subban, though, Molino just didn’t show anywhere near enough to indicate he’s an NHL ready player. Molino has NHL speed but doesn’t quite know how to use it yet. Unlike Subban, I could see Molino getting a call-up at some point this season. Injuries are an inevitability with this team, it seems, and he’s not terribly far off from being a passable option on a team’s fourth line.

The Canucks play next on Thursday night against the Calgary Flames.


As it turns out, McEneny doesn’t require passing through waivers to make it to the Utica Comets. Ryan Biech does an excellent job of outlining why, in this article.

    • Jabs

      So true, based on his performances it seems obvious that he is not willing to respond to coaching which tries to get him to place a greater emphasis on playing his position.

    • Killer Marmot

      Every time someone suggests putting Subban on the wing, they are given a sonorous lecture from CA on how that is just not done and how the two positions are completely different and so on.

      But I ask, what’s to lose?

  • Steamer

    Merci, JD. Agree, think Molino has speed, but lacking much offensive upside, should help Comets; seems to me that what Subban lacks most is ‘thinking at speed’, manifested in rushed, bad passes. poor reads, etc. etc. Been hopeful this player would develop more hockey sense, but while his numbers continue to climb, his all-round play appears to have plateaued. Can Cull get more? The bigger questions are, of course, still in the offing: decisions on Goldobin & Rodin, both of whom need to clear. Rodin has looked the better of the two, but Goldobin represents an asset that was acquired – that will contribute to the decision. Am assuming now that both Boeser & Virtanen are staying – the ‘meritocracy’ – but perhaps the choice will be to protect as many assets as possible? ( notice no mention of Boucher, alas ), in which case both Virtanen & Boeser will go to Utica. On D this might present in the form of keeping Pedan as a #8 & exposing Biega instead.

    • Bert Diesel

      My understanding is that Goldobin is not waiver eligible until 2018-19. This makes it extremely likely he will be in Utica and a call up when injuries strike. Anyone know what’s going on with Johnathon Dahlen?

    • DJ_44

      Goldobin is waiver exempt. Rodin would have to clear (I think he stays).

      I think it was painfully apparent Subban lacks a lot of things. There were signs, but, other that his ability at the offensive blueline (shot and distribute the puck) he does not have it. He cannot really make a first pass, and his skating and moves the worked in junior, and worked less often in the AHL, do not work in the NHL.

      I only hope the mindless cries for Subban to “get a shot” fade away; he received a very long look this training camp.

      For those who want him traded: just what do you think another team would be willing to pay? Unless there is substantial improvement, he will not be qualified at the end of his ELC (nor should he be).

  • Killer Marmot

    Like Subban, though, Molino just didn’t show anywhere near enough to indicate he’s an NHL ready player. Molino has NHL speed but doesn’t quite know how to use it yet.

    I disagree. I thought Molino played fine last spring, given the line mates and the limited ice time he got. But I would send Molino to Utica just to avoid putting another player on waivers.

    But the Canucks might have problems finding players to kill penalties with Hansen and Burrows gone and Gaunce out with injuries. If Sutter gets hurt then things then the PK could be in real trouble, and Molino could well get called up.

  • Bert Diesel

    I’m thinking:
    Erikson Horvat Boeser
    Baertschi Granlund Vanek
    Sedin Sedin Gagner
    Virtanen Sutter Dorsett
    Extras: Rodin, Burmistrov

    In Utica: Boucher, Goldobin, Dahlen,

    • Dirty30

      Baertschi Bo Boeser (young, reasonably fast and skilled — play well together)
      Erickson Burmistrov Gagner (youngish centre with two vets who like garbage goals)
      Sedin Sedin Granlund (it worked before and Granlund is better at wing than centre)
      Rodin Sutter Vanek/Virtanen/Dorsett (with the exception of Sutter, all four players can be extras depending on their play and who they’re playing … want a little edge, put in Dorset and Virtanen … more skill, Rodin and Vanek, want a bit of both, take your pick.)

      The good thing about this roster is that many players can be interchangeable without a lot of disruption on the lines. That’s assuming they all learn to play the system as best possible. Both Rodin and Dorset need to be managed regarding injuries and Vanek-Gagner probably need some sheltering at times.

      I like Boeser with Bo-Baer because he takes some focus off Baer and that gives Sven more room to be effective.

      Boucher likely claimed on waivers just because …

  • myshkin

    it’s time to start thinking about what players we can pluck from other teams waiving good players. finishing 29th should mean we get second shot at players after only colorado and it seems like sakic can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. there might be a few gems that other gm’s are trying to sneak through.

  • Danthestatman

    The fact is you nor J nor anyone knows IF Subban is ready. Saying your certain he isn’t based on 4 split squad pre-season games is ridiculous.
    The prudent thing to do for a bottom feeder team trying to find and develip young talent is to give him 10-20gmsto find out a better idea what you have.The same gors for Goldy.Both have put up numbers in the Ahl they deserve a shot. What’s the downside?stealing a positoon from Philip Holm? Movjng from 29th to 31st in goals against?
    And he may help the 2nd PP.
    #CommonSense #Logic #decreasingbias

    • Tedchinook

      4 split squad games are what we as fans have seen. Canucks coaching and management have seen a lot more than that and I think they have a pretty good idea what they’ve got.

    • DJ_44

      Let’s look at a very simple comparison. Biega and Subban. Skating….Biega better; first pass…..Biega; defensive awareness, shot supression, physicality, transition game…..all. Biega. I think Subban has a better shot, and maybe he is better at distributing the puck at the point on the PP. Biega is an acknowledged 7,8th defenseman at the NHL level.

      Are you suggesting this assessment is biased?

      • DJ_44

        I will add one other thing. Subban has promise (although time is running out). When watched him at camp, as well in stretches of the preseason, he can perform. Maybe he loses his focus and should take a lesson from Luca Sbisa: simplify the weaker areas of the game (like zone exits), be hard in the defensive zone, and that will let the areas where he has upside shine.

        • defenceman factory

          I certainly can appreciate there are flashes of Subban’s game that give hope however the issues have been the same for a few years and really haven’t gotten much better. He is a serviceable AHL Dman, he can play there or move on for his next contract. At some point the space he occupies becomes more valuable for development than his contribution is worth.

          As for making him a winger, sure, up to him, but that’s a pretty common refrain about Dmen that can’t defend. Doesn’t work very often and just how much should the Canucks be expected to invest with poor odds of a return. Subban can skate and shoot. I don’t think any other facets of his game are NHL calibre.

    • truthseeker

      yep…it’s you who’s not being very logical. What makes YOU think he deserves 10 – 20 games? Were you at all the Utica games last year? Were you on the ice all through training camp this year? You don’t even see that you’re projecting. lol.

      Do you think you know more than Travis Green about Subban?

      Right….you don’t. And you also don’t seem to recognize that there is more to hockey than just “putting up numbers”.

      So maybe chill, and let the coaches and management do what they do. They know more than all of us.

      You do realize the NHL is a money driven business right? And that the only way a team can make money is to win? (unless you’re the leafs…then you have moronic fans that buy your stuff even when you lose)

      So do you really think the canucks are NOT going to ice a guy that would help them win?

      Coaches can’t afford, literally, in terms of their own money, can’t afford to “give guys a look”. Green needs to start wining. Because he has at most, 240 NHL games to get as many wins as he can, or he can say good by to any more NHL head coaching pay checks.

    • pheenster

      Hey Dan. I used Taj’s Twitter tears tonight to season my french fries. I’ll sprinkle yours on my ice cream. If Taj is Gillis’s pool boy, what are you? Do you wash his cars?

      The idea of giving Subban serious NHL minutes is only embraced by people who want the Canucks to lose a ton of hockey games (hmmm). The guy is a tire fire in his own zone and against full time NHL talent is probably worth one goal against a game. Why would you be advocating for keeping such a player? The imagination runs wild.

      As for Goldy, the jury is still out but the guy clearly isn’t ready. I’m on the record as not liking that deal; I’m prepared to wait on him a bit but keeping him on the big roster right now keeps someone who could better help the team off that roster. I can’t imagine what the motivation might be for a such a position.

      Goodnight Dan.

  • Straight Shooter

    After watching these truly awful pre-season games on both sides of the pond it is time to stop messing around. As another poster already said the Canucks are the last team who need to be wasting pre-season games like this.

    First up, Subban was drafted in 2013, he needs to go, he will never make the jump. Enough.

    McEneny on the other hand is the kind of big bodied physical defender we need on both teams, and with the waiver problem solved let him lead the way in Utica and get called up when needed or when he earns it. From what i have seen of Guddy, McEneny is an ideal replacement for this underwhelming bum. Let him go back to FLA, he’s all yours Mr Tallon..

    Now listen, I don’t care about ruffling feathers or getting thumbed down on here, I will be calling it as i see it with no quarter given all season, so get used to it. I’m also here to talk hockey and will not engage with trolls or personal attackers. Offenders will be cut, pasted and emailed directly to the site admin and a ban will ensue. Thanks for your time, now, let’s drop the puck.

    • DJ_44

      I’m also here to talk hockey and will not engage with trolls or personal attackers. Offenders will be cut, pasted and emailed directly to the site admin and a ban will ensue.

      So can we assume that implicit in the above statement is that you will refrain from using the multiple accounts, profanity, and self-replies that have plagued the comment section for the past year. That will be welcomed by all.

  • canuckfan

    Sure hope that there is a General Manager out there who thinks like a lot of the Subban fans on here. Face it he is not his brother, I am sure he is a great guy but is not going to crack the lineup. If he hasn’t been able to comprehend what the coaches have tried to teach him about playing defence what makes you believe he could learn to be a winger.
    Too bad that shot is going to be wasted but cannot take a spot on the bench with just that one talent.
    Would be nice to find someone to take him off our hands and see how he would do in another organization.

  • defenceman factory

    Well Kole Lind is back in the WHL for the start of the season and put up 8 points in the first 2 games. He played both special teams and big minutes as the Rockets put up two wins against the Blazers. I saw the 1st game and Lind showed more maturity than last year (emotions in check, no whining or ankle hacks). Most encouraging of all, for the first time, I saw him actually check somebody. Not a big hit, clean, wasn’t after the whistle. He effectively checked his man against the boards. It was a 5’9″ 160 lb 17 yr old but still, progress.

    I’ve been critical of Lind in previous comments but credit where it’s due. Kole lit it up this weekend.

    • canuckfan

      Likely learned a lot this summer and has some good conversations from coached and management with Canucks on what they expect from him and what they see needs improving… nothing like getting a taste of big league perks expect him to be hungry for World Juniors and to make next years Canucks. Good to hear he is doing well

  • I hope they give Rodin & Burmistrov a good look. Mature and skilled. Hope that plumbers like White and Upshall don’t take opportunities away from skilled players. Canucks can’t score!! By the way, like Gagner with Sedins.

  • Sandpaper

    Subban gets cut and no hysteria on here, not even from the group that ranked him as our 2nd best defenseman prospect.
    Everyone is either starting to grow up or see that he is a disaster.lol