Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks name opening day roster and leadership group

With their home opener set for tomorrow, the organization made some announcements:

There are no surprises in terms of these announcements but does provide some clarity on a few items.

The 23 man roster was already set with Sam Gagner and Darren Archibald clearing waivers earlier this morning but it’s now official that Antoine Roussel will start the season on the injured reserve as he recovers from a concussion suffered in the summer. Goaltender Thatcher Demko took a puck off the mask last week, was diagnosed with a concussion, and thus begins the season on the non-roster IR. Once he is healthy, he will be formally assigned to the Utica Comets.

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When Roussel is healthy, the Canucks will have to make another move to open a roster spot for him.

As for the leadership group, the decision to name Chris Tanev, Brandon Sutter, Alex Edler, and Bo Horvat as alternate captains is not the least bit of a shock. There had been strong indications from the management group and coaching staff over the summer that they were leaning towards a collective leadership group instead of the traditional approach of having a captain and thus have spread the responsibilities around some of the veterans and the expected next captain, Horvat. This allows Horvat to be a part of the leaders without shouldering the entire weight of the role.

Given that the Canucks are expected to struggle this season, it would’ve been a huge ask placed on the centre to undertake the the captaincy But it seems pretty clear that he would’ve been able to handle it this season and will just end up doing so next year.

It’s inevitable that Horvat will be named the captain and by kicking it to later down the road, the organization has given themselves a positive bit of news when he does get named. That could be shortly after the trade deadline, as the season winds down, the summer, or prior to the 2019-20 season.

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The reasoning behind the multiple alternates and no official captain makes sense in a vacuum but everyone knows Horvat will be the 14th captain in Canucks history. It’s now just a matter of when they take off the A and put the C on.

The Canucks open their season tomorrow with the Calgary Flames visiting Rogers Arena.

  • wojohowitz

    So Beagle was not brought in to provide leadership. Instead to be a four million dollar fourth line center. I understand he deserves to be rewarded for his years of service and his Stanley Cup ring but why is it Benning who rewards him?

    Maybe this old adage explains Benning; He`s like a kid in a candy store with a nickel burning a hole in his pocket.

    • North Van Halen

      Seriously curious what this has to do with the topic other than you trying to find reasons to slag Benning?
      Is his not being named an assistance somehow an indictment on his ability to contribute? Is it just like you’re a kid in a candy store with a nickel in your pocket? See a Canuck article, gotta find a reason it shows management incompetence.

      • wojohowitz

        Nice deflection. That`s the way to keep your stick on the ice. As to the question; Why do the Canucks have a four million dollar fourth line center who was brought in to provide leadership has not shown enough to be given an `A`? There`s no good answer to that question is there? Just another personal attack from a `Pom Pom Waver`. Gimme a B. Gimme an E. Gimme a N. Gimme a T. What`s that spell; Benning.

        • You don’t need to wear an “A” or a “C” to show leadership. Beagle has been working hard in games and in practice and is available to answer questions from any of the younger players (e.g. ECHL, AHL and NHL experiences). That’s a form of leadership.

        • North Van Halen

          What am I deflecting from? I have not watched a single second of Jay Beagle playing for the Vancouver Canucks, not one. I have formed no opinion of what he brings how he helps or whether he’s worthy of a letter. I don’t believe it’s essential to wear a letter to contribute in a thousand different ways to a team.
          Apparently you have some deluded idea that nt having a letter somehow diminishes a players value to the team.
          Again please explain in a way only a deluded hater without an ounce of objectivity can, how having a letter on your sweater either:
          A) makes you a better player
          B) defines your contribution to the team.
          For the hundredth time I’m not a Benning hater or lover but the haters make up such insane stupidity,, it causes my bs meter to go off and I feel compelled to respond…see above

          • liqueur des fenetres

            I could care less either way, but it’s curious that they chose 4 in the leadership group and not 3 or 5. Regardless, those 4 have been bestowed with a particular honor that the others did not receive (and MDZ lost).


    I don’t like this at all. Bo should be named Captain and allowed to prove himself once again. He has gone from a 3rd line defensive center with a lack of speed to a two-way second line center and now on the verge of being a #1.
    It’s a middle of the road milk toast decision. In football if you have 2 QBs you don’t have one, in Hockey if you have 2 Goalies you don’t have 1… if you have 4 leaders???

  • Defenceman Factory

    Given the prospects in next summer’s draft and the projections for this year’s team it is conceivable in 3 years Horvat is the 3rd best centre on this team.

    If the Canucks had to pick a captain I agree Bo would be the best choice but they don’t have to pick one. Very likely they won’t next year either.

    I don’t have a problem with the Canucks waiting until they are certain who will be the nucleus of this team.

  • Spreading the Captaincy around, rather than putting it all on Horvat’s shoulders, is the right move. Let Bo focus on his game for now and let the Captaincy sort itself out in the future. (Make no mistake, Bo is the future Captain of this team)

  • Nuck16

    Interesting that MDZ was passed over considering he wore an A last year…could be foreshadowing of a reduced role this season (trade or regular in the press box)
    Also, I guess they figured Guddy just isn’t good enough to wear a letter considering he is respected as a leader otherwise.

  • RobG

    This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion but IF the Canucks end up signing Edler to a 3 or 4 year extension (which I think is likely at this point given the development path of the current defence prospects), I think the captancy should fall to him and not Horvat. Edler is by far the longest serving Canuck and with an extension he will likely retire a Canuck – playing his entire career for the team, and it makes more sense (to me anyway) that he be named captain until he decides he no longer wants to be a Canuck. People can say the captaincy doesn’t matter anymore but I am a firm believer that the captaincy is an honourable title and should be earned not given and I have never liked young men that are still under club control given the captaincy. Let’s hold off anointing Horvat the next Captain until he chooses to spend more than one of his UFA years with the team.

  • Rodeobill

    The funny thing is that so far (and I know they dont count), the biggest issue I can see with the team is the lack of leadership, they don’t seem to be playing as a team. Maybe this will iron itself out as we go, maybe they are waiting for the team to find it’s new identity and then put the C on. I don’t care who wears the C, but I do care they have structure and leadership and play well together, not like a bunch of flailing spare parts.

  • Macksonious

    Wise move by management to ease Bo into that role. Since another long season is most likely ahead, he doesn’t need the extra burden of constantly answering all the tough questions after every game. Right decision.

  • Kid Canuck

    So, hypothetically (especially for the Canucks), who would lift the cup if a team doesn’t have a legit captain? Do you have to name one for the playoffs?

  • RobG

    Holy, bipolar much?

    “Gagne Is useless why is he here”

    “If any prospects show better in pre season he needs to go”

    Gagner gets outplayed in preseason

    “There is no place on this team for Gagner anymore, he needs to go.”

    Management waives Gagne and generally does right by the player by loaning him to an AHL team where he is close to his family and can get a better look from other NHL teams for the express purpose of trading him and getting him back into the NHL ASAP.

    “What the hell is Benning doing? This is terrible asset management. Another blunder by JB and the Canucks”

    If this wasn’t so sad, it would be funny.

  • Locust

    Anyone that knows anything about hockey (hello….?) knows that your captain isn’t necessarily the longest serving player and isn’t necessarily your ‘best’ player, it needs to be someone that commands respect and is a leader of men.
    The ability to be a captain also DOES NOT show up on the stats sheet. That’s why the band campers wont get it (like winning faceoffs isn’t important – don’t think I’ll ever get over that one).