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Scenes from a surprise Canucks skate: Why Podkolzin feels at home, a Chiasson sighting, and Brady Keeper is ready to go

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
3 months ago
Like many (all three) of you, we are eagerly awaiting the return of our scenes from Canucks morning skate/practice series once the season gets underway.
Which is why we were just as shocked as you that we’ve got one for you in the month of August.
Today, a group of Canucks players took the ice at Scotia Barn — AKA 8 Rinks — in Burnaby for a skate led by Ian Clark and Jason Krog.
The players on the ice today were: Thatcher Demko, Collin Delia, Spencer Martin, Arturs Silovs, Kyle Burroughs, Brady Keeper, Vasily Podkolzin, Ilya Mikheyev, Andrey Kuzmenko, and a surprise guest.
Let’s get into what we saw.

What we saw

Wait, is that Alex Chiasson?

Seeing Alex Chiasson take the ice in Canucks gear made me do a double take.
That’s right, Chiasson was on the ice getting in work with his former Canucks teammates today in Burnaby with an ASHL banner hanging proud and watching over them.
Could you imagine reading that string of words two years ago?
Chiasson, who made the Canucks after attending training camp on a professional tryout contract last season, remains unsigned but hopeful for an NHL job this season.
A report out of Switzerland earlier this offseason suggested that Chiasson was getting ready to head overseas next season, but his agent quickly refuted the report and reiterated that his client’s main goal was to remain with the Canucks next season.
Could Chiasson, who turns 32 on October 1st, be getting ready to pull a George Costanza and just show up to Canucks training camp?
The full Canucks gear he donned today certainly doesn’t disprove that theory.
In all seriousness, Chiasson was given permission to skate with the Canucks this offseason, and that’s all this is.
Or was it the Canucks that were given permission to skate with Chiasson?

No sign of Michael DiPietro as goalies report

Ian Clark was on the ice alongside Thatcher Demko, Spencer Martin, Collin Delia — who was sporting his all-red pad setup — and Arturs Silovs.
There was no sign of Michael DiPietro, but the reason for that is unclear. It could be as simple as him not wanting to show up earlier than he has to, especially coming off an offseason in which his camp reportedly made a trade request.
We’ve been told by various sources not to read into this too much, as most players aren’t expected to show up before the Labour Day long weekend.
What we can tell you — because we got it straight from him — is that Spencer Martin will be retiring the chrome mask in the near future.
Absolutely tragic news.
We’ll have a full write-up from our conversation with Martin dropping tomorrow.
Speaking of which, let’s get into the what was said portion of this Scenes from story.

What was said

Vasily Podkolzin arrived in Vancouver not that long ago, but this time, it felt totally different.
“I remember when I came in Vancouver last year, I felt like I didn’t know anybody, I don’t know guys,” Podkolzin said today when asked about the offseason additions of countrymen Mikheyev and Kuzmenko. “I came in this year, like a few days ago, I feel like [I’m at] home, you know? I went to my locker and everybody, staff, guys I know, it’s like *motions hugging* ‘how was your summer? How is everything?’ It’s great, you know?”
Like Martin, we’ll have a full write-up from our conversation with Podkolzin dropping in the near future.
For the first time in a while, Brady Keeper is fully healthy and is looking forward to just getting back out on the ice and playing.
“I missed it,” said Keeper. “Missed the guys, the dressing room and just being around the guys the whole year and travelling with them everywhere and doing all that kind of stuff. So I kind of missed that last year, but it’s a brand new year and I’m ready to go… I’m just happy I guess you could say — ready to go, and just excited.”
Keeper broke his leg during training camp last season and was sidelined for the whole season.
He’s 100% healthy now and added that he’s not even thinking about his leg when he’s out on the ice now.
Spencer Martin took some time to reflect on his first year with the Canucks, and the relationship he built with Curtis Sanford, who left the organization to take an NHL coaching gig with the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason.
“He had the most time with me, so obviously we had a ton of reps together,” said Martin. “He stuck with me when I was kind of just down and out a little bit — or at least maybe it looked like that. I called him when he got the job in Toronto and we had a really good chat. Just a good year to look back on and hopefully stay in touch going forward.”

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