Canucks' Alex Edler suspended 2 games for charging

Stephen Dunn

A run-in with Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith will cost the Vancouver defenseman.

The Canucks will be without the services of one of their best defensemen after a controversial hit on Thursday night.

Vancouver defender Alex Edler was suspended two games without pay by the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety on Friday. The suspension was assessed based on a charge that Edler made on Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith during the Canucks' game on Thursday night in Phoenix. It's worth noting that Edler's actions had already earned him a five-minute major penalty that evening. Smith eventually came out of the tilt and was replaced by Jason LaBarbera, who finished the game.

The suspension comes at an inopportune time for Vancouver, who will miss Edler for a key road game in Los Angeles this afternoon, as well as in Colorado on Sunday for a Northwest Division showdown. Edler has five goals and 12 assists this season in 30 games, leading all Canuck defensemen and placing him in the top-20 among NHL defensemen in scoring.

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