An offseason gamble by the Vancouver Canucks has come back to bite them in the rear, at least in the short term. Although all of the focus over the past 24 hours in Vancouver has been on rookie sensation Elias Pettersson and the injury that he suffered on Saturday night there was another Canucks' player that went down in that game.
During the match up between the Canucks and the Florida Panthers veteran forward Jay Beagle sacrificed his body to block a hard shot from the blue line, but it was a sacrifice that will keep him out for a very long time indeed. Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre has reported that according to his sources Beagle has suffered a broken hand or wrist and that is an injury that is expected to keep him out for a minimum of 6 weeks. It actually turns out to be a big loss for the Canucks but you can understand why the focus was on the Canucks' young superstar last night.
There were many who raised an eyebrow when Canucks general manager Jim Benning handed out a 4 year deal to Beagle that will see him earn an average annual value of $3 million per season, but it was looking like a solid move early on in the season. Sure Beagle was being used as the organizations 4th line center but he also played a very valuable role on the Canucks' special teams. Beagle was being used heavily on the penalty kill and is credited for how solid the Canucks penalty kill had been thus far into the season. Additionally in spite of playing limited 5 on 5 minutes in his role Beagle had picked up an assist in his first 5 games with the Canucks and also had a plus minus rating of +1 prior to going down with the injury.
I must admit I wasn't certain about how much money was given to Beagle, and to be honest over the long term I'm still not confident it was a good move, but there's no doubt that Beagle was proving to be a very solid role player for the Canucks. No word yet on when we may receive official confirmation from the Canucks.