Just as the Vancouver Canucks were slated to return from the All-Star break with a full roster, outside forces once again had their own plans.
With the Arizona Coyotes arriving tomorrow night for the first of a three-game homestand, Elias Pettersson, Matthew Highmore, and Tucker Poolman were all missing from the Canucks’ first practice back today. According to head coach Bruce Boudreau, Pettersson was sent home with an illness unrelated to COVID, Poolman is still suffering from an ailment that plagued him last week and Highmore tested positive for COVID on an antigen test.
 
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Vancouver is also heading into the week without the services of Quinn Hughes. Hughes had been in the US during the break and tested positive on his way back across the US border. As a result, Vancouver likely won’t see him back in the lineup until the 17th, when the Canucks head to San Jose to face the Sharks.
Hughes’ absence means there are exceptionally large shoes to fill on the left side of the blue line. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Brad Hunt will undoubtedly see a rise in minutes to make up for it, but the third spot will have to be filled by committee; Ashton Sautner and Noah Juulsen were both called up today, while it’s also likely that either Luke Schenn or Kyle Burroughs shifts over to the left side.
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