Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Canucks rookies find spot in Vancouver lineup, but not before the vets have their say

It's one of the most anticipated moments in any hockey players career, that moment when the nine day audition turns into a permanent spot on the touring crew of an NHL team.

A day where you learn that you've earned your spot into the top league in the world, or the one where you pack your bags, bid your farewells and return to junior hockey for a little more seasoning and a chance to work out some of the areas that need to improve.

Depending on the tradition of the team it could be a moment with a coach or GM, in Vancouver they do things a little differently, letting the whole team have a say before the good news is delivered.

On Sunday morning, the Canucks added Jake Virtanen and Jared McCann to the roster, the reward for hard work and bringing to end an audition period that left Canucks management with the idea that returning them back to junior hockey was not something up for discussion any more.

Head coach Willie Desjardins started off the welcome, though we suspect that for the first few moments of the discussion the two Canuck rookies probably were running the bus schedules back to Junior through their heads, as Desjardins went over a compilation of on ice miscues of the pair.

Then having noted his displeasure at the work of the team, Desjardins exited the room, leaving it to the teams veterans to take over, where a hard hitting review of the work ethic of the two kids was laid bare, a point where perhaps Virtanen and  McCann were giving some thought to alternative career possibilities.

Finally, Bo Horvath, he barely a year himself as a member of the permanents, broke the facade of the angry old team mates, welcoming the pair to the team, telling them there would be no junior hockey return in their future.

If they're still making hockey cards, it's time to order a print run for McCann and Virtanen, considering their age, chewing gun should be included.

The Canuck's provided the initiation and team building exercise Canucks style to their Canucks TV portal.

The motivation clearly paid off for Vancouver on Monday night, the two newest Canucks were prominent on the ice, not intimidated in any way facing one of the league's legendary squads the Philadelphia Flyers.

So pumped wast Virtanen on the night, that the youngster recorded his first goal of his NHL career, a pretty impressive way to show the coach that the decision to keep the two rookies for the season was a wise one.

Feeding off the energy of their younger players, the Canucks put together a strong effort against the Flyers taking down the visitors by a score of 4-1 at Rogers Centre in Vancouver.

You can review Virtanen's debut goal and the post game reactions through the Canucks twitter feed.

Some of the media reviews from Monday's Canucks win over Philly can be found below:

Virtanen gets his first goal in Canucks' 4-1 win over Flyers
The Canucks future has arrived
Canucks kids come through with flying colours
Horvat coaches, Virtanen listens, Burrows grateful, Willie hopeful
'Stache that puck away - Virtanen's got his first NHL goal
McCann, Virtanen get grilled - but make Canucks
Virtanen nets first goal as Canucks dump Flyers
Canucks make the right call on McCann, Virtanen

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