Can the Vancouver Canucks Call Up Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat from Junior?


Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks first round picks Hunter Shinkaruk and Bo Horvat performed admirably during the preseason.

It looked like they were both going to start the season with the team and get the nine-game look from the Canucks before they make the decision whether they want to assign one or both players back to junior for the duration of the 2013-14 season.

The Canucks made the decision to send both players back after they acquired centre Zac Dalpe and Jeremy Welsh from the Carolina Hurricanes.

It begs the question, could the Canucks recall Shinkaruk and/or Horvat at any point during the season?

We have seen it in the past when junior-aged draft picks were recalled due to injuries.

In the 2008-09 season, Brayden Schenn played one game for the Los Angeles Kings as an 18 year old. The Calgary Flames recalled Sven Baertschi from the Portland Winterhawks (WHL) for five games in the 2011-12 season.

The Canucks (and any other NHL team) can recall players from the Canadian Hockey League only under the follow situation:

"[A]n agreement between the NHL and CHL that states if a team is on its third emergency situation, the club can recall a player from major junior."

An emergency situation is defined by the NHL and NHLPA’s collective bargaining agreement [Article 13.12(m)] as when the team’s roster is below two goaltenders and 18 skaters.

"Emergency conditions shall be established when the playing strength of the Loaning Club, by reason of incapacitating injury or illness or by League suspension to its Players is reduced below the level of two (2) goalkeepers, six (6) defensemen and twelve (12) forwards. Proof of the existence of the emergency conditions including the incapacity shall be furnished to the Commissioner of the League upon request made by him."

NHL teams do not have to wait until their farm team roster is depleted from emergency recalls to recall from junior—only the third emergency situation.

If the Canucks roster is at two goaltenders and 17 skaters, they will recall one player from the Utica Comets on emergency recall. If another player is injured while the first emergency recall is still on the roster, they will exercise a second emergency recall from the minors. If a third player is injured with two players on emergency recall already, the Canucks can recall a junior-aged player from the Canadian Hockey League if they wish.

To contextualize this, say Dale Weise suffers an injury and is out two weeks. The Canucks recall Zach Hamill on an emergency basis from the Comets. The next game, Tom Sestito is injured and is out a week. The Canucks recall Darren Archibald. The game after that, Brad Richardson is injured and is out three weeks. The Canucks now have both Hamill and Archibald on the roster as emergency recalls. They can go the Comets and bring up a third emergency recall or they can recall one of their junior-aged players.

At the third emergency situation, the Canucks have the option to recall any one of their players from juniors including Shinkaruk and Horvat, but don’t expect them to exercise it.

Flames general manager Jay Feaster used his third emergency situation to recall Baertschi and expressed regret over it in hindsight. Baertschi put up three goals in the five games on emergency recall and heightened expectations.

“Sven’s performance at that time? It just created such sky-high expectations,” Feaster told the Calgary Herald. “(In a do-over) I wouldn’t have brought him in because then we don’t create the same kind of expectations — internally, externally, and even for himself.”

Players on emergency recall from both the minors and juniors must be returned once the NHL team is no longer in an emergency situation.