If the injury to Pavol Demitra’s finger is more serious, then it could force the Canucks’ hand before Wednesday’s trade deadline. Or it could create an opportunity for Michael Grabner, the team’s 1st rounder .
Is Grabner ready for prime-time?
Now in his second year with the Manitoba Moose, Grabner still suffers from bouts of inconsistency. He showed some promise while appearing in the Canucks’ preseason, but was sent to the Moose. He started their season with 10 points (7G-3A) in 19 games in October and November, then put up 18 points (12G-6A) in 20 games in December and January. The Canucks allowed him to join Team Austria for the Winter Olympics qualifier earlier this month, but since coming back, only has 5 points (2G-3A) in 8 games.
These numbers don’t exactly scream opportunity, but the Canucks don’t have a lot of options to replace offensive-minded players. Sure they could bump up a Taylor Pyatt or a Steve Bernier to the second line, but neither does it hurt to give Grabner a shot. I just hope they get the aggressive, productive Grabner, not the one that has a penchant for disappearing for stretches.
[update: 02/26/09, 6:57 AM]
Grabner has, in fact, been called up now. Good luck kid.