Loui Eriksson can’t catch a break.
Last year’s high-profile free agent signing started his Canucks career by scoring into his own net. He followed that up with an extremely disappointing offensive output, scoring just 24 points (11-13-24) in 65 games.
Instead of being the missing piece alongside Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Eriksson has been a depth forward. He has been primarily relegated to the second or third line, while receiving second-unit power play time.
It hasn’t gone much better for Vancouver’s most expensive player this season, as Eriksson has just one assist in four games.
And now, to make matters worse, he’s injured.
Eriksson out 4-6 weeks with knee sprain. #canucks
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) October 17, 2017
Eriksson suffered a knee sprain during Vancouver’s last game against Calgary. The Canucks winger was bumped from behind by Calgary’s Tanner Glass, causing him to crash awkwardly into the net.
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) October 15, 2017
Eriksson will be lost for 4-6 weeks.
Despite his dreadful production and a salary that pays him way too much – Eriksson’s contract carries a $6 million cap hit for five more seasons – this is a blow to the Canucks’ chances of winning hockey games. The injury is compounded by the fact that minute-munching defenceman Alex Edler is also out 4-6 weeks, with an MCL injury.
If there’s a silver lining to this, it’s that head coach Travis Green will have fewer veterans to choose from, which may force his hand into playing young players. No Canucks forwards have played less than 20-year-old Brock Boeser and 21-year-old Jake Virtanen through four games, despite impressive displays during preseason.
The Canucks begin a five-game road trip in Ottawa on Tuesday, with games in Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, and Minnesota still to come.