Vancouver Canucks Injury Update: Hanging In Tight


The Vancouver Canucks are almost there.

The Vancouver Canucks start the new year clinging onto their call-ups, with more than $20 million in salary injured. That is more than a quarter of the entire pay roll.

It is getting ridiculous.

Among those who are practicing injured are Jannik Hansen, Henrik Sedin, and Chris Tanev. Ben Hutton and Chris Higgins came dangerously close to getting sidelined last game, getting hit up high by the Los Angeles Kings’ slapshots. Team Canada at the World Juniors could have used some shot blocks, but not the Canucks.

Hutton’s visor saved his life, and Higgins reacted to the shot in time to have it go off his chest and not his neck.

Sven Baertschi is the latest Canuck to go down, suffering from a sore neck that caused him to leave the Kings game early. Willie Desjardins refused to give a timeline on Sven’s injury, but he is listed as being day-to-day.

May as well be indefinite, the way things are these days.

After calling Ryan Miller‘s injury a “day-to-day” lower body “cramp”, the Canucks are now expecting him to be out for at least a week, an apparent ‘groin’ injury. Miller is now on the injured reserve, joining a lengthy list on Vancouver’s hurt list. With the addition of Miller, the Canucks now have five players on the IR, including Dan Hamhuis, Luca Sbisa, Tanev, and of course, Brandon Sutter.

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Should that hold true, Sutter could return as early as Monday, January 4th against the Arizona Coyotes. Realistically, Sutter should be back in time for the start of the road trip, the January 14th game against the host Washington Capitals. The Canucks might not survive the road trip — and the season — should Sutter not return in time for the six-game road trip.

Also, note that Sbisa was set to return after the holidays and before Sutter. The rest of Vancouver, though, might be content to watch Andrey Pedan play Sbisa’s role against big teams like the Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes. On the other hand, the whole of Vancouver will love to see Alex Biega in action for a little longer.

Hold on, big boys. Rewarded, you will be.

With the new guys filling in and growing into the roles, the Canucks will be well served when Sutter, Tanev, and Sbisa draw back into the lineup in a couple of weeks. The lineup should end up like this by the end of the six-game road trip this month:

Daniel – Henrik – Hansen
McCann – Sutter – Virtanen
Baertschi – Horvat – Vrbata
Dorsett – Cracknell – Prust

Edler – Tanev
Hutton – Biega
Bartkowski – Sbisa

Feel free to mix up the middle-six wingers and the bottom-four pairings, but scratching Higgins, Alex Burrows, and Yannick Weber is the best way to go. Moving Jared McCann to the wing will save bumping Adam Cracknell and dressing one of Higgins or Burrows.

Next: What to be Excited for in 2016

The first half of the season is drawing to a close and has left the Canucks decimated. It is time to move on. Take away the positives from the first half, the Sedin brilliance, the rise of Biega and Hansen, and how Hutton has settled in nicely. The second half is the meaningful half, and carries meaning beyond the 2015-16 season. The decisions GM Jim Benning will make, should he make any, will shape the future core of the team.

Vancouver, you are almost there. But for now, until Sbisa, Tanev, Sutter, and Miller come back: Stay down, boys. Stay down.