Kevin Bieksa may or may not play in Vancouver’s season opener tomorrow in Calgary. The veteran defenseman will be a game-time decision, according to Canucks coach Willie Desjardins.
Bieksa (undisclosed injury) skated today and said “it felt good, it felt strong”; however, the fact he was paired with fellow injured d-man Frank Corrado suggests he may have to wait until Saturday’s home opener versus Edmonton to make his season debut.
The injuries to Bieksa and Corrado leave Vancouver with six healthy defensemen:
— Dan Hamhuis
— Alex Edler
— Chris Tanev
— Ryan Stanton
— Luca Sbisa
— Yannick Weber
The first three are legitimate NHL defensemen. The next three? Well, it’s harder to say that. Stanton came to Vancouver on waivers, Sbisa was a frequent scratch in Anaheim last season before being part of the Ryan Kesler trade, and Weber has been a fringe NHLer for most of his pro career.
Certainly, what the Canucks have now is a far cry from the depth they used to boast on the back end, when they had five surefire NHLers — Bieksa, Hamhuis, Edler, Sami Salo, and Christian Ehrhoff — plus some serviceable guys beyond that.
Anyway, maybe we should’ve mentioned this in our “Risk Factors: Vancouver Canucks” post.