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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports

Markus Granlund Out With Upper-Body Injury; Brendan Gaunce to Make Season Debut

There’s been a lot of speculation around town concerning which Canucks forward would take a game or two in the press box to accommodate the return of Brendan Gaunce to the lineup.

The usual suspects in this conversation include Alexander Burmistrov, Jake Virtanen and Sam Gagner. There are some who have rightly suggested Brandon Sutter should be in consideration too, but nobody actually expects him to sit.

Gaunce joined the Canucks on Monday, so the decision was bound to come sooner than later. And today, with word that Markus Granlund didn’t join the team for their trip to Calgary to take on the Flames, we have some clarity. Gaunce will make his 2017-18 season debut tonight against the Flames in place of Granlund.

As for Granlund, Sportsnet’s Brendan Batchelor spoke to Green, who confirmed that Granlund had sustained a lower-body injury in last night’s loss to the Detroit Red Wings and that he is day-to-day. The expectation is that Granlund will join the Canucks in time for the California portion of their road trip.

In response to the Granlund injury, the Canucks recalled Reid Boucher from the Utica Comets.

Last season was Gaunce’s first with the Canucks in a full-time role. In 57 games, Gaunce was goalless but added five assists and looked great by most underlying shot and goal-based metrics. His defensive game is already at an NHL level. The hope is that the offence will catch up a bit this season.

In five games with the Utica Comets during his conditioning stint, Gaunce had three points (two goals and one assist). I’d expect that Gaunce will play in Granlund’s spot on the Canucks’ checking line alongside Brandon Sutter and Derek Dorsett.

  • Killer Marmot

    There are some who have rightly suggested Brandon Sutter should be in consideration too, but nobody actually expects him to sit.

    Sutter and Granlund are the #1 penalty killing forwards for the Canucks on a team notably short of PK artists, especially with Hansen and Burrows gone. And now with Granlund out, you would sit Sutter as well? That don’t work too good.

    • Killer Marmot

      And here’s how I meant to format it…

      There are some who have rightly suggested Brandon Sutter should be in consideration too, but nobody actually expects him to sit.

      Sutter and Granlund are the #1 penalty killing forwards for the Canucks on a team notably short of PK artists, especially with Hansen and Burrows gone. And now with Granlund out, you would sit Sutter as well? That don’t work too good.

  • Cageyvet

    Who writes this crap? Oh yeah…..Sutter has been a critical part of the success of both Dorsett and the team this year. I don’t know what games you’ve been watching, but I shouldn’t be surprised anymore.

    I see Gaunce as a 4th liner who may still have upside, and agree with comments I’ve heard (pre-injury announcement) that suggested he take Granlund’s spot. This would free Granlund up for a more offensive role. The debate then is who sits, but that would be my choice, and I’d be inclined to sit Burmistrov. Until the last couple of games, I’d have coin flipped between him and Gagner, but recent performance and contract combine to keep him in the lineup.

    There have been suggestions of putting him with the twins, but I hope they leave Jake there for now.