First goal no Sweatt

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:55 AM ET

One man’s misfortune could become another Moose player’s fortune.

Vancouver defenceman Alex Edler will undergo microdiscectomy surgery on his back and will be out of the lineup indefinitely, the Canucks announced Thursday.

That means blue-liner Lee Sweatt, just called up from the Manitoba farm team, could get a chance to stay with the NHL team for some time yet.

Sweatt made an immediate impact when he scored his first NHL goal — the game-winner — in his first NHL game when Vancouver nipped Nashville 2-1 on Wednesday.

“I never would’ve expected it,” Sweatt told Vancouver reporters after the contest. “I was just happy to get on the ice.”

Sweatt, it seems, also made an instant impression on his teammates even before he hit the ice. According to the Globe and Mail, they were calling the 5-foot-9 rearguard “Rudy” before the game, referring to the nickname of a former college football player whose perseverance against all odds inspired a Hollywood movie.

“I had that nickname when I was in junior,” Sweatt said. “It’s kind of stuck with me a little bit, and these guys like chanting it. I think it might stick.”

The Canucks had also played a gag on the rookie before the game, telling him he would lead the squad on to the ice for the pre-game warmup. But when he left, no one followed. Then, when he jumped on the ice all alone, Sweatt mistakenly skated into the Predators’ end.

But never mind, Canucks coach Alain Vigneault enjoyed the rookie’s heroics during the match.

“It was a pretty amusing moment,” the former Moose mentor. “And a pretty nice hockey moment.”

The question now is whether the Moose will lose any more defencemen to the parent club.


Videos

Photos