Friday, April 25th, 2014

Opening night! Schroeder impresses, Ebbett stays, Edler Cashes In

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Alex Edler battles in front of Roberto Luongo

Schroeder impresses, Ebbett stays, Edler cashes in.

Jordan Schroeder did impress at Canucks training camp, but Andrew Ebbett bested him. That and the threat that the Canucks would be forced to waive, and perhaps lose Ebbett, were they to return him to the Chicago Wolves, secured Ebbett the starting number two center job for the Canucks on opening night versus the Anaheim Ducks.

In fact, Ebbett was one of the stronger performers on Wednesday night scoring the game-tying goal, plus a marker during a post scrimmage shoot out competition during the first night scrimmage. Schroeder also had a significant game during the second scrimmage on Thursday recording two assists on two of Mason Raymond’s three goals. Alas, given Ebbett’s precarious position vis a vis waivers, Schroeder became the obvious man out.

Far from precarious, is the Canucks top offensive d-man, Alex Edler, who more than secured his future with the team by signing the biggest contract by a defensemen in Vancouver Canucks history worth $30 million over five years. No small reward for the 26-year-old who tied for sixth in scoring with the great Shea Weber for points by an NHL defensemen.

In total, the Canucks will begin the season with 12 forwards and 9 defensemen (with Jim Vandermeer being a utility defensemen who can also play the wing), and two starting goalies (none of which have been traded as of yet). Though coach Vigneault will undoubtedly tinker further with the team before and throughout tomorrow’s game (in fact, look for the second and third lines to have constant interchangeable parts), the tentative starting lineup is as follows:

Line 1 D. Sedin H. Sedin A. Burrows
Line 2 M. Raymond A. Ebbett Z. Kassian
Line 3 C. Higgins A. Laperriere J. Hansen
Line 4 A. Volpatti M. Malhotra D. Weise

D Pair 1 A. Edler K. Bieksa
D Pair 2 J. Garrison D. Hamhius
D Pair 3 K. Ballard C. Tanev

Goalie: C. Schneider

Bench: C. Tanev, J. Vandermeer, A. Alberts, Some guy named Luongo

Other notes:
• Junior D-man Frank Corrado has been sent back to OHL Kitchener Rangers; Kevin Connauton was sent to the Chicago Wolves
• D-men Jim Vandermeer and Cam Barker will stick with the team
• Forwards Aaron Volpatti and Dale Weiss will round out the fourth line.

Toby Ward (follow Toby on Twitter)

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