The Vancouver Canucks assigned defenseman Alex Biega to the Utica Comets of the AHL on a conditioning assignment, according to the Elite Prospects website, via Twitter. Biega has made just one appearance on the season and saw 8:37 of ice time while filling in at forward. The Canucks currently list nine blue liners – including Biega – on their roster but with two others – Chris Tanev and Philip Larsen – on IR, it leaves the team with just six healthy defensemen.
It’s possible Tanev could be nearing a return as it was thought he was going to miss 10 games due to injury and would need another few days of skating before coming back. If that timeline is still in place, Tanev should be close to coming back to the lineup though a projected return date has not been given.
Biega saw action in 51 games with Vancouver during the 2014-15 campaign and tallied seven points while recording a minus-11 plus-minus rating. He inked a two-year, one-way deal in the summer with an AAV of $750K on the heels of that performance. Originally a fifth-round pick of Buffalo all the way back in 2006 draft, Biega attended Harvard University where he played for four years. He signed with the Canucks as an undrafted free agent in 2013.
By rule Biega can remain with the Comets for up to 14 days. It’s unclear at this point if the Canucks will keep him in Utica for the full two weeks or recall the blue liner after shaking off some rust in the AHL. He was slated to be in the lineup tonight when the Comets travel to Toronto to play the Marlies.