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Simmer’s Morning Skate, Lehner Spews Lava, Wolverine-fest, Remembering 105,491 and a Lost Tooth

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Good morning and welcome to a day off for the Vancouver Canucks. The recently signed Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes will continue to review systems and go through off-ice examinations and work-outs and will likely hit the ice today even though their teammates get a short break. Barring a surprise for Tuesday’s home exhibition against the Seattle Kraken, it’s very likely the two will play in both halves of the preseason home and home, Thursday and Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. In the meantime …

Let’s Skate … !

If you haven’t had a chance to catch up with the twitter comments made over the weekend by Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner as of yet, here’s a concise and comprehensive summary from Vegas Hockey Now’s Steve Carp. The Swedish netminder, who’s battles with depression, various mental conditions and substance abuse are well publicized, has never been afraid to voice his opinion. The NHL and NHL Players Association have reacted with concern as you might expect. It’s called damage control.

The University of Michigan’s 2021-’22 hockey team includes seven (!) NHL first-round draft choices, including Brendan Brisson, the son of player agent Pat Brisson, the representative for the Canucks’ Pettersson and Hughes. The sophomore (2nd year) forward was the 29th-overall selection in the 2020 draft to the Vegas Golden Knights. The power play unit for the Wolverines features him, 2021 first overall pick Owen Power (Buffalo), 2021 2nd-overall pick Matty Beniers (Seattle), 2021 5th-overall pick Kent Johnson (Columbus), and oh-just-for-the-heck-of-it if you want to throw in a second defenceman, freshman (1st year) 2021 4th-overall pick Luke Hughes (New Jersey). He happens to be Quinn’s little brother. The other first rounders on the roster include winger Matthew Samoskevich, 2021 24th-overall (Florida), and centre Johnny Beecher, 2019 30th-overall (Boston). The most recent college hockey poll came out Monday and the Wolverines were ranked third, but they haven’t played a regular season game yet. Here’s a twitter video of Brisson scoring a PP goal in a preseason game.

Sticking with a theme, former Wolverine and current Vancouver Canucks preseason roster member Will Lockwood lost or chipped a good portion of a front tooth Sunday afternoon at home against the Winnipeg Jets. It was a high stick from Riley Nash that got him.

“I had braces when I was younger, too, so it’s kind of going to waste now,” Lockwood said, with a new, modified smile. He said he might just keep it as is, after Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet suggested the new tooth gap made him look like a hockey player. Here’s the game highlights.

— Oh, OK, what the heck, since we’re well down this road, here’s our recent look at Phil Di Guiseppe, yet another former Wolverine who spent three years in Ann Arbor. It’s not just keeping with the theme either, Di Guiseppe has made an impact at camp on the left side and has been particularly effective on the Vancouver Canucks penalty kill the last couple of games. He’s a legit candidate to make the roster.

— And for full disclosure, I’ve always been a Michigan football fan. I went to my first game as a tyke, back when crowds were only around 101,000 for a home game, and saw legendary coach Bo Schembechler’s team stomp Texas A&M into the ground 49-0. It was quite a thrill almost eight years ago to get to skate on an NHL rink on the middle of that field in a media game, one day before the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Red Wings in a shoot-out at the 2014 Winter Classic in front of the largest hockey crowd in history, 105,491. The dramatic photo in that NHL.com article link says it all.

Enjoy the hockey action!!

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