Vancouver Canucks send Akito Hirose down, recall Mark Friedman from Abbotsford
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks have assigned defenceman Akito Hirose to the Abbotsford Canucks in order to make room for recently acquired right shot defenceman Mark Friedman to join the NHL club on the road. General manager Patrik Allvin made the announcement on Wednesday morning.
The Canucks acquired Friedman, 27, along with 23-year-old centre Ty Glover in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. Vancouver sent defenceman Jack Rathbone and forward Karel Plasek back the other way. Rathbone will report to Pittsburgh’s AHL club in Wilkes-Barre Scranton while Plasek will report to the ECHL.
Ty Glover will report to Abbotsford and be reuinted with former teammate Max Sasson. As expected, the Canucks are getting Friedman up with the big club as soon as possible, as the right side of their defence has been a significant weakness through three games this season. Noah Juulsen and Tyler Myers weren’t very good during last night’s shutout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, which has many fans wondering why it’s Hirose being demoted instead of Juulsen to make room for a right-shot defenceman.
You’d expect Friedman to get into the Canucks’ lineup on the third pairing on Thursday when the club faces off against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and for Juulsen to be the odd man out of the lineup. The Canucks are going to carry seven defencemen on their roster for now, as Guillaume Brisebois was placed on LTIR yesterday.
The most logical explanation for why it’s Hirose instead of Juulsen going down is that the club hopes to get Hirose plenty of ice time in Abbotsford instead of sitting in the press box for the foreseeable future. With Quinn Hughes, Ian Cole, and Carson Soucy all on the left side of the Canucks’ blue line, there just isn’t much room for Hirose to get into the NHL lineup.
It will be interesting to see how the Canucks change up their defence pairings with the addition of Friedman, who is a solid puck mover and has been described as a Kyle Burroughs-type depth defenceman.
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