The Vancouver Canucks will be down another top defenseman for the next little while as the team announced (via Twitter) that Alex Edler will miss the next four to six weeks with a fractured index finger. The team also noted that he will undergo surgery to repair that finger later today.
While Edler is off to a slow start statistically (a goal and two assists through 21 games), he is still logging some heavy minutes for the Canucks, averaging a team high 23:42 per game. With Chris Tanev (lower body) also on IR, Edler had been their go-to blueliner in all situations.
Injuries have been an issue for the 30 year old. Last season, he missed 29 games with a fractured fibula while he has had various other lower body ailments in the years before that as well. He has played a full 82-game season just once in his career, back in 2011-12.
Taking Edler’s place on the roster will be defenseman Alex Biega, who has been recalled from his conditioning stint, Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar reports (Twitter link). He got into just one game with AHL Utica which matches the number of NHL games he has played so far this season, spending most of the time as a healthy scratch.
Edler and Tanev aren’t the only Vancouver defensemen missing either as Philip Larsen is also on IR due to an illness and there is no timetable for his return. With Biega’s recall, Vancouver is now carrying just the minimum number of healthy defensemen so another recall isn’t out of the question either if Larsen isn’t ready to play soon.
[Related: Canucks Depth Chart]