Feb 2: The Canucks have announced Mikheyev underwent successful knee surgery today, though still did not give a concrete timeline for his recovery.
Jan 28: Although Canucks winger Ilya Mikheyev scored the game-winner in last night’s victory over Columbus, it will be his last goal (and game) for a while. Following the contest, the team announced (video link) that Mikheyev will miss the remainder of the season and will undergo knee surgery. An exact timeline for his recovery is not yet known. However, the expectation is that he will be ready for the start of training camp.
The injury actually occurred back in the preseason when he partially tore his ACL. At the time, the team opted to classify it as a lower-body injury but the 28-year-old only missed the first three games of the year before returning on October 18th. To his credit, Mikheyev did pretty well under the circumstances, collecting 13 goals and 15 assists (tying his career high) in 46 games despite being slowed down due to the tear. Those numbers were fairly close to the ones he had with Toronto the year before that helped him land a four-year $19MM contract this summer.
Since he will be out for the year, Vancouver will be able to put Mikheyev and his $4.75MM AAV on LTIR, giving them some extra flexibility to navigate the salary cap for the stretch run. While the Canucks aren’t likely to be buyers (they sit sixth in the Pacific Division and are a dozen points out of a Wild Card spot), this will give them a chance to be a bit more creative when it comes to salary retention or taking an expiring contract back to facilitate a trade.
Although Vancouver was only carrying 13 healthy forwards on their roster for Friday’s game (including Mikheyev), the team also revealed postgame (Twitter link) that winger Phillip Di Giuseppe was assigned to AHL Abbotsford. The 28-year-old was a healthy scratch against Columbus and has just one NHL appearance under his belt this season. With now just 11 forwards on their roster, more roster moves will be expected once their schedule resumes after the All-Star break.