VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The Vancouver Canucks resumed their pursuit of the Stanley Cup as training camp began Monday, with Brock Boeser, but not Micheal Ferland.
The Canucks will play their first play-in game following the COVID-19 pandemic pause in Edmonton against the Minnesota Wild on Aug. 2, and Sportsnet 650’s Chris Wahl said having the entire team on the ice together is a big step for those who have opted to play.
“It almost feels like the start of a new season because it’s been so long since the Canucks have actually played a game,” said Wahl.
“For the most part, everyone’s healthy. Now it’s just the anticipation for getting this playoff series started against Minnesota on Aug. 2.”
Wahl has heard about safety concerns around Edmonton as a hub city, as the province has recently seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.
“If they end up having to postpone things because of an abundance of caution, I think they will,” Wahl said. “But so far, most of the focus, at least today, has just been about who’s back on the ice and the fact that these players are taking another step towards being back in action.”
NHL Players’ Association members ratified a new collective bargaining agreement last week, paving the way for the commencement of training camps in 24 cities.
Players had to agree to extensive protocols governing camps and the bubble environment around where games are played, requiring them to be separated from their families for up to six weeks this summer.
Several NHL players have since decided to opt-out of the rest of the 2020 season, including Travis Harmonic of the Calgary Flames, Mike Green of the Edmonton Oilers, and Sven Baertschi of the Canucks.
“That’s not true. Somebody made that up.” – Jim Benning on the report that the #Canucks are exploring trading Brock Boeser
— Brendan Batchelor (@BatchHockey) July 13, 2020
The Canucks did announce Monday that Ferland, who has missed time this season due to concussion-related issues, was unfit to play at the moment.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning, following the first day of training camp, also addressed trade rumours regarding Brock Boeser that surfaced over the past several days. Benning said he hasn’t had any discussions with anybody around the NHL about trading Boeser. He added someone made up the trade rumour and that Boeser remains a key young player on the team.
“I haven’t had one single conversation with anyone in the league about that,” Benning added.
Teams are expected to travel to the hub cities on July 26.
The NHL paused play on March 12 due to COVID-19.