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Troy Stecher Assigned to the Utica Comets

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The Vancouver Canucks press pause on Stechermania

NHL: Preseason-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

With the return of Chris Tanev in tonight's game against the Montreal Canadiens, the Vancouver Canucks have sent Troy Stecher down to the Utica Comets along with Tom Nilsson.

As you can probably imagine, fans and analysts alike are taking this SUPER well.

As we all know, Stecher has been our best defenceman these past three games and proven he’s capable of playing a high number of minutes against NHL caliber opposition. The Vancouver Canucks had to make a tough decision today with 9 defencemen on the roster and while this might not feel like the right thing to do, it’s the best option.

Let’s check in with our blue line and see where we’re at:

  • Alex Edler, Chris Tanev, Ben Hutton and Erik Gudbranson are locked and loaded into the top four.
  • Luca Sbisa and Alex Biega both need another 20 or so games to be available in the upcoming expansion draft at the end of the year.
  • Nikita Tryamkin is sticking to his NHL or bust mind-set.

So really, it comes down to Philip Larsen or Troy Stecher, which in turn comes down to waivers. Do we keep Troy Stecher in a bottom pairing role and possibly give away a recently acquired asset in Larsen or do we send our rookie defenceman down to play big minutes in the AHL, knowing he’ll be hungry to return? Well, today we found out.

Ultimately, the Vancouver Canucks sending Stecher down isn’t related to his play. It’s related to the strange convoluted logjam we have on defence. Are we going to miss Troy Stecher while he’s gone? Yes. But the season is young and you better believe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of #51.