Kevin Bieksa has undergone successful hand surgery and will be out for six-to-eight weeks as a result, per News 1130. The 33-year-old Vancouver defenseman suffered the injury when he was struck by Lightning blueliner Victor Hedman’s shot on Jan. 20.
The Canucks losing a defenseman who was giving them 21:16 minutes per game, including an average of 1:58 minutes in shorthanded situations. He also ranks third on the team in both hits and blocked shots with 74 and 75 respectively.
His absence will hinder Vancouver’s efforts to maintain its razor thin hold on a playoff spot, but GM Jim Benning dismissed the notion that he would seek to acquire a defenseman to fill the void. Instead, the plan is to give 21-year-old Frank Corrado a chance. Corrado played in four games with the Canucks this season prior to Bieksa’s injury and scored a goal in the contest against Tampa Bay.
With the All-Star break in the rear-view mirror, Vancouver will resume play on Tuesday against Anaheim.