Backbreaking news for fans still basking in the glow of last night's solid victory over the Nashville Predators, as it has been announced that Alex Edler's back spasms that kept him out of the game are more serious than initially thought. Edler will undergo micro discectomy surgery on his back and will be out indefinitely.
While Lee Sweatt performed admirably in his absence, scoring the game-winning goal and finishing +2, he still had under 9 minutes of icetime and often seemed overmatched physically. Keith Ballard, on the other hand, stepped up and played a team-high 23:53, boosted by Ehrhoff missing some shifts to get stitches after getting whacked in the face by Ryan Kesler. With Aaron Rome and Andrew Alberts still out of commission, this latest wrinkle forces the Canucks to contend with a depleted blueline that may require further call-ups from the Manitoba Moose and more ice-time from the maligned Ballard.
Alternatively, with Edler sure to go on long-term injured reserve and the all-star game providing a brief break in the schedule, this may be the time to push Sami Salo harder in practice to see if he is ready to slot back into the lineup. The need to clear salary to fit Salo under the cap has suddenly disappeared.
Update: Edler's back surgeon, Dr. Marcel
Weird Keyboard Dvorak, has suggested that Edler should recover in 8 to 10 weeks. Edler's surgery is scheduled for Monday, which would put his potential return at March 28th to April 11th if Dr. Dvorak is correct. The Canucks' final game of the regular season will be April 9th, meaning Edler could still return in time for the playoffs.