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Wake With Elias: Canucks pull off cap wizardry on eve of NHL season

It’s like they basically won the Stanley Cup.

2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
President of hockey operations Jim Rutherford and assistant general manager Emilie Castonguay of the Vancouver Canucks talk during the first round of the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft at Bell Centre on July 07, 2022 in Montreal, Quebec.
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

The Canucks are number #1.

As teams were required to submit their final rosters ahead of Monday’s deadline, the Canucks were able to pull off a feat that’s never been accomplished in NHL history.

Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you, the perfect balance sheet.

It’s basically like winning the Stanley Cup, right?

Basically, the goal for the Canucks was to get as close to the $82.5 million salary cap limit as possible, in order to utilize all of Micheal Ferland’s $3.5 million salary cap hit.

Well, they achieved that down to the dollar on Monday.

Three players (Tyler Myers, Travis Dermott, Ilya Mikheyev) were all placed on injured reserve Monday, while Phil Di Guiseppe was placed on Season Opening Injured Reserve.

Those three cap-related moves accounted for $12,396,250 of cap space, allowing the Canucks to achieve maximum LTIR relief.

Active Roster: $66,453,750
Injured Reserve: $12,396,250
Dead Cap/Bonus Overages: $3,650,000

Total: $82.5 million

The other cap-related roster move was the inclusion of Danila Klimovich on the opening night roster. He had previously been sent down to the Abbotsford Canucks.

Here’s the Canucks’ submitted roster as of Monday’s deadline yesterday.


  • Nils Aman
  • Brock Boeser
  • Conor Garland
  • Nils Höglander
  • Bo Horvat
  • Dakota Joshua
  • Danila Klimovich
  • Andrei Kuzmenko
  • Curtis Lazar
  • J.T. Miller
  • Tanner Pearson
  • Elias Pettersson
  • Vasily Podkolzin


  • Kyle Burroughs
  • Oliver Ekman-Larsson
  • Quinn Hughes
  • Tucker Poolman
  • Jack Rathbone
  • Luke Schenn
  • Riley Stillman

Goalies: Thatcher Demko and Spencer Martin.

Here are some takeaways based on the final roster.

1. Aman makes the team

Allvin and company are continuing a tradition that Benning and his staff made popular years ago.

Much like Troy Stecher, Ben Hutton, Nils Hoglander and Kyle Burroughs before him, Nils Aman has surprisingly made this Canucks team.

I say surprisingly not because he doesn’t deserve it, but because no one would have penciling him in to begin the season in the NHL at the start of training camp.

There’s nothing flashy about Aman’s game, but his best attribute is just being in position defensively. He also showcased some speed and a good reach during preseason as well.

2. Karlsson also makes Canucks...maybe?

Although he wasn’t included on the final roster, there’s a chance that Linus Karlsson could also begin the season in Vancouver.

He’s currently practicing with the team, skating on a line with Elias Pettersson and Andrei Kuzmenko.

His cap his was about $30,000 higher than Danila Klimovich’s, which is the likely reason why the Belarussian was included on the final roster ahead of Karlsson. Now that the Canucks can go into LTIR, they could elect to keep Karlsson with the team.

3. Boeser nearly ready to go

Much of Karlsson’s NHL/AHL fate will depend on the health of Brock Boeser.

He skated in a non-contact jersey on Monday, but Boudreau said after practice that he expects Boeser to be a full participant in today’s practice.

That’s good news for the Canucks, who have already been decimated by injuries and illnesses early in October.

It’s also good news for Boeser, who confidently proclaimed that this was the year for him to score 30 goals right before undergoing hand surgery.

4. The neverending problem on defence

With Quinn Hughes missing Monday’s practice due to a non-COVID illness, here are the pairs Vancouver rolled with at practice:

Oliver Ekman-Larsson — Tucker Poolman

Jack Rathbone — Luke Schenn

Riley Stillman — Kyle Burroughs


You can understand why the Canucks struggled to upgrade their blueline during the offseason, but this is a less-than-ideal way to start your season.

Once again, this team will be relying on the heroics of Hughes, Demko and their stars on offence to mask the deficiencies of an underwhelming blueline.