McCann making case to stick with Canucks

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Linden Vey‘s “do or die” season is being jeopardized by a 19-year-old named Jared McCann.

McCann — the forward the Canucks drafted with the 24th overall pick they got from Anaheim in the Ryan Kesler trade — scored the only goal in Vancouver’s 1-0 preseason win over the Coyotes last night.

“The McCann goal got us going,” head coach Willie Desjardins said.

It was a pretty good shot, too.

“If guys deserve it we have to get them in the lineup,” Desjardins continued. “Right now, both McCann and [defenseman Ben Hutton] are doing that. They are making guys have to play better, or their spots are in jeopardy.”

While McCann has impressed, there has to be concern in the Canucks’ organization that Vey has not been able to translate a summer of hard work into on-ice results. When Desjardins said he “wanted to have a real good look” at McCann playing center, it could, and probably should, have been seen as a shot across Vey’s bow.

The Canucks still have three preseason games left. And, of course, McCann can play nine regular-season games before the club has to decide if he should be returned to junior. For now, though, the momentum is on his side.

“The confidence keeps going up and you always want to play with it,” said McCann. “I want to make this team badly.”