Another option is possibly turning Bieksa & Hamhuis into a special teams pairing and let the other two pairings focus on ES
Let Bieksa & Hamhuis anchor the first unit PP and PK, Erhoff - Sweatt can play the 2nd unit PP and Ballard - Tanev can play the 2nd unit PK
Then roll Erhoff, Sweatt, Ballard & Tanev evenly on ES and let Bieksa & Hamhuis rest up a bit
That would be a bad idea. Hamhuis is nowhere near a powerplay defenseman. Bieksa is not particularly good on the point either.
It would be dumb to remove Ehrhoff from the point on the powerplay. He's not as good as Edler at distributing the puck in my opinion, but still probably one of the best on the team. You can put like Ballard and Bieksa as the 2nd unit PP, and Sweatt and Ehrhoff as 1st unit. Sweatt won't ever be great at even strength, but on the PP he could be a great player.
Penalty kill is a bit harder to figure out, aside from Ballard and Hamhuis being in there. I really don't have the best feeling about Bieksa being out there for the PK, but with Hamhuis he should be okay. I guess the other pairing could be Ballard + ???.
I'm not underrating Edler. I'm just not as panicky as you are. Just 2 games ago you were going on about "f&$% this gutless team" and you had to stop watching the games for a bit.
The Canucks didn't get to 1st place in the league on the back of a single player. They're still a fantastic team without Edler in the lineup and in the SHORT TERM, they should be OK, especially if Salo can get back soon. But they'll definitely need him for the playoffs.
This is the whole reason Gillis built the defense this way; enjoy the depth, other teams aren't as lucky.
I fail to see how my decision to do other things with my evenings is relevant at all to my opinion or reactions to the Edler injury situation. Put your can of ammunition away, you don't need it.
No, the Canucks did not get to where they are on the back of Edler alone. They are lucky to still have guys like the Sedins, Luongo and Kesler healthy and playing well. However, I believe that when you say the loss of Edler to injury is not a "huge loss", you are underrating him in a way. You are minimizing his true impact on the Canucks' blueline. Will the Canucks falter and tank the rest of the season? Absolutely not. They're blessed with amazing depth on the blueline and should still be able to win their fair share of games. But the loss will become increasingly evident to fans when the PP isn't clicking as often and scoring chance against are more common.
Replacement by committee? Salo can take over the point on the first unit, Ballard, Alberts can step up a bit minutes wise and physically...I think we'll be OK, but we're clearly a better team with him for the playoffs.
I don't understand the cap well enough to figure out if this means we can take on a rental player at the deadline...has anyone broken that down yet? Maybe we can add Clowe somehow after all...
"It won't heal on its own so it has to be repaired. Now is the opportunity to do it," Vancouver GM Mike Gillis said. "If we don't do it now, he could risk for sure missing the rest of the season and the playoffs.
"If we do it now, there may be an opportunity for him to return. But we're not sure."
"They can't tell by the MRI exactly when he suffered it but it's pretty clear it's been getting worse," Gillis said. "It may have been the hit. But he's been physical all year. It may have been building toward this."
"He's playing a tonne of minutes, he's playing in every situation and he was trending toward being a plus-50 point guy which are great numbers," Gillis said. "I'm shocked he wasn't selected to go the all-star game.
"It is disappointing. But you know what? It also makes the group stronger. They have to pull together."
"Early indications are that it's fairly straightforward," Gillis said. "Alex is young, he's in great shape, he's strong.
"We've had no indication that non-contact for three months is part of the program. Sometimes it's more complicated when they get in there and see what's going on."
"There was about a one-minute debate about whether they could rehab this over a period of 3-4 weeks and then have him come back and play," he said. "The risk of this happening almost immediately after was still there.
"It wasn't going to heal."
"There's always a chance (he could miss the rest of the year)," Gillis said. "There's always a chance for setbacks or it may be a little bit more serious than we anticipate. We'll know more in about a week to 10 days, maybe longer, about what the prognosis will be."
*sigh* Oh well, the Canucks have been pretty lucky on the injury front so far this year. Had to happen sooner or later. At least the young guys are stepping up and looking like gamers, and well, there's the cap space for Salo.