Huge blow for Canucks as Edler (broken finger) out 4-6 weeks

Getty
2 Comments

Alex Edler, Vancouver’s minute-munching defenseman, will miss the next 4-6 weeks of action after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured left index finger, the club announced on Monday.

Edler suffered the injury early in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win in Colorado. Prior to getting hurt, he was receiving a significant amount of ice time — Edler had the 13th-highest TOI average in the NHL coming into the weekend, ahead of the likes of Victor Hedman, P.K. Subban, Ryan McDonagh and Brent Burns.

(Edler only skated 3:59 against the Avs before exiting, so his average has since dropped.)

This injury will likely remind Vancouver fans of last season, when Edler — who averaged a whopping 24:27 per game — suffered a season-ending fibula fracture in February. All told, Edler missed 30 games and his absence was clearly felt, as Vancouver limped to one of the worst records in the NHL.

What’s more, the Canucks are already without a valuable defenseman.

Chris Tanev, arguably the team’s best shutdown blueliner, hasn’t played since Nov. 2 due to a foot injury. He’s set to resume skating soon and his return could come in a week or so, but he’s left a significant hole in the lineup.

Vancouver is also currently down the services of depth defenseman Philip Larsen, who’s missed the last few games with an illness. Larsen hasn’t played since getting over 18 minutes of ice time in a loss to the Islanders on Nov. 7.

With Edler out, the club is expected to recall Alex Biega from AHL Utica. Biega was sent down to the farm on Saturday on a conditioning stint.

Looking ahead, Vancouver could be icing a defense comprised of Biega, Ben Hutton, Erik Gudbranson, Luca Sbisa, Troy Stecher and Nikita Tryamkin on Tuesday against Minnesota, depending on Larsen’s availability.