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Considering how good Sergei Shirokov looked in the Islanders - Canucks pre-season game last night, he stands a good chance of making the team and avoiding a trip to the Manitoba Moose. Cody Hodgson, Vancouver's first round pick from 2008, must make the team or spend another year in Junior as he is only 19. SERGEI SHIROKOV RIGHT WING - VAN NUMBER: HEIGHT: 5' 10" WEIGHT: 176 SHOOTS: RIGHT BORN: 10 MAR 1986 (AGE 23) BIRTHPLACE: MOSCOW, RUSSIA DRAFTED: VAN / 2006 NHL ENTRY DRAFT ROUND: 6TH (163RD OVERALL) Assuming Hodgson makes the team, as most seem to think he will, and Shirokov makes the team, the Canucks will have the following fowards: Bernier, Burrows, Hodgson, Hordichuk, Johnson, Kesler, Rypien, Samuelsson, Raymond, the Sedins, Shirokov and Wellwood. Though the Canucks can carry 14 forwards, only 12 will see regular ice time. Is Mason Raymond on the outside looking in? To start the season either Bolduc, Hansen or Dan Gendur will join the 13th man in the press box. But what would line combinations look like if the two youngsters make the team? Hodgson has a better two way game - would he be on the checking line? Likely Kesler will centre the second line. Would Shirokov make a good linemate? After last season's flash of offensive prowess, Burrows should be given a shot at the first line with the Sedins. Where does off-season signing ex- Red Wing Mikael Samuelsson go? Would we see a Shirokov-Kesler-Samuelsson second line? A Bernier-Wellwood-Hodgson third line? The likely fourth line will be Rypien-Johnson-Hordichuk. The Canucks are also heavy on the backend. They have 8 veteran defensemen in Bieksa, Edler, Erhoff, Lukowich, Mitchell, O'Brien, Salo and off-season signing Mathieu Schneider. If we play musical chairs, there are only 7 spots and 8 players. Though O'Brien signed a one year $1.6 million dollar contract in the off-season, I would assume he is the one to go, as the others have more experience or more offensive upside. O'Brien does provide toughness that the other players, except for Bieksa, do not. Will that be enough to save him?

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