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Boeser Tears Up, Horvat / Demko Injuries, Canucks Media Day

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Duke, the father of Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser, has had an extremely difficult decade or so health-wise to say the least. In 2010 he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, in 2017 lung cancer, and in 2019 he suffered a massive heart attack and spent a month in intensive care. He was also treated for cancer again.

Today, a tearful younger Boeser revealed that his dad is now dealing with dementia and it’s been a very difficult season for the 25-year-old winger to play through.

After getting emotional and saying “sorry”, and “no, I can answer it” when asked about Duke, Boeser eventually said “He’s not doing well.”

As his teammates on the podium suggested moving on to another question, Boeser fought through the emotion and added, “he has pretty bad dementia right now, it’s onset and … it’s gotten pretty bad this year and it’s really hit me hard.”

As the questions turned back to hockey, Boeser left the room.

The exchange briefly cast a bit of a pall over the room but the three remaining Vancouver Canucks in the group, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Conor Garland, soldiered on.

Another interview group consisted of Alex Chiasson, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, JT Miller, and captain Bo Horvat, out since April 14th with since taking a Anton Stralman slap shot off his right ankle in a game at Rogers Arena against the Arizona Coyotes.

“I broke the end of my tibia, I believe, I don’t know where the exact placement was, but it broke on that shot,” Horvat said. “Luckily there was no displacement or anything like that, doesn’t require surgery or anything, so it’s just a six to eight week kind of thing. Just healing day by day.”

Horvat’s crack came exactly one week after the Vancouver Canucks lost another top-6 forward for the remainder of the season when Tanner Pearson left the game in Arizona on April 7th with a thumb injury. There was talk that if the Canucks absolutely needed him for the final game or two, he could have played with a splint. His presence wasn’t required as Vancouver was officially eliminated from the postseason during game-80 of 82.

Number-one goalie Thatcher Demko revealed he played the final month of the season through an injury he suffered in a game. He hung in there for the stretch drive but sat out the final three games when it was clear the Vancouver Canucks were out of the playoff picture. Demko and team doctors haven’t determined yet if the undisclosed injury will heal on its own or require a procedure.

More on that and other lingering Canucks maladies shortly. Head Coach Bruce Boudreau has his turn in front of the media on Monday morning, followed by General Manager Patrik Allvin and President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford together on Tuesday.

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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