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Canucks Prospect Rathbone Stretchered off Ice in Bakersfield

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Vancouver Canucks, Jack Rathbone
Vancouver Canucks defenceman Jack Rathbone during the 2020-'21 NHL season.

With just more than eleven minutes remaining in the third period of an American Hockey League game in Bakersfield, California, Vancouver Canucks prospect defenceman Jack Rathbone took a hit along the end boards behind his net from Colton Sceviour of the Condors and stayed down. Rathbone was eventually taken off by stretcher.

Yes, that Colton Sceviour, the veteran centre with 530 National Hockey League games played and in his fourth game with Bakersfield.

Sceviour hit Rathbone directly from behind and propelled the Canucks D-man up off the ice into the glass face first. Rathbone crumpled to the ice and lay motionless. What’s disturbing is that Sceviour seems to speed up over three strides while lining up an unsuspecting Rathbone from behind.

Watching on AHL TV, the referee closest to the play along the end boards didn’t raise his arm indicating a penalty while the referee in the neutral zone is out of frame. Sceviour ultimately received a five-minute major, a ten-minute misconduct and a game misconduct at 8:59.

Most importantly, fans report Rathbone giving a thumbs up as he left the ice. One would hope the medical procedure and decision to wheel him off was precautionary.

Both the Canucks and Rathbone have been red hot. Abbotsford won it’s fifth game in a row and its seventh in the last ten while Rathbone was named the American Hockey League player of the week for the period ending Sunday, February 13th. He had ten points in four games and added two more assists before being injured Wednesday night.

The 22-year-old lefty from Boston was the Vancouver Canucks 4th-round pick in 2017 out of the Triple-A Cape Cod league before enrolling and playing at Harvard University for two seasons. He then joined the Canucks.

Rathbone picked up eight games of NHL experience last season while tallying a goal and two assists. After an impressive training camp this past fall, he saw nine more games of NHL experience with Vancouver while going scoreless. He has 21 points in 19 AHL games this season.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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Terry

I hope the referees involved in this game will be under review for not calling a penalty on the play as it happened. To watch it on video review and then make a call is just not good enough. The same thing happens in the NHL where referees don’t make a call and the next day the Dept. of Player Safety is calling for a hearing and subsequent suspension. Why do we never hear about referees being called up on the carpet by the NHL for poor performance. I can forgive a referee for missing a call in a very fast paced game, but too often they see the infraction but choose to ignore it.

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