The Vancouver Canucks did some more shaping of their roster on Saturday as the club announced that defenceman Nolan Baumgartner
has been assigned to Manitoba, while fellow D-man Nathan McIver and forward Jeff Cowan were placed on waivers.
McIver, who appeared in three pre-season games with the Canucks with a plus-2 rating, was quickly snatched off waivers by the Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver's opponent in their pre-season finale Sunday night.
The departure of these three players leaves the team with 27 players on their roster.
"I thought Jeff (Cowan) played well during camp but obviously some kids have been playing well also and sort of pushed him out of that job," said Vigneault. "Jeff has been a good pro and we just decided to give him an opportunity to maybe pursue his career with another organization, so we put him on waivers."
Cowan would report to Manitoba if he clears waivers, same goes for Brown.
"Brown in my mind is a lot like Nathan McIver, they were real, real close, obviously in Nathan we were right in the sense that he's that close," Vigneault said. "When we sent him to Manitoba we said 'you're close to the NHL,' and Anaheim, with Dave (Nonis) being there, probably thought that he was a good fit.
"And Brown is the same way, they've got a role, the energy role on the fourth line, they are guys that come to play and come to play hard and he was close but obviously right now we think that Rypien is just a little bit a head of him."
There was also action on the ice on Saturday as the Canucks practiced at UBC because singer Sheryl Crow had taken over GM Place for the night.PREPARING FOR THE DUCKS
The team is preparing to face the Ducks in their final pre-season game of the season, a perfect 7-0 record is on the line for the Canucks, a feat they've only accomplished once in team history back in 1973 when they went 7-3 in 10 friendlies.
An undefeated exhibition schedule would be nice, according to Roberto Luongo
, who will start Sunday against Anaheim, even if it doesn't count for anything.
"Obviously it doesn't give us any points in the regular season, but I think it gives us a good sense of where our team is at and its a good bit of confidence," said Luongo.
"You can tell there's a good vibe in the lockerroom right now, guys are excited, there's a lot of energy going around. It's the type of atmosphere that you want to be around and we want to keep that good atmosphere going, especially after tomorrow night's game."READY TO RUMBLE
Tough guy Darcy Hordichuk, who was brought in this off-season to add some grit to the Canucks roster, is readily awaiting the start of the 2008-09 NHL season, yet he isn't looking past the Ducks as Vancouver has been successful this pre-season because they haven't been looking too far into the future.
"I think it's good that we're doing well and hopefully it's a sign of things to come but it's all going to start with the home opener. We're still taking it one game at a time and tomorrow we'll probably be playing with some different guys so it's all about coming together as a team.
"I think we're going to try to get a little more physical before we head into the regular season," added Horidchuk. "There were a lot more cuts so the guys that were here before are gone so it's a chance for me to play my game, run around and answer the bell when I have to answer the bell."
Hordichuk is still without a fight this pre-season so he's itching for a scrap and hoping one of the Ducks wants to tango.
"I thought I would have a go with (Jody) Shelley towards the end of the third the other night but he didn't want to go there and even (George) Parros the night before wasn't interested, I'm not going to force it but I'm definitely excited for it."THREE PLAYERS TO SIT
As mentioned, Luongo will start in net for Vancouver and the team is expected to use it's most representative roster yet Sunday night against the Ducks. Three players who won't be playing, however, are Cody Hodgson, Ryan Johnson and Rick Rypien, according to Vigneault.
There's isn't anything to read into these players sitting though, it's just part of the evaluation process.
"We haven't totally discussed everything," said Vigneault of Hodgson, "obviously he's getting some good NHL experience and probably in the next two to three days we'll make a decision on where he stands with our team."
Vigneault also said he hopes to have the Canucks down to 23 players in the next few days and that he's unsure if he'll carry 14 forwards and seven defencemen or eight blueliners and 13 forwards.