Scenes from Canucks skate: Elias Pettersson arrives in Vancouver; Irwin and Suter speak
13 days ago
The Vancouver Canucks’ informal skates out at UBC continued today, and a familiar face hit the ice for the first time. It’s another edition of Scenes from morning skate/practice, and as somebody pointed out in the comments section yesterday, that means it truly is almost hockey season! Let’s get into what went down today.
What we saw
Elias Pettersson was the big story today, as he arrived from Sweden and hit the ice with his Canucks teammates for the first time.
Ian Cole, Pius Suter, and Conor Garland all took the ice for the first time today as well.
The Canucks’ leadership group made a note of pointing out how important it would be for them to lead by example and make sure everybody got into town early. We’re still two weeks away from training camp, and by our count, everybody expected to be on the Canucks’ main roster is now here.
Last year, it wasn’t until September 12th that J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, and captain Bo Horvat hit the ice with the rest of their teammates. This year, everyone is out here on September 7th, and plenty of players have already been here for weeks. That matters when it comes to setting a new standard and making sure you’re prepared for not only training camp but the gruelling season ahead.
What was said
Pettersson didn’t speak to the media today, but both Pius Suter and Matt Irwin did, so let’s hear what those players had to say! Note: Major stick taps to Canucks team reporter Kate Pettersen for tweeting out the goods from today’s media avails, as Faber and I were unable to chat with the players today since we needed to do Canucks Conversation.
BC boy Matt Irwin spoke about jumping at the opportunity to sign as a free agent with the team he grew up cheering for.
“The opportunity to come home and play for a team I grew up watching is special,” said Irwin, before breaking down what kind of player he is. “Consistency whenever called upon. My game… simple, hard, and honest. The past almost six years now, it’s been a role that I’ve relished in in the lineup — missing stretches of games, playing stretches of games, just being able to manage that time in between games is something I take pride in and whenever my name and number is called, to be ready and step on the ice like I haven’t missed a beat.”
Irwin will be competing for one of the Canucks’ final roster spots and the seventh defenceman job. If he can manage to deliver on this level of consistency he’s talked about, then he will fit in just fine. Irwin talked about the internal competition the Canucks have created for that spot on the defence corps.
“That’s huge within the core of the 6,7,8 D-men we have on the roster. Everyone’s vying to play; you don’t play hockey to sit in the stands or sit on the bench… I think it pushes and makes the team better and each guy better.”
Pius Suter arrived in Vancouver late last night and, naturally, said he plans on buying a bike later today. Suter then reflected on his first skate with his new teammates.
“It’s been fun playing a little bit and everyone is kinda waiting until it starts now. Just trying to get some small details going for camp. It’s going to be different when the coaches are out there so right now it’s just a little bit more loose.”
Suter is right. We’re expecting a hard training camp as Rick Tocchet leads his first as Canucks head coach. Brock Boeser spoke yesterday about how the players were given fair warning that camp would be hard and talked about how he himself changed his offseason preparation routine as a result. You can read that story by clicking here.
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