There was a notable absence from the Manitoba Moose pre-game warm-up and with another injury on the parent club, itís reasonable to expect that Lee Sweatt is about to get his first taste of the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks.
Former Moose blue-liner Kevin Bieksa suffered an eye injury in a fight with Calgary Flames forward Tom Kostopoulos on Saturday night and didnít return to action.
Since Andrew Alberta (shoulder) and Nesbitt product Aaron Rome (knee) are already on the shelf and Sami Salo still isnít ready to play, the Canucks are left with no extra defencemen on the roster, Sweatt was next in line to get the call and heís a good bet to play his NHL game on Monday against the Dallas Stars.
Sweatt signed a two-way deal with the Canucks as a free agent last summer after spending the past three seasons playing in Europe (Finland, Russia and Austria).
The 25-year-old from Elbrun, Ill. has five goals and 14 points in 41 games with the Moose this season.
Sweatt will join Moose rookie Chris Tanev, who has been steady in his first three NHL games.
Captain Nolan Baumgartner and Ryan Parent have more experience than either Tanev or Sweatt, but it looks like the Canucks donít want to risk exposing either player to recall waivers at this time.
The Moose were closing out an eight-game homestand against the Abbotsford Heat on Sunday.