The Vancouver Canucks had a dreadful month of November and December isn't starting much better. The team announced Wednesday that forward Brandon Sutter is expected to miss an additional four to six weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a sports hernia. The 26-year-old forward has been out of the lineup since Nov. 10.
“Following a period of treatment and evaluation our medical team determined that the best course of action for Brandon was to perform this procedure,” general manager Jim Benning said in a statement. “The surgery was successful and we expect a full recovery.”
Sutter has eight points 16 games so far this season.
Acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins over the summer, Sutter was one of Vancouver's top offseason additions. The two-time 20-goal scorer has played all over the lineup for the Canucks this season and hadn't quite managed to find a level of consistency just yet. The injury and extended absence obviously won't help much.
Sutter is in the last season of his current contract, but signed an extension for an additional five seasons with the Canucks. He is set to carry a $4.375 million cap hit when that deal kicks in ahead of the 2016-17 season.
Vancouver is currently fourth in the Pacific Division with an 9-9-8 record, but trails third-place Arizona by just one point in the standings. The sooner Sutter gets back, the better for this club as it tries to keep pace in a very much wide-open division.