Canucks to consider Bourdon

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

The clock is ticking and sometime later this week, the Vancouver Canucks must decide what to do with Luc Bourdon.

Unless Canucks general manager Dave Nonis can pull off a deal for a veteran rearguard this week, the decision might have already been made for him.

With Willie Mitchell out with a concussion and Sami Salo nursing what is believed to be a minor knee injury, Bourdon appeared in his eighth game of the season on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche.

If Bourdon appears in his 10th game, this season will count toward his NHL service time and potentially allow him to become an unrestricted free agent a year earlier -- even if he's returned to junior.

The Canucks' first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft has shown a steady progression but is averaging fewer than 10 minutes per game.

With a contract of close to $900,000, is that good value for a team nudging the ceiling of the salary cap?

That's certainly open for debate.

Secondly, might Bourdon be better served by spending another season in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, where he'd eat up valuable minutes and perhaps take another Memorial Cup run?

Only time will tell.

Bourdon could be a dominant force later this winter as Canada attempts to go for three consecutive gold medals at the World Junior Hockey Championship, but that's another issue.

In a perfect world, Bourdon could be sent down to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League to continue his development but that's not an option.

It's NHL or QMJHL for the Shippagan, N.B. product. No matter what happens with Bourdon, the Moose will be affected by the decision.

Rookie blue-liner Alex Edler made his NHL debut last night and by all accounts, did well while taking a regular shift.

When he returns to the Moose is anyone's guess, though it will likely be once Salo returns from injury.

Edler's promotion leaves the Moose and Canucks with six healthy defencemen each, which doesn't bode well if there are any potential future injuries.

If veteran Yannick Tremblay hadn't suffered a high ankle sprain last month, the situation might not be as difficult. Since Tremblay has ample NHL experience, he'd be the natural guy to go to Vancouver.

With him out another three weeks or longer, that's not an option either. Making a deal could prove to be difficult as well, since many teams would like to improve their defences.

Nonis could decide to recall another one of Manitoba's blue-liners, but that would only be a temporary solution.

Stay tuned, something's got to give.


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