The Vancouver Canucks decision to send centre Jordan Schroeder down to the minors on Friday and to include nine defencemen on the 23-player roster was a surprise.
The Canucks currently have no extra forwards and three extra defencemen: Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker, and Jim Vandermeer. According to Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, the team will be making a move to rectify the situation.
AV: “I would not predict that we would keep 9 defensemen for very long” #canucks
— Farhan Lalji (@FarhanLaljiTSN) January 19, 2013
Alberts, Barker, and Vandermeer will all need to clear waivers prior to being re-assigned to the minors, but are not subject to recall waivers since re-entry waivers has been removed in the new collective bargaining agreement.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players who are earning more than $900,000 will continue to have his cap hit count against the team’s salary cap even if he is sent to the minors. Since Alberts carries a cap hit of $1.225 million, the Canucks will receive no cap relief if they send him down to the minors, so it is safe to assume his job is safe.
Barker is on a one-way contract, but his cap hit is $700,000 (less than the $900,000 threshold), so if he is sent to the minors, his cap hit will come off the books and a roster spot will be opened. Same goes for Vandermeer, but he will be earning less in the minors since he is on a two-way contract.
If I were to take a guess, the Canucks will try to trade Alberts since he and Vandermeer play a similar game. The only difference is Vandermeer brings more to the table in terms of fisticuffs and has experience playing left wing.
By moving one of their defencemen, it will clear up the roster space for Schroeder to join the team. This might be the Canucks plan all along.
Mike Gillis on radio: “If Jordan Schroeder doesn’t start with us, we fully anticipate him playing meaningful games for us very shortly.”
— Elliott Pap (@ElliottPap) January 18, 2013