No Raymond for Game 7

Canucks forward Mason Raymond is helped off the ice by teammates Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins...

Canucks forward Mason Raymond is helped off the ice by teammates Ryan Kesler and Chris Higgins during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final in Boston on Monday. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:27 PM ET

VANCOUVER - VANCOUVER -- Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond won't be around for Game 7 Wednesday night.

He might not be around for Game 1 of next season, either.

The Canucks announced that Raymond has a vertebrae compression fracture and is expected to be out of the lineup for three to four months.

Raymond was injured on the first shift of Game 6 Monday night when he was bent over and went into the boards backward after contact with Boston Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk. Although the puck was gone, there was no penalty on the play.

The Canucks might have been announcing the severity of Raymond's injury in the hopes of getting Boychuk suspended, but word was no supplemental discipline would be forthcoming from thte NHL.

After Canucks defenceman Aaron Rome injured Boston forward Nathan Horton with a late hit in Game 3, the Bruins were quick to get the word out the next morning that Horton had suffered a season-ending concussion, hoping it would influence the proceedings. Rome was suspended for four games.

At a time of year when teams guard injury information like it's the secret recipe, the timing of both announcements is interesting.

Incredibly, Raymond was helped up and skated off the ice. Later, he was transported to hospital on a stretcher.

The Canucks are a banged-up team now when it matters most. They lost top defenceman Dan Hamuis in Game 1. Forward Ryan Kesler hasn't been himself since getting hit by Boychuk early in the series. There's also talk that Alexander Edler, now on the top pairing with Kevin Bieksa, could be iffy for Game 7. He may have injured himself throwing a check at Boston's Tyler Seguin.

Raymond has been part of a good second line for the Canucks. After he was injured, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault moved Jannik Hansen up from the third line to take Raymond's place with Kesler and Chris Higgins. Malhotra, coming off an eye injury, moved up from the fourth line to play with Raffi Torres and Max Lapierre.

"Nothing is going to change regardless of who's in the lineup," Malhotra said. "Our focus is always on the process."

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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