Children — and some grown ups too — shed fewer tears once the Vancouver Canucks signed Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes late last week.
The two superstars were training together in Michigan and promptly flew to Vancouver to hit the ice at Rogers Arena on Sunday.
As they say, it’s enough to make a grown man cry.
Unfortunately for fans, Pettersson and Hughes didn’t suit up for Sunday’s tilt against Winnipeg — the Canucks’ first game in front of fans at Rogers Arena since March 2020 — and won’t be suiting up for tonight’s matchup against the Seattle Kraken either, per head coach Travis Green.
That being said, Hughes and Pettersson participated in morning skate today!
Here’s how the Canucks lined up at morning skate:
- It appears that for the first time since they’ve been members of the Canucks, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Tucker Poolman have been split up. Ekman-Larsson and Myers lined up with one another at morning skate today and will almost certainly do the same tonight.
- This leaves the door open for Poolman to get his first reps in with Quinn Hughes Thursday night in Edmonton. As a defence-first defenceman, Poolman should compliment Hughes’ game well and allow him to be the primary puck-mover on the pair.
- Jaroslav Halak wasn’t on the ice this morning, as Thatcher Demko and Michael DiPietro were out for morning skate. They’re also the only goaltenders listed on tonight’s roster.
- Justin Bailey took his first skate with the Canucks in a long time. He tested positive for COVID-19 while trying to cross the border before camp and was forced to miss all of training camp and the start of the preseason. In a bold choice that likely won’t stick for any game this preseason, Bailey was paired with Quinn Hughes on the Canucks’ fourth defence pairing.
What was said:
Head coach Travis Green was very candid in saying that players like Vasily Podkolzin and Jack Rathbone haven’t made the team yet. Green said he likes both players, but added that he tries to keep expectations low for young players and allow them to grow and prove themselves.
“I think you really have to look at each individual and see what they need to work on,” said Green. “How mature they are, what they project to be long term. Those are all things we talk about and will talk about as camp gets to the end of it to make those decisions. With both these young guys I think they’re both excellent young players that we’re lucky to have. At the end of the day, we’re going to see where they end up.”
Tanner Pearson said he’s excited to be playing with Nils Höglander again. “I think as you play more with guys you get more chemistry. We played with each other last year so we kind of know what to expect from each other, which can honestly go a long way.”
Jack Rathbone is eager to run with every opportunity he gets to appear in a preseason game. When asked if he feels he’s done enough to make the team, Rathbone had this to say:
“I think that’s up to them. I think I’ve put my best foot forward. That was my mindset [making the team] coming into camp, I think that’s honestly everyone’s mindset. It’s been good, but I think that’s their decision to make. I’m just here to make it a hard one for them.”
Puck drop is at 7 PM from Rogers Arena tonight, and the game can be viewed on Sportsnet Pacific and heard on Sportsnet 650.