VANCOUVER – The Vancouver Canucks recalled winger Byron Bitz from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves on Wednesday.
Bitz is expected to play Thursday in the Canucks’ final road game of the regular season in Calgary. He was summoned for his second stint with the parent team after Vancouver winger Zack Kassian suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury late in the second period of Tuesday’s 5-4 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Kassian was the second Canucks winger to go down recently. Scoring star Daniel Sedin has missed seven straight games with a concussion. The Canucks (50-21-9) have managed to win all seven games without him.
Bitz, 27, has recorded two goals and seven assists, along with 11 penalty minutes, with the Wolves in 24 games. The Saskatoon native also has a goal and three assists, plus 14 penalty minutes with the Canucks.
Bitz, who signed with the Canucks as a free agent last summer, missed almost two full seasons because of groin and abdominal injuries that required four surgical procedures to repair.
After recuperating sufficiently, he joined the Wolves in January and was called up to the Canucks in early February. During his time in Vancouver, he missed another two games due to a sore hip and was also a healthy scratch for one. He was demoted in late February.
The Canucks close out their regular season Saturday at home against the Edmonton Oilers.