The Vancouver Canucks waived defenceman Jim Vandermeer on Monday morning for the purpose of assigning him to the Chicago Wolves of the American Hockey League.
The move will give the Canucks the necessary roster spot to recall centre Jordan Schroeder from the Wolves, who many felt should have been included in the team’s 23-player roster submitted to the league this past Friday.
Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault’s plan this season was to use either Schroeder or Andrew Ebbett between wingers Mason Raymond and David Booth on the second line until Kesler is ready to return. However, Booth suffered a strained groin on the first day of training camp while undergoing physical testing.
A new second line was formed in the scrimmages featuring either Ebbett or Schroeder between Raymond and Zack Kassian. Ebbett skated at centre in the first scrimmage and Schroeder skated there in the second scrimmage. Schroeder showed some chemistry with Raymond setting him up for two of his three goals on the night with cheeky saucer passes.
Despite the strong showing, the team elected to use Ebbett between Raymond and Kassian for the first two games of the season. The line was ineffective throughout the first game and in the first two periods against the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Vigneault improvised in the third period and created a new second line consisting of Chris Higgins on left wing, Jannik Hansen at centre, and Alexandre Burrows on right wing.
It appears Vigneault doesn’t intend on using either of these two line combinations and is ready to give Schroeder another look. Interestingly enough, this may have been the Canucks plan all along to give Ebbett a look in actual game action.
Prior to the Schroeder demotion being made public last Friday, Canucks general manager Mike Gillis made this remark on the Team 1040:
“If Jordan Schroeder doesn’t start with us, we fully anticipate him playing meaningful games for us very shortly.”
Since being re-assigned to the Wolves, Schroeder has not played in any games. He was scratched for both Friday’s game against the Texas Stars and Saturday’s game against the Houston Aeros. It is likely Schroeder was held out of the games in case he suffered an injury playing in the minors.