The Vancouver Canucks sent defensive prospect Guillaume Brisebois back to the Utica Comets on Monday. It was a curious decision, because the team didn’t announce anyone coming back up, and it’s not clear if Alex Edler is ready to return from injury.
That leaves just six defencemen on the roster (and only two lefties). It means that veteran Luke Schenn will likely be in the lineup on Thursday when the Canucks face off against the Arizona Coyotes.
But if Edler doesn’t come back before then (and he might not), the Canucks will be down a defenceman. The team didn’t bring anyone up right away.
It’s left some wonder if the Canucks will look to put in a claim for Brandon Manning, who was recently dropped to waivers by the Edmonton Oilers.
It’s a possibility. The Canucks are starved for defenceman (especially left-handers, which Manning is), and he’d obviously come for nothing if the Canucks won the claim. He’s also from Prince George, B.C., and we know Vancouver loves their hometown boys.
He has, however, shown himself to be more or less ineffective in the NHL, especially of late. The fact the Oilers of all teams dropped him down to the minors is a pretty solid indication of that. This year, which he has spent with both the Philadelphia Flyers and Edmonton, he has four points in 39 games to go with a minus-15 rating.
He also has another year left on his deal at $2.25 million. For that reason alone, it’s hard to see the Canucks claiming Manning. Sure, they’re somewhat desperate right now, but they won’t be for long. If Manning’s contract was done at the end of the year, we could maybe see it, but because it runs another year, it would be very tough to stomach general manager Jim Benning taking on the cap hit, especially if Manning is dropped back to the AHL.
More likely is that Edler is close enough to returning that the Canucks feel they can wait a couple days in this three-day break before calling anyone up as an emergency if Edler can’t go. Schenn would slot into the lineup anyway and someone like Ashton Sautner would be brought up for a trip to the big leagues for a day or two.
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