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Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Canucks place Sven Baertschi, Nikolay Goldobin and Alex Biega on waivers

We knew the tough decisions were coming.

The Canucks have reduced their preseason roster by four players ahead of Wednesday’s season opener against the Edmonton Oilers.

Guillaume Brisebois has been reassigned to Utica, while Sven Baertschi, Alex Biega, and Nikolay Goldobin have been placed on waivers for the purpose of AHL designation.

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It isn’t much of a surprise that Goldobin has been cut following his underwhelming preseason, but many believed Baertschi was close to a lock to make the team. The 26-year-old has recorded 23 goals over the last two seasons and is capable of supplying offense wherever he plays in the lineup.

Youngster Adam Gaudette had a monstrous preseason and earned a roster spot with his four goals and complete all-around effort. The 22-year-old forced the Canucks to make a very tough call.

Baertschi can score goals, but his health is a major concern. The Swiss forward has missed 85 games over the last two years and has never played more than 70 games in a season. In 285 career NHL games, Baertschi has 66 goals and 136 points.

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The Canucks can only bury $1.05 million in the AHL, so a team claiming Baertschi would take his $3.26M cap hit off the books. Goldobin is making $900,000.

Biega will provide a great leadership presence and solid two-way game to AHL Utica after he put up two goals and 16 points in 41 games for the Canucks last season. It looks like the Canucks have opted to go with the newcomer Oscar Fantenberg over the veteran Biega. Fantenberg isn’t known for his offense, but he brings some solid defensive attributes and got in 61 NHL games between Los Angeles and Calgary last season. He’ll likely be the Canucks’ seventh blueliner.

With the latest roster cuts, it appears Gaudette, Loui Eriksson, Tim Schaller, Jake Virtanen, Brandon Sutter and Tyler Motte have all made the team.

There was lots of good NHL players placed on waivers this morning, and you have to think talented forwards such as Josh Ho-Sang, Daniel Sprong and Nic Petan being available reduces the chance of a team putting in a claim for Goldobin or Baertschi.

It’s also being reported the Canucks may be re-interested in getting Luke Schenn back on the blueline after he was placed on waivers by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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The Canucks final roster will have to be submitted by 2:00 PM on Tuesday.