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Canucks Daily: NEWS – VAN Signs DeKeyser to PTO, Chiasson, Poolman Skate

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The Canucks on Friday morning announced that they’ve signed former Detroit Red Wings defenceman Danny Dekeyser to a professional try-out (PTO). The 6-3, 183-pound lefty has tallied 146 points in 547 career NHL games, all with his hometown Wings. The 32-year-old, who played his college hockey for the Western Michigan University Broncos, skated in 59 games for Detroit last season.

Drills in Burnaby

At this point Alex Chiasson has only been given an invitation to informally work out with his former Canucks teammates. The forward who tallied 13 goals and 9 assists last season in 67 games remains a free agent and at this point it’s too early to say whether the club will grant him another PTO opportunity at training camp, the method he used to make the club and get a contract last year.

At the end of the drills session on Thursday, Chiasson did his conditioning sprints on his own.

Former Canucks forward Alex Chiasson chats with current D-man Kyles Burroughs during informal skates on Thursday.

Hopefully there’s no reason for concern for defenceman Tucker Poolman who cancelled his planned chit-chat with reporters after the skate Thursday. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound, right-handed defenceman is looking to bounce back from concussion and headache issues last season. He did take part in the full skate and drills and seemed steady. (see video)

The handful of fans lingering at the rink were drawn to big starting netminder Thatcher Demko as the 26-year-old prepares for what could be an eventful season. VHN has gone as far as to predict the California native will be a Vezina Trophy finalist in 2022-’23, the award given to the NHL’s best netminder.

We had a quick chat with his presumed back-up Spencer Martin on Thursday.

Thatcher Demko on Thursday morning.

The Vancouver Canucks coaches were not on hand for observation on Thursday, although they have periodically dropped by the practice rink in Burnaby to say hello to players and staff during the last couple of weeks. Officially they’re not allowed to take the ice with the NHL players until training camp.

The informal practices are run by skills coaches, independent of the actual coaching staff.

The current full staff has been working entire days in Vancouver since early last week meeting and preparing for the season. For now it’s believed all four, head coach Bruce Boudreau and assistants Jason King, Mike Yeo, and Trent Cull will all be on the bench during games this season with the previous two running the power play and the latter two sharing penalty kill responsibilities.

The Canucks should have their full roster on hand to skate informally at the start of next week.

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