VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks lost winger David Booth for the season and defenceman Alexander Edler to suspension Friday.
Booth underwent surgery after suffering a leg injury last Saturday against Detroit. He missed the last three games against Minnesota, St. Louis and Phoenix, but Canucks general manager Mike Gillis told a Vancouver radio station “there’s a chance” Booth could return for the playoffs.
“Hopefully, (the surgery) will accelerate the process some measure and then he’ll have to wait and rehab like anyone else,” Gillis told Team 1040.
Edler meanwhile was suspended two games for charging Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith during the Canucks’ 2-1 win Thursday in Phoenix.
Smith, who was attempting to play the puck when Edler came at him, did not return for the third period.
Edler, who was assessed a five-minute major for the penalty, will forfeit US$35,135.14 of his salary under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Vancouver has not provided details on the exact nature of Booth’s injury, but various reports have described it as an ankle sprain. Canucks officials could not be reached for comment on Booth’s procedure Friday afternoon.
The setback continues a hard-luck season for Booth. The 28-year-old Detroit native suffered a groin injury during physical testing on the first day of training camp and missed the first 14 games of the regular season. He also sat out one more contest in Detroit.
Booth has just one goal this season, an empty-netter against Nashville.
Despite his difficulties, Booth found time to joke on Twitter on Friday morning.
“Don’t need any anesthesia today. Plenty of basketball on tv,” he tweeted.
News of Booth’s injury comes as the Canucks are battling a shortage of forwards. Defenceman Keith Ballard played the wing in Thursday’s win over Phoenix after Chris Higgins came down with a sore back during the morning skate and wingers Zack Kassian (back) and Steve Pinizzotto (illness) stayed home from their current three-game road trip because of health woes.
The Canucks called up forward Andrew Gordon from Chicago of the AHL for the game against Phoenix and face the possibility of more call-ups before Saturday’s game in Los Angeles.
But Gillis ruled out the possibility of making a trade as a result of Booth’s long-term hiatus.