If there’s an upside to the imminent end of summer, it’s that Canucks hockey is around the corner. That was as evident as ever Wednesday at UBC when a handful of players took to the ice with Dave Babych.
Prospects Kevin Connauton, Prab Rai, Taylor Ellington, Aaron Volpatti and Chris Tanev skated alongside Canucks blueliner Alex Edler and newcomer Manny Malhotra. The latter is making an adjustment to being in Vancouver, while the former, well, it was just good to see him back on the ice.
In Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinal, Edler was run into the boards by Chicago goon Dustin Byfuglien. Injured on the play, Edler was wearing a walking boot for locker clean out a few days later and he reveled Wednesday that the boot played a big part in his summer.
“I had a cast on for five weeks, then crutches for three, but after that it’s been feeling really good,” said Edler, who will be entering his fourth season as a full-time defender this fall.
“I’ve been real careful with running and jumping and things like that during the summer, but there haven’t been any issues, no pain or anything, so it feels ready to go,” added Edler, saying that he underwent “a lot of rehab.”
Despite limping through his summer, Edler doesn’t feel he is behind in his conditioning stating that he’s almost right on track.
“We still have a month here to get some skating in and usually I do that towards the end of the summer so I don’t feel like I’m behind in any way.”
Edler is one of 11 defencemen currently on the Canucks roster, which includes newbies Keith Ballard and Dan Hamhuis. Considering the backend was one of Vancouver’s weak points down the stretch in the playoffs last season, Edler is thrilled with what’s been done to improve it.
“It looks good. I don’t know too much about them, but they’re obviously good Ds and steady Ds and I’m looking forward to it. Since I’ve been here there have always been good Ds and it’s good for the team.”
A name not on the roster is Willie Mitchell, and another, Kevin Bieksa, is rumoured to be changing addresses any time. That won’t happen if Edler has his way. Both will return to the fold to help the Canucks push for their first Stanley Cup appearance since 1993-94.
“For sure, they’re great players and I think any team would like to have those players.”
Canucks are arriving in Vancouver daily, so stay tuned to Canucks.com for the latest.