All of a sudden Vancouver hockey fans are desperate to know if Byron Bitz can stay healthy. The big, tough 27-year-old forward who started the season in the AHL has made quite the impression since being called up to the Canucks.
In seven games, Bitz has one goal, three assists, 14 hits, and two fights. Which is to say he’s provided the type of “toughness that can play” the Canucks have been looking for.
Just one problem: Bitz also has a history of hernia and hip issues, and he’s missed the last two games with a strained hip flexor.
“It’s day to day,” Bitz told reporters after skating and practicing this morning in Nashville. “I felt pretty good skating today, I’ll skate again tomorrow [in Detroit] and just keep moving forward.
“It wasn’t one incident. I felt it when I started skating in the summer. It’s a volume thing. It went from nothing to all of a sudden a lot of volume.”
The Canucks have until Monday’s trade deadline to decide if they can count on Bitz for the playoffs. If they can’t (and it doesn’t sound like they can), general manager Mike Gillis might have to swing a deal.