And now for the easiest part of any coach’s job: the cuts

The Vancouver Canucks made the final cuts to the roster today.

The last out the door to Manitoba are:

Bourdon, Luc (Defence)
Brown, Mike (Right Wing)
Coulombe, Patrick (Defence)
Hansen, Jannik (Right Wing)
Grabner, Michael (Right Wing)
Jaffray, Jason (Left Wing)
Rypien, Rick (Centre)

In addition to these six, journeyman defenceman Dan McGillis was released after an unsuccessful tryout.

What does this mean for the make-up of the team?

In terms of the youth, defenceman Alex Edler and forwards Mason Raymond and Ryan Shannon will start the year with the ‘Nucks. Look for Raymond to possibly get a look with Naslund.

In terms of the plumbers, forwards Brad Isbister and Byron Ritchie are now safe, as is two-minute-minor Alex Burrows.

I am not surprised 2005 number 10 overall pick Luc Bourdon is being sent down. He spent last year playing in the QMJHL and could use a year in the AHL playing against professionals. Edler has been kicking around a little longer and, frankly, is much more deserving of the # 7 defenceman slot.

What I am surprised about is how impressive Mason Raymond has looked. It has been a while since the Canucks have had a young guy come up through their own system and look like a capable offensive producer. Raymond has moved up the ranks remarkably quickly; he started last season playing for the University of Minnesota-Duluth and finished off the season and playoffs getting his first taste of professional hockey with the Manitoba Moose. He is definitely going to get a shot playing on the top two lines with either the Sedin’s or Naslund.

Well, we will see what happens. Bring on the first game of the season!

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