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The Vancouver Canucks released six players Sunday, including fan favourite Brendan Morrison, who was in camp on a professional tryout and would have needed an NHL contract after Wednesday.

The Canucks are keeping forwards Alexandre Bolduc and Guillaume Desbiens in the short-term, anyways, both of whom can consider themselves long shots that have made good. They have also retained veteran winger Peter Schaefer, also on a professional tryout.

Bolduc improved as camp and exhibition games went on, whereas Morrison's best moments came earlier in camp. The 25-year-old has played a shutdown and penalty-killing role with the AHL's Manitoba Moose, and has the gritty profile that the Canucks are looking for on their fourth line. Ditto for the 25-year-old Desbiens.

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The Canucks placed defenceman Shane O'Brien and winger Darcy Hordichuk on waivers Saturday for the purpose of sending them to the Moose (if unclaimed).

That means that Andrew Alberts, the whipping boy of Canucks Nation, has earned a job on the blue line. So has veteran Aaron Rome. Both come cheaper than O'Brien ($1.6 million U.S.), and both are less worrisome off the ice.

Hordichuk is redundant given two capable fighters in Tanner Glass and Rick Rypien, both of whom have some skills outside of their fists.

The players let go were Morrison, wingers Victor Oreskovich, Sergei Shirokov and Bill Sweatt, as well as defencemen Yann Sauvé and Lee Sweatt.

The Canucks must still make some moves later this week. Centre Cody Hodgson, seemingly a sure bet to be sent down, remains on the roster.

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About the Author
B.C. sports correspondent

Based in Vancouver, Matthew spearheads the Globe's sports coverage in B.C., and spends most of his time with the NHL Canucks and CFL Lions. He has worked for four dailies and TSN since graduating from Carleton University's School of Journalism a decade ago, and has covered the Olympic Games, Super Bowls, Grey Cups, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the NBA Finals. More

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