Reason to Stay#2: The Post-Deadline Mess
I think we can stop mourning the Black Monday of the Jim Benning era when Dan Hamhuis‘s stock crashed and much of Vancouver’s with it. What the Canucks have now is a hot mess of the Garage Sale Seven leftovers — Matt Bartkowski, Linden Vey, Yannick Weber, Brandon Prust, Chris Higgins, and Ronalds Kenins.
Of those, Prust, Higgins, and Kenins are almost meaningless to the Canucks at this point. Weber is playing a depth role while Bartkowski and Vey are still contributing as pending free agents alongside Radim Vrbata.
But Vey can’t be so satisfied with his situation. As a soon-to-be 25-year-old, to strike out with two organizations — the Los Angeles Kings and now the Canucks — is not so ideal, to say the least. His spot has already been taken by Markus Granlund, a Benning-Weisbrod favourite, and challenged by dark horse Mike Zalewski.
Now throw Brendan Gaunce to the mix and you have the answer. There goes Vey. Actually, the organization seems to have known this all along.
Well, you have six centres under 25 years of age — Bo Horvat, Jared McCann, Gaunce, Vey, Zalewski, and Granlund — and you have only two centre spots and the 13th forward scratch slot for them. Sure, move Gaunce to the wing, move McCann to the wing, move Granlund to the wing… nope. No room for Vey.
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So that, in the long-term, means that Vey will get moved out. In the short-term, it means that Vey feels horrible playing for an organization that doesn’t want him anymore. They want Gaunce, and they got Gaunce up to Vancouver.
What does that mean for Gaunce? Oh, just take Cracknell’s 4C spot and let Granlund feast on Vey’s 3C spot. Face less competition, get loved for all the elements of the game he brings that Vey could not, and take confidence in the fact that as long as Jannik Hansen is injured, you will be staying (which seems like a couple of weeks right now).
And perhaps count on this: Gaunce might not be the one who gets sent down when Hansen comes back. How about sending Vey down to Utica to bolster the Comets’ push for the Calder Cup? There, you have another reason to send Vey down. Let him play on a line with Higgins and Prust!
And there, playing Gaunce and waiving/scratching Vey just solved a major chunk of your Garage Sale Seven mess, Benning.
Next: The Case for Returning to Utica: Competition