Daniel Sedin is out 4-6 weeks with a broken foot.
Sami Salo is out 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL.
Pavol Demitra is not recovering as quickly as hoped from off-season surgery.
Mathieu Schneider and Jannik Hansen are also still on the shelf.
So what do the Vancouver Canucks do about this rash of injuries?
Defensively, Mike Gillis is looking like a smart guy right now, given all the depth on defence he acquired during the off-season. Aaron Rome, Michael Funk and Brad Lukowich are all probable call-ups. Lukowich is probably last on the list because he will have to clear re-entry waivers before he can join the club, so we will likely see either Funk or Rome called up from Manitoba later this week. Rome is already here as a healthy scratch, and the Canucks appear to be waiting for Mathieu Schneider to be eligible for return from LITR.
As for the offense… how do replace a point-a-game player and your leading goal scorer from last season? It’s a mighty tall order and there is no real solution to this problem. Demitra is probably not going to come back before Daniel Sedin recovers, so Demitra is not the answer here. Again, Gillis and Vigneault will have to look at the farm club for a roster call-up. Sergei Shirokov, Michael Grabner and Alexandre Bolduc are on the list of possible players to make the jump to the big show for a stint. Bolduc is just returning from an injury, so he is likely third on that list.
The Canucks need scoring and chemistry, and I think that Shirokov should enough of both during the pre-season to give him the advantage over Grabner.
Let’s hope Schneider is ready to go once he’s eligible, and let’s hope the Canucks can score by committee. They won one game without Daniel and Salo (he got hurt early and missed most of the game), so let’s hope that’s a sign of how they’re capable of playing.