Vancouver Canucks Likely to Sign Skille, Waive Etem

The Vancouver Canucks seem to have made a decision on their professional tryout players, as well as Emerson Etem.

Preseason is a time of tough decisions, but the Vancouver Canucks seem to have found solutions to all of their problems. Most recently, they released forward Tuomo Ruutu from his professional tryout deal. A decision on Jack Skille, however, remains to be made.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Canucks will soon make a decision on Skille, a winger who had a decent preseason with the Canucks. That doesn’t tell us much about the Canucks’ plans, but other news lead to an interesting conclusion:

“Don’t be surprised if Emerson Etem is on waivers tomorrow” again doesn’t tell us a whole lot. However, it seems to confirm what many Canucks fans and writers expected: Etem didn’t crack the team.

I can’t help but add a personal note to this news: what the hell, Jim Benning?

Yesterday, the Detroit Red Wings placed forward Teemu Pulkkinen on waivers. Since waiver rankings in preseason are last season’s standings reversed, the Canucks were up third to put in a claim. They didn’t, and instead Pulkkinen joined the Minnesota Wild.

Pulkkinen is a 24-year-old winger who is going into his fourth North American season. In three years with the Red Wings organisation, he appeared in 70 NHL games. He struggled to translate his goal-scoring ability to the big league, but his 34 goals and 61 points in 46 games in the 2014-15 season show his potential.

Claiming Pulkkinen would have been the definition off rebuilding on the fly. The Canucks could have gotten a young, talented scorer for free. I repeat, for free.

That would have pushed Etem onto waivers, but that wouldn’t be terrible with Pulkkinen coming in. Vancouver had nothing to lose.

Now, if we trust recent reports, the Canucks might opt for Skille instead of Pulkkinen. A 29-year-old winger who had eight goals and 14 points in 74 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season.

Worse yet, the Canucks might opt for Skille instead of Etem as well.

Not liking Etem is one thing. Not claiming Pulkkinen is another that still has a chance of making sense. But not claiming Pulkkinen nor keeping Etem in order to sign a guy approaching his 30s to a one-year deal from his PTO? Come on, you can do better.

If both McKenzie’s and NEWS 1130’s reports hold true, this could be another terrible offseason day for the Vancouver Canucks.

Signing PTO players is fine if you have room on the roster. But don’t sacrifice players in their early 20s to make room for them.

By the way, head coach Willie Desjardins will talk to media soon