PHOENIX — New Canuck Chris Higgins isn't the only winger joining the team here, as Vancouver has recalled minor-leaguer Victor Oreskovich in case Mason Raymond is unable to play Tuesday due to a sore shoulder.
“Mason will be a game-time decision,” Canucks assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said as players enjoyed a day off today. “We don't think it's serious, but we want to have Victor ready to go if Mason doesn't play.”
Raymond was unable to finish Sunday's 3-0 win against the Anaheim Ducks after absorbing a hit to his shoulder. Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said then that the left-winger appeared to suffer only a “stinger” and should be okay.
The recall of Oreskovich, who was returned to the Manitoba Moose with the acquisition of Higgins from the Florida Panthers a week ago, means that injured defenceman Kevin Bieksa has been placed on long-term injured reserve and will be ineligible to play until Saturday in Calgary.
Bieksa's recovery from a broken foot had gone well enough that Vigneault said last week he hoped the defenceman would accompany Higgins to Phoenix. A fractured thumb has kept Higgins from making his Canucks debut.
Higgins will skate with the Canucks Tuesday morning, practise with the team Wednesday and possibly play against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.
Ironically, Raymond was one of the forwards Higgins was expected to push for playing time.
The decision not to bring Bieksa to Phoenix was made before Raymond was hurt.
“There has been no setback,” general manager Mike Gillis said Sunday of Bieksa. “It has been only three weeks since his injury and that's just not enough time for it to fully heal.”
With no cap space available to accommodate Oreskovich's $575,000 salary, the Canucks placed Bieksa on LTIR to free up the defenceman's $3.75-million salary.
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