Vancouver Canucks forward Tanner Pearson, sidelined most of last season with a hand injury that required multiple surgeries, was operating at full speed and looked comfortable skating (video below) with other NHL’ers on Thursday in Richmond.
In passing, Pearson said “yes” to whether or not he felt 100% and said he was feeling good.
The 31-year-old winger played just 14 games early last season, posting a goal and four assists before leaving the line-up with a broken hand in a game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on November 9th.
The injury led to much debate and an investigation as to whether the Canucks had handled the treatment properly. Pearson wore a soft cast when addressing the press during the season-ending media session this past April.
“It’s been a crappy year, to say the least,” Pearson said at the time. “Right now, I’m just taking it day-by-day, week-by-week and trying to progress.”
Pearson and defenceman Tucker Poolman rolled into this off-season on long-term injured reserve. It appears Poolman’s status will likely stay that way and his NHL playing days are over.
Pearson’s return would put extra pressure on Vancouver’s already tenuous salary cap situation.
Pearson is due to make $3.25-million for one more season of a three-year deal he signed back on April 8th, 2021 with then-Canucks GM Jim Benning. The player arrived in February of 2019 in a trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins for Canucks defenceman Erik Gudbranson. Pearson won a Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014.
That salary came into question prior to last season, with legitimate chatter floating that Pearson might be one of the Canucks on the trading block due to a relatively new management group looking to unload some of their inherited cap. Thus far they’ve gone a different route. Pearson, J.T. Miller, Conor Garland, Tyler Myers, and Brock Boeser, all allegedly on the block at one point or another, all remain.
High priced long-term defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson was bought out this summer.
The chatter will begin again in line with what should be a very competitive Canucks training camp.
Salary cap gyrations aside, it appears Pearson is catching his breath, finding his legs, and feeling pretty good about himself physically.
He appeared dialed in and refreshed on Thursday in Richmond, the final day of native lad and former Canucks D-man Troy Stecher’s four-days worth of charity training sessions to raise money for Diabetes Canada, which featured two dozen professional players. Vancouver forward Miller and goalie Thatcher Demko were on hand for the first three days.
— Has The Canucks Blueline Actually Improved?
— Who Is Canucks Captain And Where Lies The Leadership