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Canucks @ Ducks Preview

TIME: 7:00 PST

TV: NHL-N (USA), Sportsnet Pacific

CANUCKS' LINEUP: UPDATED (2:22 PM): As per Vancouver Sun: Expected Lines:  Dank-Hank-Son of Sam, Raymond-Kesler-Torres, Schaefer-Hodgson-Hansen, Glass-Bolduc-Desbiens. On Defence: Ballard-Bieksa, Edler-Ehrhoff, Alberts-Rome. In Goal: Cory Schneider

Roster spot races are so tight that the Canucks said on Thursday that they would not announce any roster cuts until after the game against the Ducks. However, it was announced today that Sergei Shirokov (out of shape) and Yann Sauve (concussion) have been sent to the Manitoba Moose. They stored Shirokov in the luggage department. Disappointing for him to come to camp out of shape, but have you ever eaten Russian food? Damn!

A big story circulating over the past couple days is whether or not Shane O'Brien is going to be on the opening night roster

let alone the team as the Canucks are more than $3 million over the salary cap. The big question is: what more can Shane O'Brien and his $1.6 million salary bring to the table than what Andrew Alberts ($1.06 million) and Aaron Rome ($750,000) can bring. Alain Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun:


"He has played real well," Vigneault said of Alberts. "I think he has been real dependable, real physical. In Shane's case, he hasn't done anything wrong, he has been steady. So there is a good battle there. If you look at it, you have got Alberts, Shane, Rome, all those guys are in a pretty tight battle for that sixth, seventh and eighth spot."

I'm a sucker for Aaron Rome, but O'Brien has grown on me over the past year. Alberts seems to be settling in. It's going to get mighty interesting in Canuckland over the weekend.

Speaking of salary cap crunching: The waiting game for Brendan Morrison's fate hinges on that as well. He may have earned a spot on the opening night roster with his stellar play, but the financial end of it may prevent him from doing so. Negotiations will commence ASAP, and the Canucks have until Wednesday to make a deal with him. Morrison understands the whole predicament, but is finding it very hard to be patient, having a family and all.

-Officially, Mikael Samuelsson will start the season on the Sedin Line.

-Roberto Luongo's groin feels great, but he's unsure if he will play tonight. I think he should skip it. Go through practice today, work it hard and then go home and have your wife massage it, Lou.

-As for the Ducks: Screw the Ducks. Let's just get through this final preseason game, remain healthy, hopefully see some more progress from Cody Hodgson and some of the other kids, and then then Canucks play their first regular season game against the Kings on October 9th.

-The Nucks Misconduct 3 Pool live draft begins at 6:00 PST tonight! We should be done by game time. Good luck to all involved. You're gonna need it.