Vancouver Canucks come clean on Alex Edler, Jason Garrison injuries
Both blueliners on the team’s payroll during lockout, joining recovering Ryan Kesler
VANCOUVER — The mystery surrounding the status of Vancouver Canucks defencemen Alex Edler and Jason Garrison has been solved.
The Canucks confirmed Friday that Edler is dealing with a slightly bulging disc in his back while Garrison has a groin injury.
That means both players will remain on the Canucks’ payroll during the current NHL lockout until they are deemed fit to play.
Assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Friday that both players suffered the injuries while training for the upcoming season before the NHL lockout took effect Sept. 15.
"Both players sustained injuries in the course of their preparation for the season prior to Sept. 15 which necessitates their rehabilitation being supervised by the club," Gilman said in an interview. "Alex has a bulging disc in his back."
Edler had surgery in early 2011 to repair a bulging disc and missed more than two months of the season. Gilman said he did not know if this injury is a recurrence of the old one, but said he didn't think Edler would require further surgery.
Gilman would not comment on the fact Edler was seen on the field at BC Place Stadium after the B.C. Lions’ win over the Calgary Stampeders last Saturday night kicking a 30-yard field goal. Edler had attended that game with a group of Canucks teammates, including Garrison.
The absence of Edler and Garrison at the skates many of their Canucks teammates have been holding at UBC since the lockout began raised speculation about their condition. The Canucks had refused to comment on the matter until Friday.
Gilman said Garrison's groin injury is not believed to be serious.
"It was something he was getting treatment for prior to Sept. 15, so that gives us the ability to supervise his rehabilitation," Gilman said.
Edler, entering the final year of his contract, is scheduled to make $3.25 million this season. His agent and the Canucks were discussing a contract extension this summer, but failed to strike a deal before Sept. 15.
Although Garrison's salary cap hit is $4.6 million, his actual salary this season is $5.5 million. Garrison, who signed with the Canucks on July 1 as an unrestricted free agent, has already received $3 million of his salary as a signing bonus.
Garrison and Edler join centre Ryan Kesler as Canucks getting paid during the lockout. Kesler, who is scheduled to earn $5 million this season, is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery and is in town working with the Canuck training staff.
All three players will remain on the Canucks’ payroll until they are cleared to play by team doctors.
Because both Garrison and Edler did not suffer their injuries in a game, the Canucks may have been able to deny them their salaries during the lockout. But that would have set a dangerous precedent and perhaps discouraged players from working out during the off-season.
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