The Vancouver Canucks put Elias Pettersson on long-term injured reserve on Saturday.

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So it’s official: Elias Pettersson won’t play again for the Vancouver Canucks.

…until at least Mar. 31.

The Canucks put their star centre on long-term injured reserve before Saturday’s game to create enough cap space to add Marc Michaelis back to the NHL roster from the squad.

He’s now the 13th forward on the 23-man roster, a move that suggests there was perhaps some touch and go concern about another player in the lineup before Friday’s 3-2 OT win for the Canucks over the Montreal Canadiens.

(Earlier in the day, Tanner Pearson was put on injured reserve, which creates a roster spot but no cap relief, after it was revealed he will be out for four weeks with what’s believed to be an ankle sprain.)

Pettersson stayed back in Vancouver when the team flew east last Sunday and he’s now missed seven games in all, following what may be a wrist injury suffered against the Winnipeg Jets Mar. 1. (Jim Benning suggested on Sportsnet 650 Mar. 5 that Pettersson got hurt in that game and aggravated it in the Mar. 2 game vs. Winnipeg.)

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Ten days ago, Travis Green told the media Pettersson would be out at least another week. We’re now into that zone.

By putting Pettersson on LTIR, the Canucks have committed to him being out for 10 games and 24 days. The 10th game would be next Wednesday’s vs. the Jets and he’d clear 24 days out injured during the week-long break between games after Wednesday’s game.

And so the Canucks battle on. They’re back at .500 after this remarkable Demko-powered run.

They have three more games at least without their No. 1 centre. They have 22 games left and 29 or 30 points to secure a playoff spot. That means 15 wins or so, or .681 hockey.

That’s still a very steep slope to climb.

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100 games, 100 points

By scoring the winner Friday, J.T. Miller notched his 100 point as a Canuck in 100 games.

How to get DiPietro games

Mike DiPietro desperately needs to play.

There’s an obvious window over the next week to get him a couple starts and it won’t cost much.

The Ottawa Senators are in the mids of a major injury crisis. Joey Daccord, who was supposed to be in the AHL, shredded his knee against the Canucks and is done for the season we think.

Matt Murray is dealing with some sort of upper-body injury and will be out at least week, probably more. (Pierre Dorion called him week-to-week today.)

Marcus Högberg, who is supposed to be Murray’s backup, is injured too.

So right now Jonas Gustavsson, their goalie of the future, the guy who was meant to be sharing time with Daccord in Belleville, is the starter in Ottawa. Anton Forsberg, who Ottawa picked up on waivers this week, is going to be his backup on Monday.

Forsberg is likely to play for Belleville on Saturday, but things get hairy come Monday, when Ottawa is back in action. Gustavsson and Forsberg will be the goalies.

Belleville plays Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. In theory Kevin Mandolese would be the starter for Belleville, with junior goalie Cedrick Andree as his backup (on an amateur tryout contract).

But the Ottawans also have a game Wednesday, which means Mandolese *must* be on the taxi squad for that game, so there’s one opening for DiPietro to play.

Ottawa plays again on Thursday, then on Sunday. They’l split the Friday and Saturday starts, so would Mandolese get one? And if Högberg is ready for a conditioning game, he’ll get one.

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But there could yet be a window for DiPietro.

And here’s the key to all this: DiPietro can join Belleville without having to quarantine. Like Jimmy Vesey joining the Canucks by driving from Toronto, DiPietro could drive to Ottawa if he were to be loaned there on Sunday.

The Canucks have games Monday and Wednesday of course and would need a third goalie in Vancouver, but here’s the solution: Arturs Silovs. The lanky Latvian has played just one game for the Manitoba Moose, as the Jets want to play the heck out of Mikhail Berdin.

I checked and it seems Silovs could actually fly with the Jets on Sunday and be considered a bubble-to-bubble transfer in joining the Canucks’ taxi squad at that point.

It’s wild, it’s ridiculously complicated but also straightforward if you lay it out on a map. And it’s all because ownership wouldn’t sign a $700,000 goalie in the offseason to serve as the No. 3.

There were guys around you could do that with. The Sabres were the latest team to prove this by signing Michael Houser today.

Depth scoring

Last week I noted how little scoring there had been from players named Pearson/Sutter/Gaudette/Roussel of late.

Pearson scored but is now hurt. Adam Gaudette has two games in a week now too. Roussel, of course, was hurt and did set up the Gaudette goal tonight but he still only has one on the year.

And then there’s Brandon Sutter. I picked him a while ago as my unsung hero so far this year, but his scoring touch has gone complete dry.

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He has just two goals in his last 26 games, one of which was an empty netter.

That’s a dry spell.

That podcast

Shawn Matthias remains a bit baffled to this day. He wanted to stay with the Canucks.

And he made it clear that communication was an issue.

“They said in the media they talked to us, they never once talked to us,” he said. “I had more goals than everyone they signed and I took less money too.”

Now, when you look at 2015 off-season, there are three items that can be tied to what Matthias is referring to: Benning and Trevor Linden signed Linden Vey for less than the $2.3 million Matthias got in Toronto, traded for Brandon Sutter and then signed the centre to his famous foundational contract extension, a figure that was *more* than Matthias earned (and Sutter was flipped for Nick Bonino, who has had a better career than Sutter has had since the swap) and also traded for Brandon Prust, who was a total disaster for the Canucks and also carried a bigger cap hit than Matthias.

It’s not so much that they should have kept Matthias, it’s that the replacements were basically dreck.

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There’s been issues with process here for a long time. You may recall that the 2015-16 Canucks were far worse that the first edition of the Linden/Benning Canucks. When you look at the 2014-15 roster, you can actually see how it could have been turned in a good direction…but instead they chased after players who moved the meter in the wrong direction. (Zack Kassian had real demons but instead of flinging him away, did the Canucks really do enough to help him? Did they really have to flip a draft pick away to get the Habs to take him, in exchange for what we learned was a very flawed player on and off the ice?)

Brandon Prust was a disaster. Prust was the opposite of good in the room. Midway through the season, he wasn’t playing well, was going to be a scratch for his return to New York in January of 2016, complained, was put in the lineup…and never played in the NHL again.

Matthias, by the way, was traded by the Leafs to Colorado. Toronto was in tank mode, and did their best to dress an underwhelming NHL lineup. The Leafs picked up a draft pick in the deadline day move, which was wasted by then AGM Mark Hunter on Keaton Middleton, a total plug of a defenceman who is in the AHL and with his third organization. Hard to see him making it.

But picking up picks in these kinds of situations is good, because if you have a good process, you end up with a good lottery ticket, like Adam Gaudette.

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Don’t do this

In digging through Jimmy Vesey’s story, I was reminded that he was drafted 10 spots after Alex Mallet in 2012. Now, plenty of teams missed out on the guy going to Harvard, which happens all the time.

But it’s worth noting who the Canucks placed their bet on: Alex Mallet, who scored 34 goals as a 20 year old for Rimouski. There was no reason to pick him in the second round.

It was Ron Delorme’s call. Mallet is one of the worst picks in the Delorme era, an era chock-full of bad picks. When you want to assess someone in hockey, look at the big picture of their results. Don’t get distracted by the hits — yes, there are a handful — recognize how many misses ther were and see if you can figure out what was wrong with the process.

The big picture for scouting under Delorme was bad. And that was under three different general managers.

Where’s the tweet?

Canucks won again, their best win of the season…but nothing?

How about…

… a post like this, while we’re at it.

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The Canucks have one of the most diverse fanbases in the league. The Canucks are calling this diversity month. The players did speak out about racism last summer, even if there wasn’t much follow up.

A tweet is a lot easier to put together than selling jerseys for $688 as well.

That podcast again

Last week’s edition of The Skate featured another ex-Canuck on a podcast and his tales.

We had some posting issues so you may have missed this but it’s a good one: Zac Dalpe has some fun tales about his time playing for Torts in Vancouver and he recounts the tale of the worst penalty shot ever taken by a Canuck: it involves Nashville, an appearance on stage with a guitar, two shootout competitions in practice, some veteran Canuck pushback against Torts and more.

Alright, if you missed it before, try it again:

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LOL

Our man Cody found that his clip of the amazing J.T. Miller goal was tweeted out by a very popular podcast. Given their connection with the most misogynist sports site out there, he went and had some fun.

When you link to someone else’s clip like this, you have no control over how they present their name, so Cody kept changing his screen name to make a statement about how he felt about how sports should be covered.

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Cheeky.

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