Injury troubles continue for the Vancouver Canucks, who learned that they will be without defenceman Alex Edler for 4-6 weeks while he recovers from surgery on a fractured finger.
Told Alex Edler has a broken finger. Will have surgery today. Out 4-6 weeks. #Canucks
— Irfaan Gaffar (@sportsnetirf) November 28, 2016
The 6-foot-3 Swedish blueliner hurt his left index finger in Saturday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche in the first period. He played just 3:59.
Edler has become a whipping boy for many fans over the years. Inconsistent play and broken sticks may drive people nuts, but it’s important to note that he’s still quite clearly one of the team’s best defencemen.
No player on the Canucks plays more than Edler, who averages 23:41 per game. He’s played over 25 minutes on nine of his 21 games this season, and played a season-high 27:25 against Chicago on November 19th. In short, missing Edler will severely hurt the Canucks’ chances at winning hockey games.
With just three points (1-2-3) this season, his offensive game seems to have vanished, but he is most valuable in the defensive end, where he plays against other teams’ top players. With Chris Tanev out of the lineup since November 2nd, Edler has had to shore up the top defensive unit with undersized rookie Troy Stecher.
Edler has missed just one game this season, on November 5th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Canucks were missing Tanev that night too, and not coincidentaly, lost 6-3.
Philip Larsen, who has recently missed time with an injury of his own, should draw back into the lineup on Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.
If Larsen draws in for #Canucks, will be icing youngest Defense in the league with combined age of 143 years. Hurricanes close with 148.
— Aynsley Scott (@HockeyMinister) November 28, 2016
With Edler out for an extended period, the Canucks could recall Alex Biega from Utica, although they might be well-served keeping him there for a little while longer. Biega is on a conditioning stint and can stay with the Comets for two weeks. If they call him up, he’ll likely still be back in the press box, while the Comets play games on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.