Vancouver Canucks, Rick Tocchet

More Moves: Canucks Salary Tap Dance, New Bodies, Waivers

UPDATED: In back-to-back announcements at about 2 pm pacific, the Canucks announced that Vasily Podkolzin had been called up to the NHL while Akito Hirose and Cole McWard were sent down to Abbotsford. They then presented their opening night roster. The D-pair stack down below has been adjusted to reflect the changes.

The Canucks have a day off Monday and we might hear from team general manager Patrik Allvin in the next 36 hours about recent moves, wrapping up camp, and getting the season started.

The club’s hockey department traded for Sam Lafferty on Sunday, acquiring the forward from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2024 5th-round NHL Draft pick. He’s a right-shot who can play any forward position, mostly utilized as a right wing, but often listed as a centre. A good skater, the 28-year-old, who was drafted by the Penguins in the 4th-round in 2014 very early in Jim Rutherford’s regime in PIttsburgh, also brings a bit of grit at 6-foot-2, 205-pounds.

The acquisition comes during what appears to be a bit of a scramble. Injured winger Ilya Mikheyev won’t be ready to go for the season opener Wednesday, centre Teddy Blueger left practice early Sunday with a nagging bruise, while forwards Nils Aman, who’s waiver exempt, Jack Studnicka and defenceman Christian Wolanin were all sent down to Abbotsford of the AHL.

“Teddy, yeah, he got hurt last (game), it’s just kind of a bruise,” Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet said after practice. “He wanted to gut it through. I kicked him off. He gets today off, tomorrow off, he’ll be ready to go Wednesday.”

What some had projected to be the Canucks 4th-line to start the season is either dinged up or gone altogether. How temporary the demotions last remains to be seen. Tocchet alluded to the notion that the moves had to be made to allow the club to dress six defenceman.

Another unfortunate reality; it’s permanently cold and flu season with a hockey team, or at least the threat of it exists. Winger Anthony Beauvillier has been under the weather, not sure of others.

All NHL teams have to have their salary cap business in order and opening night rosters submitted by 2 pm pacific on Monday.

Link here to new “Simmer and Gabby” Podcast, also available to view at bottom of page, Bruce Boudreau on the Canucks bottom-6, D-corps, bad habits, and Pacific picks.

Canucks D

Hard luck for new Canucks defenceman Carson Soucy, who is described as “week to week” after getting tangled up and suffering a lower body injury late in the 2nd period of the preseason finale against the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

The free agent acquisition who spent the last two seasons down the road with the Seattle Kraken was a key off-season pick-up in potentially bolstering both sides of the Canucks blueline. The 29-year-old lefty brings size and versatility to the equation, but will be missed potentially into November.

With that in mind, it appears this will be the Canucks D-corps against Connor McDavid and Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night. Lefty D-man Akito Hirose, with his seven games of NHL experience, was called up on Sunday, but then sent back down on Monday, making Tocchet’s thoughts below moot.

Quinn Hughes – Filip Hronek

Ian Cole – Tyler Myers

Guillaume Brisebois – Noah Juulsen

It appears mostly minor leaguer, Surrey native Juulsen will play in his 69th career NHL game alongside Brisebois, an option to Christian Wolanin who was sent down on the weekend.

It briefly appeared as though Hirose was the man.

“He’s comfortable,” Tocchet said of Akito. “I don’t think we’re afraid if we had to play him Wednesday night, we can throw him in there. He’s a very intelligent guy and he’s been on that stage before, last year, how many games he play, 20? Like, so that’s the good thing of putting those, we had a lot of different defenceman last year, but I think getting him in those 20 games trial. I don’t think he’ll be as nervous if he did play Wednesday night.”

They’ve decided not to throw him in there.

Canucks Twitter/X.
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Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.