The Vancouver Canucks can’t seem to escape the drama.
Earlier in the day Elliotte Friedman said the Canucks have once again had talks with Rick Tocchet as they contemplate a coaching change, later head coach Bruce Boudreau healthy scratched veteran defenceman and alternate captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who’s in Year 4 of an eight-year, $66-million contract.
Then, after the Canucks fell short of a comeback against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Quinn Hughes had this to say about Tanner Pearson’s season-ending hand surgery:
“I feel bad for him. I mean, it wasn’t handled properly and you know, it’s not really a good situation he’s got there and hopefully he’s going to be alright.”
The Canucks announced earlier Thursday that Pearson, who hasn’t played since Nov. 9, underwent a third hand surgery due to a setback in his initial recovery.
The team had originally set his recovery timeline at four-to-six weeks back in November, which would have seen him return around mid-December or later. Now he won’t play the rest of the season.
Asked if the Canucks should’ve gone about Pearson’s treatment differently, Boudreau said “I have no idea, that’s not my call.”
“I really like Tanner a lot and so it really is sad news,” he said. “Here’s a guy, he’s over 30 and you lose a year? It’s really tough and I feel for him. But I know he’ll come back stronger than ever.”
In 14 games to begin the season, Pearson had a goal and five assists. He’s signed through next season at a $3.25-million cap hit.
Drafted 30th overall by the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, Pearson won a Stanley Cup with the team in 2014. Over 590 career NHL games with the Kings, Penguins and Canucks, Pearson has collected 133 goals and 139 assists.