Canucks cuts uncertain

ADAM WAZNY -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:51 AM ET

Before the Manitoba Moose can set their roster, the Vancouver Canucks have to set theirs.

The Canucks will make their final training camp cuts in an announcement expected either late last night (following the game with the Edmonton Oilers) or sometime today.

Moose head coach Alain Vigneault said he and general manager Craig Heisinger talked to Canucks vice president Steve Tambellini Friday about whom they can expect to see in Moose colours today.

The problem is, the Canucks aren't really sure who that will be yet.

The Moose should receive anywhere from three to five players, plus injured defenceman Kevin Bieksa (high ankle sprain).

Among those in the mix are forwards Josh Green and Lee Goren, the latter looking like he might start the season with the parent club after registering another goal against Calgary Friday.

The Winnipeg native has five points in three pre-season games with Vancouver.

Josh Green and Tyler Bouck are still vying for spots with the big club, too, while infamous Russian forward Fedor Fedorov is also still in contention.

Wade Flaherty will have to make room in the Moose crease for Brent Johnson, who, despite having a solid Canucks camp, could be the odd man out because of his contract status.

Johnson has a two-way deal with the organization, while Alex Auld is on a one-way contract.

Defence is where things get interesting.

Outside of Bieksa, Manitoba could see as few as one or as many as three defencemen joining them tomorrow.

Still a question mark is who will be the Canucks' sixth defenceman. Candidates include Nolan Baumgartner, Sven Butenschon, Tomas Mojzis, Jason Doig and Luc Bourdon.

A back injury to Mattias Ohlund further complicates matters. With Vancouver potentially needing two defenceman now, his injury gives both Baumgartner and Butenschon the inside track to stick, with Mojzis as the long shot of the group.

Doig is injured and in Canucks camp on a tryout basis, so he may not have shown the Vancouver brass enough to warrant a deal.

Bourdon, the 10th overall pick in the summer draft, is an interesting story. Should the Canucks keep him, the 18-year-old needs to sign a contract by tomorrow and if he plays more than 10 games with Vancouver, his full contract will count against Vancouver's already tight salary cap.

If he doesn't sign with the Canucks, he'll likely go back to Val d'Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Lots of possibilities. Not much time before the seasons start.


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