According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, Jared McCann will not be joining his Canucks teammate Jake Virtanen in Finland for the World Junior Championship.
Henrik Sedin day to day. Canucks understaffed…Jared McCann won't be loaned to Team Canada for World Juniors.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) December 18, 2015
The Canucks were planning on making a decision regarding McCann’s status by the end of the week, so it’s unclear whether Henrik Sedin’s injury changed their mind.
henrik injury, not new. Has been dealing with this for some time
— Jason Botchford (@botchford) December 18, 2015
Henrik left last night’s game with an undisclosed injury. The injury (whatever it is) is reportedly day-to-day and something that he has been playing through for a while. That makes his season up to this point, even more impressive. He’s currently tied for 9th in NHL scoring. Together with his brother Daniel (6th in league scoring), they’re the elder-statesmen of the NHL scoring race.
The Canucks can’t afford to lose Henrik Sedin for a prolonged period of time if they want to have any hope of challenging for a playoff spot. He is their best player, their most important player.
While I disagree with the decision, you can understand the Canucks’ reluctance to send Jared McCann to the World Juniors. With Brandon Sutter out of the lineup, he is playing a key role for the Canucks, despite his recent struggles. With Henrik Sedin out, he’s their best offensive centre.
It was McCann who took Henrik’s spot on the first unit power play when the Canucks’ captain left the game.
McCann has just one point in his last 14 games, and hasn’t scored a goal in over a month. He’s struggling, yet his ice time is increasing. He played a season-high 17:12 last night in Philadelphia.
The smart move long-term for McCann is likely sending him to the World Juniors to give him a once in a lifetime opportunity, and to boost his confidence for the second half of the season. Of course, that move hinders the Canucks’ chances of winning this year, something they’re still trying to accomplish.