Why Wiercioch was not included on the opening day roster

The news was fast and furious this morning as the Canucks acquired defenceman Derrick Pouliot, assigned Olli Juolevi to Finland and released Darren Archibald from his PTO. All these moves occurred before the cutoff for the ‘Opening Day’ roster that the Canucks had to submit at 2PM PT today.

They had to have 23 players (or less) on the roster before that cutoff. The addition of Pouliot threw a wrench in the plan because he was acquired for Andrey Pedan, who had already cleared waivers earlier in the day. Pouliot would’ve also required waivers to be assigned to the AHL. He would’ve had to have been placed on waivers yesterday to ensure he cleared and met the deadline today.

That same rule of having to be on waivers yesterday to be assigned to AHL prior to the Opening Day roster cutoff also has to be applied to players like Alex Biega or Patrick Wiercioch. But there is actually an article in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that applies to such an occurrence, and is located under Article 16.2b in the NHL/NHL CBA:

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To simplify, the Canucks acquired Pouliot (“Player A”) via trade and thus agreed to place Patrick Wiercioch (“Player B”) on waivers tomorrow to make room for the incoming Pouliot. This makes Weircioch a non-roster player for today and why he wasn’t at practice this morning.  The Canucks had to submit this request in writing to the NHL Central Registry and NHLPA, which was then approved by the Commissioner. (or someone acting on behalf of Gary Bettman)

The Canucks entered the day with 25 healthy players on the roster. They then acquired Pouliot, which put their total up to 26. By assigning Juolevi to Finland, then not signing (releasing him from his PTO) Archibald, and lastly designating Weircioch as non-roster, they were able to get down to the 23 man roster limit.

It is worth adding that if the Canucks were unable to this, they could’ve just assigned one of Jake Virtanen or Brock Boeser to Utica until Wiercioch had been placed on and cleared waivers. This would’ve been the necessary move to make because both of them are waiver exempt. It would’ve just been a little paperwork.

Pouliot is expected to be at Canucks practice tomorrow. Wiercioch will be placed on waivers on Wednesday morning at 9am, and if he clears, will be assigned to the Utica Comets on Thursday.

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  • Peggy McIntosh

    Management seems to like players that have shown some skill (Granlund) and/or draft pedigree (Baertschi, Pouliot) that have been shuttled back and fourth from the AHL and NHL on previous teams.

    Seemingly it’s because they feel these players may not have been developed properly.

    Markstrom fits this mold as well.

    If Pouliot succeeds as Baertschi and Granlund have, CA might have to write a “market inefficiency” article praising Benning and his scouting acumen.

    What am I saying?

    CA would never do that.

    • defenceman factory

      Is that fair? Seems they have eaten an appropriate amount of crow on Virtanen’s play this preseason and haven’t compared him to Raffi Torres in weeks

      • Cageyvet

        Yeah, it probably is fair, as the suggestion is they wouldn’t go out of their way to write something that positive that goes against their own narratives.

        I’m with you on the fact that CA has acknowledged some mistakes of their own, but there’s some catching up to do still in my books. That’s primarily because so many of the opinions are offered up as facts, and last season I saw too many examples of:

        1. Negative takes that were bereft of analytics, so pretty much the eye test that was routinely belittled
        2. A too-small-by-far amount of articles that revisited their predictions / analyses and examined them in the light of more recent events

        For an analytics-first site, I expect more. I appreciate the different viewing tools that are being developed, but let’s not beat the drum on any of these metrics on such small sample sizes.

        Meanwhile, back on topic, Wiercoch being waived is fantastic in my books. Sure, I’d have waived Biega and kept Pedan, but things have changed all of a sudden.

        Interesting trade as we had risked Pedan for nothing by waiving him, so basically a 4th for Pouliot. Pedan having cleared actually increased his value, while Pouliot not having cleared yet diminished his. This deal may have been done before we waived Pedan and it was actually a condition of the deal. If Pittsburgh had picked him up on waivers they’re in the same boat as with Pouliot, keep him in the NHL or risk losing him to waivers.

        What does this have to do with Wiercoch? Simply that I am very happy to see Benning waive a journeyman guy he just signers to gamble on a young guy with high upside potential. Burmistrov, Vanek, whomever, if the opportunity to improve long term is there, these cost-nothing offseason acquisitions have to be seen as expendable.

    • jaybird43

      Yes, Peggy, you are right. Some people here at CA seem to have a hard time seeing how good Benning is at these type of “market inefficiencies” trades that Benning is using to rapidly upgrade the team. Nice call

    • Freud

      Peggy/ locust has selective memory for her lame attempt at not looking jealous. She forgot to also mention the draft picks wasted on Vey, Prust, Dorsett, Pedan, Larsen which paint a bit of a different picture in inefficiency.

      • truthseeker

        Right…cause every GM has a 100% success rate with every move they make….lol.

        And what kind of draft picks were they? Mostly low round. A second rounder what? One time for Vey? You people who whine about losing low round draft picks make me laugh. Picks with like a 2% chance of ever making the NHL vs taking a flyer on guys who are having moderate minor league success that could translate into NHL success. Hardly inefficient. At WORST it’s a lateral move. I suspect it’s more likely that Benning’s strategy is MORE efficient at producing NHL players. But then we’d have to crunch the numbers on the NHL success rates of decently performing AHL players and compare that to late round picks. I just don’t care enough about hockey to do that. Bottom line…you’re complaining about nothing.

      • Peggy McIntosh

        Is forgetting Etem from your laundry list a Freudian slip of stupidity?

        Speaking of Etem, the Canucks traded a warm body (Jensen) and 6th round pick for 7 goals in 39 games out of Etem.

        Is this considered a waste?

        I suspect the culmination of all these trades that have notably netted Baertschi & Granlund will look like a win for management.

        Lest we forget the “death by a thousand contracts” that has already yielded Stecher and may yield something from Chatfield & MacEwen.

        Time is the ultimate test.

        As evidenced by your theories being considered psychobabble by contemporary standards…

        • canuckfan

          If Jensen has actually done something besides being a warm body and that 6th round pick we traded also has done something besides being picked in the 6th round then the Etem trade could be ridiculed. But I don’t believe anyone benefited from that trade, but was worth a try. Benning has done quite a bit all to better the Canucks, some worked and some didn’t no one can say that Benning hasn’t been doing a good job building a good system with depth and increased talent compared to what was on the horizon when he joined the Canucks organization. I would say he has always been working to better the team. The signings this past summer also helped them have two teams so that they could go to China and likely only a couple of these recently signed players will be here next summer.
          The Canucks have been in a rebuild from the day Benning was hired. I think the owner got a bit nervous and made some moves, but he is the owner and spending his cash so he is welcome, but because these moves weren’t the smartest is paying the price such as the 6 million dollar contract for the next five years.
          The Canucks will be fun to watch nice to see them getting faster and playing more of an attack game rather than sitting back.
          The next big move will be the transfer of the “C” to the next team leader. Henrik will do this in a classy way rather than in a dramatic fashion as he has always done everything for the team, and for Vancouver.

  • Steamer

    As usual, above & beyond – thanks Ryan. Strange happenings – will Benning’s gamble pay off? Can Green work more magic as with Sven & Jake? Will Pedan stick with the Penguins? Will Wiercioch be claimed? And yeah, who would have thought Biega rated higher, although perhaps being a RH shot is the difference? Really though Boeser’s game had dropped off when competition grew stiffer, somewhat surprised he remained given recent performances & dwindling ice-time in final game? Now, does Pouliot sit as #7, or does he draw in? If in, who comes out?

    • El Kabong

      I was at the prospect tournament in Penticton this summer and watched Boeser play. He was very unimpressive and looked disengaged most of the time. You could still see his skill and maturity but he wasn’t a shining light either. He played well in pre-season and was getting top line minutes with the split squad and faded a bit once the vets returned. Remember this guy is still a rookie and will need to still be developed properly. Make him earn his ice time and he’ll grow to fit the role.

      • canuckfan

        Boeser is a goal scorer much like a striker in soccer is deceptive in his moves causing him to be ignored and then he is in the right spot and open for a shot.
        I have been impressed with how he plays without the puck, and his positioning.
        If you remember the maintenance day he took it was from that day forward he has been not at the top of his game. Maybe he has a minor injury which will heal over this week and be back at the top of his game on Saturday. I would not read too much into Jake and Brock not getting ice time in last game Green likely made his decision and decided to give them some rest and give others more time because both Jake and Brock have been doing an awful lot the last few weeks. Plus having them think that maybe they didn’t do enough so that they never let up and keep going as hard as they can even if they only play 8 minutes.

  • jaybird43

    You know, I doubt that Pouliot would have cleared waivers. I think that Benning used the CBA ckeverky as did the Pens. He’s a bubble guy, but I think he’s an upgrade on Pedan. Without this trick in the CBA, I think the Pens wouldn’t have gotten anything for him. Maybe Vegas scoops him up … more JB smarts in my books. May not work out, but he’s weighted the odds towards the Canucks. Remember tgat both Granlund and Baertschi both had some NHL seasoning under their belts for the untried prospects that they traded away ….

  • Steamer

    So, if Wiercioch is claimed off of waivers, means Canucks gave up Wiercioch, Pedan AND a 4th for Pouliot?! Rutherford must feel like he’s taking candy from a Benning. Is Pouliot even as good as Pedan or Wiercioch? Canucks gambling.

    • Peachy

      It’s not a terrible gamble. What’s the best case scenario for Pedan or Wiercioch? Slightly above replacement level 6D? Pouliot has higher upside, maybe sheltered 4D + PP QB, granted his odds of hitting that are probably 50% at best.

      I don’t like giving up the pick (especially now that GMJB appears to have shifted to a “swing for the fences” drafting strategy), but it’s not the end of the world.

    • Dirty30

      Other than The Yotes, no other team is ahead of the Canucks in the waiver claim line up. So if Arizona wants Weircloch then he’s gone, and Arizona has to waive some guy. Otherwise, unless some team above the Canucks in the current standings sees Weircloch as a huge upgrade on one of their D, its highly unlikely he will be claimed.

    • Silverback

      Of course it is a gamble, but what did Rutherford gain? A 4th round pick and a career minor leaguer? Where’s the candy? From what I see, Wiercioch cleared and is in Utica. Gamble worked.

    • jaybird43

      Olli is 19 years old. There’s maybe a handful of defencemen in the entire league that age. It’s an unfair comparison for a draft+1 to be compared to guys with inferior upside who happen to be more seasoned players. A bit of time, and I think it’ll work out. Only 8 defencemen drafted (2.8%) between (inclusive) 2013 to 2016 (four draft years) have played in 82 or more NHL games. That number jumps to 6.3% when talking about forwards. The development horizon is longer for D-men. They need time playing against men, almost always, and usually two years or so.