A long absent but familiar face is returning to Vancouver. Defenseman Sami Salo has been recalled from his conditioning assignment in the AHL and he appears ready to return to action for the Canucks. Salo has missed all of this season after rupturing his Achilles tendon during the off-season while playing floorball.
Salo’s return comes at a great time for Vancouver as they’ve been beset by injuries elsewhere on their blue line with Alexander Edler and Keith Ballard being out of action on injured reserve and Dan Hamhuis’ condition being up in the air after a crushing hit by Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf the other night. In the meantime, the Canucks have been rolling with a patchwork of help with Aaron Rome and Chris Tanev getting heavier minutes.
If Salo himself can avoid bizarre mishaps and freak injuries, something that’s plagued him throughout his career in Ottawa and Vancouver, that kind of stability along the back line would be a marked change for the Canucks. Salo’s shot from the point provides them with another weapon, something the best team in the NHL doesn’t exactly need. With Christian Ehrhoff and Kevin Bieksa playing so well but for Vancouver, once everyone is healthy they’ll have one of the best defensive units in the NHL.
If teams weren’t worried about the Canucks already, perhaps it’s time to start getting very nervous.