Canucks make final 2013 opening night roster cuts

Horvat/Shinkaruk to remain in the bigs

The Vancouver Canucks have made another round of cuts following last night’s final pre-season game against the New York Rangers.

As Q mentioned this morning Frank Corrado and Zach Hamill have been sent back to the Utica Comets of the AHL, while Brendan Gaunce has been shipped back to the Belleville Bulls of the OHL.

While Corrado had a solid training camp and made a serious push for one of the final positions on Vancouver’s blue line, his age and inexperience ultimately gave Tortorella no choice but to send him back to the AHL where the youngster can play serious minutes and hone his craft.

There simply won’t be enough ice time to go around after Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis, Alex Edler, Jason Garrison, and Chris Tanev have played their fill.

As for Gaunce, the young centre was outplayed by both Brad Richardson and Mike Santorelli, both of whom have earned positions in Vancouver’s bottom-six after consistent training camps.

Santorelli has been used in a number of roles during the pre-season, and by all accounts is in excellent physical shape to begin the season according to John Tortorella.

Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk

Both Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat will begin the regular season with the Canucks.

“Based on the numbers, he’s our best conditioned athlete coming in here. I think he’s trying to prove a point.”

Having shown good chemistry with Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins during training camp and the pre-season, Brad Richardson gives the Canucks a solid option at third line centre to start the year.

With a solid checking line in place, Vancouver’s final round of cuts means youngsters Bo Horvat and Hunter Shinkaruk will remain with the team to begin the season, giving the pair at least a nine game extension to impress John Tortorella and the Canucks’ coaching staff.

With both Zack Kassian (suspension) and Jordan Schroeder (fractured foot) out to begin the year Tortorella will have ample opportunity to let the kids show their stuff on a scoring line rather than forcing the pair to play a more defensive style on the third or fourth lines.

Line combinations can be tricky in the pre-season, however the pair of young prospects have no place playing on a line with Tom Sestito during regular season play.

Both Horvat and Shinkaruk can play up to nine regular season games with the Canucks before the team will have to decide whether they are sent back down to junior or remain with the team for the season, burning the first year of their entry-level NHL contract.


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About Kevin Vanstone

Born in Vancouver, and a student at UVIC. "The Flying V" follows all things Canucks hockey and covers the best in CIS athletics around the Pacific Northwest. He loves to write about the athletes that used to show him up in his playing days.
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