Patrik Allvin “happy” with the status of the Canucks’ blueline with Tucker Poolman set to return
Photo credit:© Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
3 months ago
Tucker Poolman has been in and out of the Canucks’ lineup ever since he signed his four-year $2.5 million AAV contract with the Canucks last offseason. Poolman was held out of the lineup briefly with the Winnipeg Jets during the 2019-2020 season with headaches, but his injury troubles really began to amount in the latter half of his final season with the Jets.
Poolman first missed two consecutive games in the opening month of October with the Canucks due to an undisclosed injury against the Minnesota Wild. While he was able to make a quick return to the lineup, the 29-year-old was then suspended two games for high-sticking.
After a four-month stint falling in and out of the lineup due to illness, Poolman was activated for a game against the Vegas Golden Knights on April 3rd but left the game after sustaining an upper-body injury four minutes into the matchup, putting an end to his season.
This offseason it came to light that amongst nagging injuries, Poolman had once more been suffering from migraines. At yesterday’s press conference, GM Patrik Allvin provided some information on the status of the defenceman, stating that all signs from the medical staff point to Poolman being ready to take the ice on day one of training camp on September 23 in Whistler.
“We’re still looking at all our options, but I’m happy with the defence group we have,” said Allvin. “When everybody’s healthy, I think we’re a very competitive team.”
The Canucks, who believe Poolman can be a top-four defenceman, are hoping injuries stay to a minimum to offer the team some semblance of depth on the right side.
While management was able to tie together a J.T. Miller extension, to everyone’s surprise, the backend, which continues to be a thorn in the team’s side, was not improved on at the NHL draft or during the offseason despite a lack of right-sided defencemen in the prospect pool.
Having Poolman healthy gives the Canucks an opportunity to slot him in on the right side and give 23-year-old Jack Rathbone some playing time on the left side if they wanted to sub him in for Travis Dermott.
If this isn’t the case, and Poolman remains unavailable come October, rolling both Dermott and Rathbone on a pairing full-time with one another might not be the optimal first choice and could result in head coach Bruce Boudreau electing to shuffle up his line pairings, perhaps starting with Tylers Myers and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
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