The Calder Cup has become the silver lining to Josh Green and Alexandre Burrows, not to mention the recently-demoted Kevin Bieksa.
Now that the Vancouver Canucks have officially been eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention with Thursday's 5-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks, Green and Burrows will be assigned to the Manitoba Moose for an American Hockey League playoff run.
When reached in Vancouver yesterday, Green was obviously disappointed and still unsure when he'd be sent down but did express his hopes of going on a long playoff run.
"That would be great," said Green, who along with the rest of the Canucks, was given yesterday off. "We didn't expect our season to be over (today) but we'll be excited about it."
Moose head coach Alain Vigneault is excited about adding Green and Burrows to the mix and isn't concerned about them lacking motivation.
As for the Canucks inability to get into the post-season, people in Winnipeg and Vancouver were scratching their heads yesterday.
"Being from Vancouver, last summer they were talking about winning the Stanley Cup and today they're out of the playoffs," said Moose goalie Wade Flaherty. "It's kind of a surprise but did you see it coming? Yeah, you probably saw it coming a while ago."
"I don't think it was so much down the stretch, we didn't play well after the Olympic break and that was the gist of it," added Green. "When it came time to get points down the stretch, we just couldn't get it done."
Not getting it done is a serious disappointment for the entire organization and Vigneault knows changes are coming.
"Obviously when something like that happens, there is major disappointment and status quo is not going to do it," said Vigneault, who could be promoted if the Canucks decide to fire head coach Marc Crawford. "There are some good players there and some people that were working the players. Why they didn't come together? I don't know because I'm not there. Everybody has got a theory on it and we'll let everybody work on their theory and we're going to focus on the Manitoba Moose, playing this last game well and getting ready for the playoffs."