The Vancouver Canucks' much ballyhooed depth will receive another test with defenceman Sami Salo lost for the next three to six weeks with a knee injury.
Salo, whose career injury total stands at 38 in 11 seasons, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in a 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars last week, according to a magnetic resonance imaging scan yesterday.
With Salo sidelined, Aaron Rome, who has played 26 NHL games over three seasons with the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets, will make his Canucks debut in a road game Friday against the Calgary Flames.
The Canucks went into training camp with eight bona fide NHL defencemen, and 10 rearguards that management felt comfortable with, but those numbers have shrunk.
Mathieu Schneider, who is on long-term injured reserved while recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, isn't eligible to return until an Oct. 25 game against the Edmonton Oilers. Schneider said yesterday he has regained strength in the shoulder, and should participate in a full contact practice next week.
Lawrence Nycholat, who likely would have been recalled from Vancouver's AHL affiliate in Winnipeg to serve as the seventh defenceman, has a separated shoulder and sore knee. He will miss the next three weeks.
Based on how Rome performs this weekend, the Canucks will determine whether they will call up another defenceman from the Manitoba Moose for a two-game trip to Edmonton and Chicago next week.