ANAHEIM, CALIF. – One month after his shock demotion to the minors, Sven Baertschi is back in the National Hockey League with the Vancouver Canucks.
The team has recalled the 27-year-old winger from the Utica Comets after Canucks winger Micheal Ferland was injured in a fight during Wednesday’s 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings.
Ferland was sent home to Vancouver on Thursday to be examined by the team doctors. The Canucks have said only that Ferland suffered an “upper-body injury” in his staged first-period fight with Kyle Clifford.
Due to weather-related travel delays, Baertschi didn’t join the Canucks in Anaheim until late this morning. He will not play Friday.
Adam Gaudette, who made the Canucks in training camp but was briefly sent back to the American League to get game time, will step into the lineup against the Ducks.
Baertschi spent the last four seasons with the Canucks, but missed 56 games last year due to a concussion. He showed up fully healthy to training camp in September, but was demoted to the AHL and reported to Utica after clearing waivers.
He had two goals and 10 points in seven games while helping the Comets start 8-0-0. Baertschi has 108 points in 219 NHL games and has been a frequent linemate to Canucks captain Bo Horvat. After playing with 30 different combinations of wingers last season, Horvat is again seeing lots of changes on his line this fall.
Canucks general manager Jim Benning met with Baertschi’s agent, Andre Rufener, in New Jersey two weeks ago and promised that the team had not closed any doors on the player, and that it was possible for Baertschi to work his way back to the Canucks.
After signing a four-year, US$14-million contract to join the Canucks from the Carolina Hurricanes in free agency, Ferland started slowly in October, but had started to play better shortly before his injury. He has one goal and five points in 12 games.