It was an emotional day within the Canucks dressing room Monday. Adam Gaudette was told he made Vancouver's roster to open the season, while Sven Baertschi, Alex Biega and Nikolay Goldobin were all placed on waivers.
NHL teams have until Tuesday at 5 pm ET to make their final roster cuts for Wednesday's opening night. Gaudette, the 22-year-old Hobey Baker winner who played 56 games with the Canucks last season, had a fantastic training camp and pre-season. He was second on the team in pre-season points with four goals and two assists in six games, and was noticeably stronger and faster than last year.
Gaudette saw an opportunity and he seized it. But he knows the work has just begun.
"It's awesome," said Gaudette, following practice Monday at Burnaby 8-rinks. "That's step one and now step two is going to be getting into the line-up and sticking there. This is definitely not over. I can't settle down now, I've got to keep going and keep working."
Video: NEWS | Adam Gaudette Comments on Roster
Although Gaudette may not be in the Canucks opening night line-up, one player who certainly will be is Brock Boeser. GM Jim Benning said Boeser, and defenceman Oscar Fantenberg, have both been clearned to return, and they were both on the ice Monday with the Canucks for practice.
Boeser and Fantenberg were injured on hits during pre-season play and put through concussion protocol. They practiced Saturday, albeit in a green no-contact jerseys, while the pair wore blue jerseys Monday.
Now, it's go time.
Video: NEWS | Brock Boeser on Returning to Lineup
Coach Green has known Sven Baertschi since their days with the WHL's Portland Winterhawks, making Monday's decision to put the 26-year-old forward on waivers even more difficult. That being said, Green said that if Baertschi clears, he's still a part of the organization and it's nice to have that depth as the season progresses.
Video: NEWS | Coach Green on Roster Moves
"PART OF THE EVOLUTION"
GM Jim Benning said speaking with Baertschi, Biega and Goldobin Monday morning about the team's decision was a difficult one, but it needed to happen.
Video: NEWS | GM Jim Benning on Roster Moves