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Brock Boeser out for rest of regular season

Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser (6) makes a pass during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.
Vancouver Canucks right wing Brock Boeser (6) makes a pass during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.

Brock Boeser’s regular season with the Vancouver Canucks is likely over.

General manager Jim Benning said the winger’s rib cartilage fracture, suffered just over a week ago against the Calgary Flames, is going to keep him from action for at least another seven weeks.

“You know, we said there’s going to be an announcement in three weeks, but it’s an eight-week injury,” Benning said Tuesday morning at Rogers Arena. The team had said Monday evening there would be an update on Boeser’s status in three weeks.

“It looks like it’s going to be more severe than, you know, than what we originally thought,” he added.

The Canucks later confirmed that the eight-week period Benning referenced started with the moment of Boeser’s injury.

Canucks coach Travis Green said he was hopeful that Boeser would be able to return sooner.

“I know Jim said eight weeks and it could be that long, but we’re optimistic and hopeful that it will be earlier. But it might not be, and if that’s not the case it’s business as usual,” he said.

Boeser is not expected to need surgery and is seeing a specialist this week, Benning said.

If Boeser were to return eight weeks to the day of his injury, that would be April 4, which is the last game of the regular season for the Canucks, when they host the Vegas Golden Knights.

Leivo also to miss rest of season

Benning also said that Josh Leivo, out since before Christmas with a fractured right kneecap, won’t return before the end of the regular season.

The original two- to three-month timeline for his recovery means he was expected to be back sometime between now and late March.

He is also seeing a specialist this week.

Cap gymnastics

Both Boeser and Leivo have been placed on the long-term injured reserve list. And with Micheal Ferland also having been declared done for the season because of his post-concussion issues, the Canucks now have a little more than $6 million in cap room to work with — assuming Boeser remains sidelined until the end of the regular season.

That means they could yet make another move, though Benning pointed out he is now without a pick in either of the first two rounds of this year’s draft, assuming he makes the playoffs, and he has to give up the first-round pick, which was a condition in the J.T. Miller trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning. (The Lightning traded the Canucks’ pick to the Devils on the weekend.)

“I don’t foresee us trading any more picks, but if something makes sense, maybe, you know, with one of the young players that we feel we have enough depth at that position, we’ll maybe look to do something like that,” he said.

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