Canucks call up player from Utica with Horvat injury concern

Jan 17 2019, 6:28 pm

Just as the Vancouver Canucks are expected to get Elias Pettersson back in the lineup, another one of their young stars appears to be on the mend.

The Canucks called up Tanner Kero from the Utica Comets on Thursday, which is a curious decision because the team just traded Michael Del Zotto to get under the 23-man roster limit.

There appears to be concern for the health of Bo Horvat, who was in some discomfort following a hit by Zack Kassian during the third period of the Canucks’ 3-2 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

Horvat got looked at by the trainer on the bench before heading to the dressing room briefly. He returned to the game in overtime, but the Kero call up leads us to believe Horvat could miss next game.

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Kero, 26, is second on the Comets in goals (16) and points (36) and shares the team lead in assists (20) and power play goals (7). The 6-0, 185-pound centre has appeared in 72 career NHL games, collecting 22 points. He split last season between the Chicago Blackhawks (three points in eight games) and Rockford IceHogs (20 points in 36 games).

The Canucks have an optional practice Thursday morning, where we could learn more about Horvat’s ailment. Pettersson is officially “day-to-day” according to head coach Travis Green, though he has progressed to the point where he joined teammates on the ice at Wednesday’s morning skate.

Vancouver hosts Buffalo on Friday, before home games against Detroit (Sunday) and Carolina (Wednesday), after which they’ll get nine days off with the combination of the All-Star break and their annual bye week.

**Update: It’s a good news/bad news situation post-practice. Horvat has a charley horse, but is expected to play against the Sabres. Pettersson meanwhile, is not expected to play according to Green, despite being a participant in today’s optional practice.