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Markus Meyer The Hockey Writers

Published on Sunday, November 27, 2016





The Nuck Stops Here: Burrows, Hutton & Call-Ups

‘The Nuck Stops Here’ is a Vancouver Canucks news, opinion and analysis column that runs every Sunday throughout the regular season.


Ben Hutton

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ben Hutton (27) Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Hutton Signs Two-Year Extension

The following is a press release from the organization:

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has signed defenceman Ben Hutton to a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $2.8 million.

“Ben is developing into one of our young, emerging core players and is an important part of our future,” said General Manager Jim Benning. “We’re excited to see him further elevate his game and help this team compete for years to come.”

Hutton, 23, has registered four points (2-2-4) in 20 games with Vancouver this season where he currently leads defencemen in goals and shares the blueline lead in points. In his debut NHL season in 2015.16, Hutton appeared in 75 games recording 25 points (1-24-25) to lead all Canucks defencemen in scoring en route to capturing the Walter (Babe) Pratt Best Defenceman Award. He also finished sixth among NHL rookies in ice time (19:52 TOI/GP) and tied for seventh in rookie assists.

You can read more here.

Joseph LaBate Recalled From Utica

The following is a press release from the organization:

Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has recalled forward Joseph LaBate from the AHL Utica Comets.

LaBate, 23, has appeared in 12 games for the Comets this season registering six points (2-4-6) along with a team-high 34 penalty minutes. In 2015.16, LaBate skated in 66 games for Utica collecting 20 points (10-10-20) and 79 penalty minutes in first full season of professional hockey.

Prior to making his professional debut, LaBate spent four seasons with the University of Wisconsin. In 150 career NCAA games, LaBate registered 83 points (31-52-83) and 143 penalty minutes.

A native of Eagan, Minnesota, LaBate was selected by Vancouver in the fourth round, 101st overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Alex Grenier Recalled

The following is a press release from the organization:

Alexandre Grenier (Credit: Texas Stars Hockey)

Alexandre Grenier (Credit: Texas Stars Hockey)

Vancouver, B.C. – Vancouver Canucks General Manager Jim Benning announced today that the club has recalled forward Alexandre Grenier from the AHL Utica Comets.

Grenier, 25, has appeared in 16 games for Utica this season where he currently leads the team in points (14), ranks second in goals (6) and is tied for second in assists (8). In 2015.16, Grenier appeared in six games for Vancouver in his first NHL season. He also appeared in 69 games with the Comets, leading the team in both points (48) and assists (32) and finishing tied for the third in goals (16). The 6-5, 213-pound forward then added a team-high two goals and three points in four Calder Cup Playoff games.

A native of Laval, Quebec, Grenier was originally selected by Vancouver in the third round, 90th overall, at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Scores of the Week

Arizona Coyotes – 1 : Vancouver Canucks – 4

Dallas Stars – 2 : Vancouver Canucks – 1

Colorado Avalanche – 2 : Vancouver Canucks – 3 (SO)

Current Record: 9-11-2 (20 Points ~ 5th in Pacific Division, 11th in Western Conference, 25th in NHL)


Alex Burrows Pulling off Impressive Rebound

Canucks forward Alex Burrows

Canucks forward Alex Burrows

Coming into the season, many had Alex Burrows written off as a has-been, as a potential press-box player for the Canucks. He was considered past his prime, and while the work ethic was still there, his offence was a shell of what it once was. Those concerns have all been pushed to the wayside of late, as Burrows has re-emerged as a key offensive contributor for the Canucks.

The 35-year-old boasts a solid four goals and eight points on the season, all of those coming in the month of November, and two of the goals in last three games. Playing alongside Bo Horvat, now the team’s points leader, Burrows looks rejuvenated, playing his signature hard-nosed forechecking style and threatening blue lines with his speed. Burrows is most effective when he’s making life hard on opposing defenders, and in that regard, he has excelled as of late, despite his slow start. While he’ll never even come close to his career-best 35 goal days, if Burrows could provide a regular secondary presence offensively, the Canucks can consider themselves big winners.

Michael Chaput

Canucks centre Michael Chaput as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Utica Call-Ups Pulling Their Weight

Due to a plethora of recent injuries, the Canucks have had to rely on a number of Utica Comets regulars to fill out their lineup. While often seen as a negative, the call-ups have held their own, and even contributing in very positive ways. Over the past couple of weeks, Michael Chaput, Joe LaBate, Jayson Megna and Alex Grenier have all received the call to the big leagues, and have looked perfectly fine doing so.

Chaput, a former Columbus Blue Jacket, has demonstrated an NHL-level shot and hasn’t looked out of place in terms of hockey sense, speed, or defensive ability. Despite being relied upon to, on occasion, center a top-six line, Chaput has established himself as, at worst, a serviceable depth asset.

Meanwhile, LaBate, in three games, has shown NHL caliber speed, and a physicality that, if given more time, could help foster him into a strong bottom-six skater. Megna has perhaps shined the most, playing regularly in the top-six and establishing himself among the Canucks’ faster skaters and most tenacious forecheckers. Having already scored a goal, Megna has shown glimpses of offensive talent and going forward, it’s possible this won’t be the last we see of him.

When a team is forced to rely as heavily upon this variety of players as the Canucks have, the hope is they, at a minimum, won’t hurt the club. So far, they’ve done that, and a little bit more.

Around the Blog-O-Sphere

Fun links about the Vancouver Canucks from all around the internet.

Brandon Sutter starting to pay dividends for the Canucks [TSN]

Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi are offering up two different faces for the Canucks [Vancouver Sun]

The Canucks are willing to pay big later on Hutton [The Province]

A roundtable breaking down the Canucks’ first 20 games [Nucks Misconduct]

Utica Comets week in review, covering November 14th to 20th [CanucksArmy]

Troy Stecher has been making a significant impact with the Canucks thus far [The Canuck Way]


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