Canucks Notebook: Quinn Hughes’ best friend Josh Norris rocked by fatal shooting at his hometown school

Actually, she was with him when she found out about it. Really scary. You never really like to see something like that, ” says Canucks star blueliner

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The support system between close and competitive friends Quinn Hughes and Josh Norris has gone to another level.


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It has nothing to do with victory or restlessness on ice, nor with goals and assists. It has to do with the tragedy of the ice.

For Norris, the light-footed Ottawa Senators wing, a senseless high school shooting in his hometown of Oxford, Michigan, on Tuesday shook him to the core. Four students have been killed while others remain in critical condition.

The shooter is a 15-year-old sophomore, who was arrested while wandering down the school hallway with a loaded pistol purchased by his father on Friday.

“You never really think something like this is going to happen in your hometown,” Norris said Wednesday before facing the Vancouver Canucks.

The 19th pick in the 2017 National Hockey League Draft got off to a fast start with 13 points (8-5) in 19 games for the struggling senators. He met with his Canucks confidant Tuesday to renew friendships and discuss business, and it didn’t take long for the conversation to change.


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“Terrible news,” Hughes said, “I was actually with him when he heard about it. Really scary. You never really like watching something like that, and especially with Josh, because he’s so close to home and it’s really difficult for him.

“He is my best friend and we are very close. He lives 20 minutes from me and we see each other practically every weekend in the summer. “

A competitive union between Hughes and Norris began in the 2015-16 season when they joined the US National Development Team Program.And after two seasons with U-17 and U-18 teams, they were back together for two. More campaigns at the University of Michigan.

“He’s playing great,” Hughes said. “Obviously, he’s a great driver for his team and they’re going to need him and he knows it to do his best.”


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Canucks defender Quinn Hughes pushes Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris across the boards during a Rogers Arena game in January 2021.
Canucks defender Quinn Hughes pushes Ottawa Senators forward Josh Norris across the boards during a Rogers Arena game in January 2021. Photo by JONATHAN HAYWARD. /The Canadian Press Archives

Players have enough on their pro badges and it may seem somewhat isolated from a world where gun violence is still rampant in the US, furthermore, the coronavirus pandemic has morphed into another worrying virus variant with the cases of omicron reported worldwide.

But a school shooting? It is difficult to understand.

“You feel for the families and the people who are going through that,” said Canucks winger JT Miller. “It’s terrible that we are still dealing with these things today.

“Having my own children is your worst nightmare. You are always taking care of your family and friends. “

Yet another rumor from DeBrusk

There was a time and a place where the switch from fighter Jake Virtanen to fighter Jake DeBrusk made some sense.


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Now the Boston Bruins winger has called for the move, and the Canucks have reportedly been bundled into several suitors for the pending restricted free agent.

DeBrusk, 25, has an expiring contract capped at $ 3.675 million and $ 4.85 million in total salary, but has no influence on arbitration rights. His six points (3-3) in 18 games this season are a far cry from 42 points (27-15) in 2018-19 and 35 points (19-16) the following season.

Is a change of scenery really going to turn a game in the wrong direction? Some obviously think so.

If anything, a rumor turned into an acquisition would be a litmus test of which road the Canucks property chooses to travel. They know that money is flowing in and out of the salary cap balance for a club willing to spend to the max and receive little in return.


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Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk controls the puck against Scott Laughton and the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL game Nov. 20 in Philadelphia.
Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk controls the puck against Scott Laughton and the Philadelphia Flyers during an NHL game Nov. 20 in Philadelphia. Photo by Mitchell Leff /Getty Images Archives

A reshuffle to the current roster could make Tanner Pearson expendable to give Bo Horvat a front end of the net.

However, Pearson, 29, has a no-trade clause this season in the first year of his three-year, $ 9.75 million extension. It reverts to a modified no-trade clause for seven teams next season. By then, DeBrusk could have already left Boston.

Last spring, DeBrusk spent 17 days on the COVID-19 protocol. He had just four goals and nine points in his first 26 games and it had been a frequent healthy scratch. He then responded to the ongoing trade rumors last season with two goals, eight shots and four hits in a span of four games to try to find his form.

The Canucks would have had to ask the Bruins to withhold money to match Virtanen’s deal because the winger was in the first year of a two-year, $ 5.1 million extension. That would have been a great question in what could have been a great gamble when trading for DeBrusk, or the right move to help rejuvenate his career.

Virtanen, 25, was placed on unconditional waivers last July for the purpose of buying the final year of his contract. He had been put on leave on May 1 following allegations of sexual misconduct that are still in court.

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