<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2008/01/011308_blues09_tt.jpg" class="imageFloatLeftFramed">The Vancouver Canucks received two bits of news on the injury front today with Swedish defenceman Alex Edler probable to go.
In the same tweet, Murphy reports that Alex Edler will be paired with Christian Ehrhoff, Shane O'Brien with Kevin Bieksa, and Willie Mitchell with Sami Salo. This means both Aaron Rome and Mathieu Schneider will be sitting out tonight's contest as healthy scratches.
However, Canucks public relations officer @TC_Carling is calling Edler a game-time decision.
Whether or not Edler plays tonight, it is good news for the Canucks as it was originally feared that Edler may have suffered a separated shoulder.
With Edler's return to the lineup, Kevin Bieksa cannot afford to have another sub par game as Edler logs 20:51 minutes a game on average and O'Brien has played exceptionally well and shown enough discipline to play more than the 15:43 he averages.
Ryan Johnson is also expected to play tonight after missing practice yesterday and nearly missing Sunday night's game against the St. Louis Blues.
Good news on the Pavol Demitra front as well.
While it was initially suggested by the media that winger Pavol Demitra had suffered a setback after he traveled to Slovakia to see a specialist two weeks ago, now it appears it was not a setback and he's back in Vancouver skating.
"My range of motion is 90 per cent," he said, referring to his surgically repaired shoulder, "as good as it needs to be.
"Strength is the issue now."
Demitra is expected to make his return to the lineup in three to four weeks.
<img src="http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2009/10/oct25_schneider2_rr.jpg" class="imageFloatRightFramed">Defenceman Mathieu Schneider is still away from the team for personal reasons and coach Alain Vigneault would not divulge on the details.
Just speculation here, but could Schneider be taken a leave of absence from the team to consider his playing future? It's a possibility.
Thus far, Schneider has not been the factor on the power play the Canucks had hoped and in the defensive zone he is often beaten to the puck or is easily muscled off of it. Shane O'Brien has also played exceptional since being inserted into the lineup on December 2nd after sitting out seven straight games and doesn't appear to be slowing down.
Schneider's a veteran and a team player, if he believes he cannot play in the NHL anymore, he knows that it would be of his best interest of him and the Canucks to leave the team and retire which would take his cap hit off the Canucks payroll and his spot on the roster.
Earlier in the year, Brendan Shanahan had his contract terminated by the New Jersey Devils after he decided to leave the team and retire. Known as insubordination.
Could something similar happen with Schneider?
Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis was asked by a member of the media about whether Schneider was considering his playing future, he replied by"I'm not going to say."
Based on Gillis's comments, I have to believe that Schneider is in fact contemplating is playing future as he could have just flatly denied it.