Vancouver Canucks: What does Sven Baertschi’s future look like?

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28: Sven Baertschi
VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 28: Sven Baertschi /

When healthy, Sven Baertschi has been a key contributor for the Vancouver Canucks. But what does the future hold for him here on the west coast?

Where does Vancouver Canucks forward Sven Baertschi fit in this team?

That is a question many fans and management will be asking this season, as the winger comes off yet another season that was riddled with injuries.

The first concern is whether or not he will return this season. With eight games remaining, it could make sense for the Canucks to shut him down for the season. However, it looks as though the goal remains for him to return. After practice on Thursday, Baertschi spoke about the plan saying,

“This was my plan. I wanted to come back. I wanted to make sure that I’m 100 per cent and I wanted to make sure that I go into a game with confidence. I’m ready to play. As soon as coach tells me I’m in, I’m good to go.”

While his drive and passion is to be admired, whether or not it is in his best future interest to return makes his decision all the more questionable.

He has only played in 22 games this year. The numbers he has put up make him a player which cannot be forgotten.

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Eight goals and five assists make up his season, as the Swiss born forward averages a hair above 0.5 points per game.

Canucks fans are probably tired of hearing about the “little things” but they are something Baertschi does well. When he’s on Bo Horvat‘s wing, the latter is much calmer and is not relied on to carry the play. Baertschi is a valuable member of this team, and before his injury; he was considered to be part of the solution.

Beyond this season is another question facing the injury riddled winger. He is under contract for another two seasons at $3.366 million per, so the team is committed. When asked about whether he was ever concerned about his future career, Baertschi said,

“There’d be days where I was worried at times but I had to be reassured by people, smart people, specialists who told me that ‘you’re fine, there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just part of a change that’s happening, part of recovery,” he said. “Just battle through it and you’ll be fine.’”

Although it looked dodgy at times, it does seem like he will be back next season. He has consistently been a producer in the top six for a Canucks team — a team in desperate need of scoring. Even in his short return, the level of play clearly improved; while he even put up five goals in his eight games .

“I’m gutted for him, you can never imagine what he was going through” said common line mate Bo Horvat at after practice. With the Canucks only four points out of a playoff spot, one has to think this group will want to take their best shot at it.

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Given that, I expect Baertschi to return to the lineup once he’s fit. I’m no doctor, but my thinking is that he is taking a massive risk of re-injuring and jeopardizing his future. For what? An early first round playoff elimination.