Canucks Blue Line hurting.. again

So, today the Canucks announced that Alex Edler would potentially miss the rest of the season after requiring back surgery.

So what else is new?

The last four or five years have been a revolving door to the injury ward for Canucks defencemen, and this season is no different.

Keith Ballard, Christian Ehrhoff, and Dan Hamhuis have already missed time with injuries this season, Sami Salo has yet to play this season, and the Canucks will now be without the services of Aaron Rome, Andrew Alberts, and Edler, who was the top pairing defenceman.

Kevin Bieksa has only missed one game, due to the flu, but even he is nursing a swollen eye going into the allstar break.

Abracadbra. All the defensive depth Mike Gillis had been trumpeting since training camp is gone.

The Canucks D lineup, if Rome, Alberts and Edler are out for significant amounts of time will include Bieksa, Ehrhoff, Ballard, and Hamhuis and then it's new callups Lee Sweatt and Chris Tanev who have a combined six NHL games experience between them.

The top four admittedly doesn't sound all that bad when you consider that Hamhuis, Bieksa and Ehrhoff have been solid this year, but what about Keith Ballard?

The dude gets somewhere around fourteen minutes a night; not exactly all star minutes.
He doesn't have the trust of Alain Vigneault, even though he has played good hockey, and has delivered some of the biggest hits this season.

However, Ballard is caught out of position some times, much to the chagrin of his head coach.

Besides the fact, what if there is one more injury? What if Ehrhoff or Hamhuis goes down with a high ankle sprain? Then you're praying for Sami Salo to come back.

Let's talk a little about Slammin Sami. First off, he's no spring chicken. He's 35. Even if he does magically come back this year, you have to think his first ten or so games are going to be limited minutes. How effective can he be, coming off one of the biggest injuries of his career? (Not counting the nut shot last year)

So, is the defensive depth the Canucks wanted there? Not really. Lets hope the all star break gives some of the bottom pairing guys time to heal up.


George Prax's picture

Edler is a huge loss no doubt, but the Canucks made two pretty good moves in the off-season (however Ballard may frustrate you at times). Better off with that top four than most. Hell, the Habs lost Markov and Gorges and they're keeping things afloat. The Canucks will be fine. Obviously when you're looking to contend for the cup, "fine" may not be enough, but the Canucks version of fine is better than most lol. Nothing wrong with having a couple of less experienced guys, who knows, maybe they'll turn out to be pretty good?

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

Well, Tanev has actually been solid, and has an assist. Sweatt only played eight minutes last game, and didn't make any huge mistakes, and even scored a goal. Still though, regular season, I'm cool with the kids trying to contriubte. Playoffs? thats a whole different story. If Edler is gone for the playoffs, then you're down arguably your best defenseman, replacing him with Mr. Glass, Sami Salo. I don't know. I just hope Ehrhoff, Bieksa, Ballard and Hamhuis stay healthy, cause if we lose one of them to a season ending injury, it's going to be scary

George Prax's picture

Do you see the Canucks maybe bringing back Ed Jovanovski as a rental?

BTW, you should check out this interview that James did with Lea Sweatt for the site when he signed:

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

He was a blackhawks fan. KILL HIM lol

As for jovo cop, but could they make his salary fit? Doesnt jovo make something like 6.5? Even if they could make the salary fit, does he fit into their defensive system anymore?

George Prax's picture

I'm sure they can make it fit as a rental with some salary going back or something. It would be an interesting player to go to considering the history.