The Vancouver Canucks will finalize their roster on Wednesday afternoon, but the NHL team made a series of moves on Tuesday to get under the $56.8-million (all currencies U.S.) salary cap.
The Canucks returned top prospect Cody Hodgson, a centremen who could have cost $1.7-million against the cap, to junior hockey while placing veteran defenceman Brad Lukowich, and his $1.566-million salary, on waivers.
Defencemen Lawrence Nycholat and Michael Funk were also placed on waivers, and would be sent to the American Hockey League's Manitoba Moose should they clear. Head coach Alain Vigneault said that Lukowich will not necessarily be dispatched to the minors, and suggested the Canucks were looking to find the Cranbrook, B.C., native a new NHL home.
The transactions mean that two wingers - rookie Sergei Shirokov and journeyman Tanner Glass - have made the team after strong training camps.
Shirokov, 23, is a scorer from the Kontinental Hockey League who will start on the second line with Ryan Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson. At practice on Tuesday, Glass filled in on the fourth line for Rick Rypien, who is said to have the flu. Defenceman Kevin Bieksa also missed practice with a tweaked groin.
The Canucks will place defenceman Mathieu Schneider (shoulder) on long-term injured reserve, which will create some cap savings on his $1.55-million salary.
Vigneault said that forward Pavol Demitra, who is due $4-million and who is also recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, would not be placed on long-term reserve, suggesting that he could be ready to play before the team reaches its 10th game on Oct. 24 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Vancouver could now place winger Jannik Hansen on the long-term list after the fiery Dane broke three fingers in a fight on Sunday. The injuries, sustained in a fight against Gilbert Brule of the Edmonton Oilers, will cost Hansen the first six to eight weeks of the season.
Depending on how it is calculated, Vancouver's salary cap number will come in between $54.8-million and $55.4-million.