Alex Edler will make his return to the lineup against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday evening after missing time with a serious injury.
The Swedish blueliner was stretchered off the ice in a game against the Flyers on Feb. 4 after getting tangled with forward Jake Voracek and face-planting on the ice.
It will be a huge boost for the team, who are playing in the second half of a back-to-back after losing in a shootout to the Avalanche on Wednesday.
Edler will slot in for Derrick Pouliot, while Guillaume Brisebois has been sent down to Utica.
Adam Gaudette is also returning and taking the place of Markus Granlund, while Thatcher Demko is starting in goal.
Demko starts for #canucks. Edler in for Pouliott. gaudette in for Granlund.
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) February 28, 2019
Edler has been a very steady presence on Vancouver’s back-end this season, recording five goals, 20 points and 40 PIM in 38 games. He’ll provide a nice boost to the power play and take some of the pressure off Ben Hutton and Troy Stecher, who have been stepping up in his absence.
Edler was the subject of much trade speculation nearing the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline. The veteran defenseman has made it clear he wishes to remain in Vancouver. According to reports, the Canucks did receive calls on Edler at the deadline, but Edler was unwilling to waive his no-trade clause.
According to Benning, the team continues to work on an extension for the longtime Canuck.
“Alex has been a great player for us for a long time,” he said. “We’d like to continue for him to be part of our team, part of our group. And we’re going to keep working towards trying to figure something out there.”
The 32-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1.