Vancouver Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa took part in Wednesday’s team practice, but remains “day-to-day” with a lower-body injury, according to head coach Alain Vigneault.
Bieksa, wearing a grey jersey along with fellow injured blue liner Keith Ballard, skated for roughly 35 minutes with the team before leaving the ice.
“He’s had a good last couple of days, he had a good practice today,” said Vigneault, adding Bieksa skated on his own prior to jumping on the ice with his teammates.
Bieksa won’t play Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks at Rogers Arena, but Vigneault said he “is getting close.”
Ballard, who also took part in Wednesday’s will not play Thursday. He felt stiffness in his back after a fight with Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader on Saturday, and is listed as “day-to-day” by the coach.
GM MIKE GILLIS SPEAKS ABOUT AHL AFFILIATION
The Vancouver Canucks will take three weeks to a month to decide a destination for their American Hockey League affiliate, according to general manager Mike Gillis, speaking on Team 1040 radio Wednesday.
The Canucks recently purchased the Peoria Rivermen, giving the NHL club it’s own AHL farm team.
Gillis said the Canucks have “received a number of proposals from different cities” and are talking with a couple of cities in the Northwest. He said there are “six or seven places that could make sense.”
Peoria, Gillis said, is still an option.
The City of Abbotsford, currently the home of the Heat, the Calgary Flames affiliate, had been in talks with the Canucks about bringing their minor league team to the Fraser Valley.
A deal between the city and the Canucks could not be reached, talks between the two sides “all of a sudden just unraveled,” Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman told Metro News.