Why are Alex Edler and Jason Garrison not practising with locked-out Canucks?
Kevin Bieksa says 'unhealthy' players will help coach charity game on Oct. 17
Jason Garrison during an informal practice at the Father Bauer Arena at the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre at the University of British Columbia.
Photograph by: Ric Ernst, PNG
Vancouver Canuck defencemen Alex Edler and Jason Garrison have been conspicuous by their absence at UBC while their locked-out teammates continue to skate three times a week in player-directed practices.
Could it be they are not locked out because of injury, and still on the payroll, like rehabbing centre Ryan Kesler? No one connected with the Canucks or the players involved would comment Tuesday, or could be reached for comment, but Kevin Bieksa admitted earlier Tuesday that Edler and Garrison were “unhealthy.”
Bieksa accidentally spilled the beans when asked whether he would have guest coaches for his charity game Oct. 17 against the UBC Thunderbirds.
“Some of my friends who are unhealthy right now — Kes, Eagle (Edler) and Garrison — said they’d be on the bench for us,” Bieksa replied. “They said they’ll be here regardless.”
Before the lockout, Edler and Garrison were both skating regularly at UBC with a group of Vancouver-based Canucks and Canuck farmhands. They would have to be diagnosed as “injured” and “unfit to play” by Canuck medical personnel to collect their paycheques. In that event, they would also be obliged to report to Rogers Arena for treatment and team supervised activities as Kesler is doing. They would also not be permitted to skate with the locked-out players.
It’s believed neither is seriously hurt. According to Bieksa, Edler attended the B.C. Lions game Saturday at BC Place Stadium and, following the Lions’ 27-22 victory over Calgary, Edler kicked a 30-yard field goal “without breaking a sweat.” Garrison has reportedly been skating on his own in Richmond.
Edler is in the final year of a contract that pays him $3.25 million while Garrison signed a six-year deal with the Canucks on July 1 for $27.6 million. Garrison’s contract also called for a $3.5 million signing bonus.
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