Update: Canucks confirm Tucker Poolman won’t play this season

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin announced today that Poolman will not be at training camp in Victoria on Thursday.

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From nearly the moment he stepped on the ice with the Vancouver Canucks, it’s been a trying time for Tucker Poolman.

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Halfway through his first season (2021-22), the veteran defenceman started dealing with a recurrence of migraines, an issue that he had dealt with going back to this time with the Winnipeg Jets.

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He missed a Jets game in 2018 because of a migraine, but apparently hadn’t suffered from the scale of illness that he began to deal with in late January of 2022.

Since leaving a Jan. 27, 2022 game because of migraine symptoms, Poolman has suited up just four times for the Canucks: once at the tail end of the 2021-22 season and then three times early last season.

He did skate on his own from time to time over the course of last season, but never played in a game after playing a full game in Columbus last Oct. 18.

Tucker Poolman
Tucker Poolman’s long battle with migrane headaches has landed the Canucks defenceman on long term injury reserve. Photo by Minas Panagiotakis /Getty Images files

Wednesday morning, Canucks GM Patrik Allvin confirmed what had been first reported two weeks ago by CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal: Poolman would not be at training camp when it begins in Victoria on Thursday and he will not play this season.

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“Regrettably, Tucker will not be able to take part in training camp this year as he continues to try to get better,” Allvin said in a statement released by the team. “We will continue to support and work with him in his recovery. This is a very unfortunate situation and we feel for Tucker and all that he has gone through in dealing with his issues. Not being able to play the game because of circumstances beyond your control is never easy, and we hope Tucker returns to health soon.”

Later in the morning at the team’s pre-season management press conference, Allvin was asked if there was any chance that Poolman would play this season.

Allvin said no.

“Tucker is not going to play. We’re supporting him and helping him in any ways to get his life back and feel good about himsel,” Allvin said. “Obviously when you’re coming into a situation like this, over the last couple of years (when) you haven’t played much, hockey becomes secondary then. But Tucker feels the support and he gets the necessary help, and hopefully getting in a better place as we’re moving forward.”

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Poolman has two years remaining on a four-year, US$10-million deal he signed in the summer of 2021. He carries a cap hit of $2.5 million and is due US$6 million over the remaining two years of the deal.

It’s expected Poolman will be placed on long-term injured reserve when the season starts, allowing the Canucks to replace his salary under the salary cap limit of $83.5 million.

pjohnston@postmedia.com

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