Found January 18, 2013 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Gettyimageproxy.ashx_requesturl_http_3a_2f_2fcache.gettyimages.com_2fxc_2f72165302.jpg_3fv_3d1_26c_3dewsasset_26k_3d2_26d_3d17a4ad9fdb9cf193dadd97b58d4678d0cc4893e6cf5fc3da
How will blue line look opening night? The Vancouver Canucks opened their 2013 training camp over the weekend, beginning a six-day sprint towards opening night on Saturday. As veteran players are given a chance to find their ice legs, younger teammates are prepared to battle for the few available spots on a talented Canucks squad. While the absence of Ryan Kesler in Vancouver’s top-six provides opportunity for forwards to embrace new roles up front, the Canucks appear to have little room for competition on the blue line. Bieksa – Hamhuis Vancouver’s top pairing of Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis return to patrol the blue line together in 2013 and should have familiarity on their side to start the year after playing together for two consecutive seasons. Both Bieksa and Hamhuis chose to be patient during the lockout and did not play professional hockey elsewhere this winter, so expect a touch of rust to be visible over the first several games. If anything, at least Bieksa’s love for ball hockey may have kept him in shape. Edler – Garrison Vancouver’s second defensive pairing could face the biggest adjustments in 2013 as Alex Edler learns to play alongside off-season acquisition Jason Garrison. Like Edler’s former defensive partner Sami Salo, Garrison brings a big shot to the ice and is expected to play a large role in Vancouver’s power play in the future. Edler and Garrison both spent the off-season rehabilitating back and groin injuries respectively, but were both given medical clearance to play in mid-December. Hamhuis is expected to be ready for opening night (Photo – Rich Lam/Getty Images The NHL is sure to be rife with groin injuries due to the season’s sudden start, but as long as Garrison hasn’t been receiving rehabilitation tips from new teammate Ryan Kesler he should be healthy to start the year. Tanev – Ballard – Alberts – Barker With two defensive pairing seemingly set in stone, Vancouver’s final set of roster sports on the blue line come highly contested in the shortened 2013 season. Keith Ballard, Chris Tanev and Andrew Alberts are all familiar with the position and are expected to collectively make up Vancouver’s third pairing, but youngsters Kevin Connauton and Cam Barker are also expected to put the pressure on the team’s returnees. Connauton will be hard-pressed to crack the Canucks’ roster during a short six-day training camp, but Barker’s previous experience seems to have convinced the Canucks of his value, earning him a one-year $700,000 deal. Oilers fans who witnessed Barker’s struggles last season will tell you the Canucks are foolish to commit a year to the young defenceman, however the deal is ultimately structured to expose Vancouver as little as possible. Under the new CBA the Canucks can send Barker down to the AHL to avoid his cap hit without having to risk re-entry waivers. Derek Joslin and Peter Andersson are not expected to compete for a spot in Vancouver’s starting six anytime soon but could be called upon in a depth role as injuries pile up in a sudden and compressed season. UPDATE: The Canucks have signed defenceman Jim Vandermeer, who is expected to join the cast of depth defenceman fighting for time on Vancouver’s third defensive pairing. CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT THE CANUCKS CLUBHOUSE TODAY AT NWSPORTSBEAT!
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Kesler and Booth injured to start season, local media overreact

The Canucks got some more bad news the other day, learning that David Booth has a pulled groin and will be out of the lineup for 4 to 6 weeks. That’s coupled with Ryan Kesler’s injury, to which we don’t know when he will be back. This news has sparked people to completely overreact, wondering if the Canucks should change their system and play more like they did in 2006-07 when...

NWSB Kevin weighs in! 2013 Vancouver Canucks staff predictions

Hockey is here again This year’s Vancouver Canucks are very similar to the team we witnessed fall to the LA Kings last April. While the lockout has changed the landscape of the 2013 season significantly, the core personnel in Vancouver remain the same. My predictions this season are on the conservative side due to the uncertainty at play, but know I’m sure to look like a fool...

Vancouver Canucks ink Alex Edler to 6-year, $30 million contract extension

Talk about bang for your ubck, from TSN: The Vancouver Canucks have signed defenceman Alexander Edler to a six-year contract extension worth a total of $30 million. Appearing in all 82 games with the Canucks last season, Edler scored 11 goals and added 38 assists, tying him for sixth amongst NHL defenceman in points. Edler is entering the fourth season of a four-year...

More pressure on Canucks with short season on hand

The Canadian Press The Vancouver Canucks will start the season short-handed. Injured center Ryan Kesler (shoulder, wrist) and winger David Booth (groin) have created two holes for coach Alain Vigneault, who is already worried about the condensed 48-game schedule put together after the NHL lockout. Vancouver is trying to win a third straight President's Trophy as the top regular...

Canucks give Edler six-year contract

The Vancouver Canucks re-signed defenseman Alex Edler to a six-year deal on Friday. The 26-year-old had 11 goals and 38 assists in 82 games with the Canucks last season. Edler has spent his entire career with Vancouver after being drafted 91st overall in the 2004 draft. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Edler has 43 goals, 141 assists and 200 penalty...

Defenseman Edler gets 6-year deal from Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks re-signed defenseman Alex Edler to a six-year deal on Friday. The 26-year-old had 11 goals and 38 assists in 82 games with the Canucks last season. Edler has spent his entire career with Vancouver after being drafted 91st overall in the 2004 draft. He was set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Edler has 43 goals, 141 assists and 200 penalty...

Canucks Lack Of Depth Beginning To Show

from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province, Four years into the Gillis era, the Canucks are still built around players inherited from Brian Burke and Dave Nonis and the question can reasonably be asked, has he done enough to strengthen the team’s core? Prior to this season, that wasn’t an issue because the Sedins-Luongo-Kesler-Edler-Bieksa-Burrows nexus didn’t need a...

Canucks' Edler agrees to 6-year, $30 million extension

Defenseman Alex Edler has agreed to a six-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks, the team announced. The deal is worth $30 million, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun. Edler, 26, had career highs in goals (11) and assists (38) last season. He was entering the final year of his current contract and would have become an unrestricted free agent this summer if...

Hurting Canucks

from Mark Spector of Sportsnet, The question surrounding the Vancouver Canucks has for some months been, is the window closing on this group's Stanley Cup aspirations? Any more injuries and the queries will shift to, should the Canucks even be in the Stanley Cup conversation anymore? Ryan Kesler -- gone for better than a month, after his third surgery in two years...

Northwest Division Preview

Now it’s time to look at the very interesting Northwest Division #1. Vancouver Canucks- Put aside the Roberto Luongo fiasco, this is still an elite squad. Led by the Sedin twins up front, there aren’t many better pairings in the NHL. Now there are injury problems. David Booth is out 4-6 weeks, and there is concern about Ryan Kesler, and [...]

Ducks-Canucks Preview

The NHL season has not begun yet, but Alain Vigneault's plans are already in danger of being tested, tweaked and, possibly, scrapped. Heading into the lockout-shortened campaign, which begins for his team Saturday night against the visiting Anaheim Ducks, the Vancouver Canucks coach wants to keep his players fresh by monitoring their ice time closely. But the absences of injured...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.