Stu Walters | Email Stu.Walters@corusent.com
Canucks defenseman Alex Edler was handed a two game suspension on Friday evening for charging Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith late in the second period of the Canucks 2-1 win Thursday in Phoenix.
Smith was attempting to play the puck behind the net when Edler came thru with good speed and took out Smith. Smith was shaken up on the play and finished the period but did not return for third period. Edler was assessed a five minute major for the penalty. In his explanation of the suspension via the leagues website NHL operations manager Rob Blake admitted they saw no malicious intent on Edler’s behalf, but that the goaltender is not fair game. Adding that the principle point of contact was the head and that Edler did not appear to make any attempt to avoid a collision.
Canucks President and General Manager Mike Gillis released this statement shortly after the ruling on the Canucks website. “As an organization we respect the NHL and its process for supplemental discipline. While we may not agree with this ruling, we will move forward and prepare for our important game tomorrow in Los Angeles. We do not intend to comment further on this matter.”
Edler will miss the last two games on the three game road trip beginning Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles against the Kings as well as Sunday in Colorado. He’ll forfeit US$35,135.14 of his salary under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement.
Gillis also announced on Friday that forward David Booth underwent surgery on his left leg, after suffering what was originally termed a sprained ankle last Saturday against Detroit. Booth should miss at least eight weeks and there’s an outside chance he could return to action if the Canucks make a long playoff run.