It was a time that has been a long time coming for fans of the Vancouver Canucks.
The NHL club’s training camp began Thursday in Abbotsford, BC and, for the first time since the pandemic began, spectators attended.
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Some of the security measures implemented included proof of vaccination, mandatory masking and the runway operating at half capacity.
On Tuesday, Canucks general manager Jim Benning said that everyone in the organization will be vaccinated against COVID-19.
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The club was hit by a COVID-19 outbreak in late March, with 21 players and four coaches testing positive for the virus. The team missed the playoffs last season, finishing last in the all-Canadian North Division with a 23-29-4 record.
Notably absent from the first day of camp were young stars Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes, restricted free agents who have yet to sign new deals with the club.
“I am disappointed that they will not be here for the start of the camp. But we are going to keep talking to (their agents) and we will try to resolve something here as soon as we can, ”Benning told reporters Wednesday.
“I don’t think we are that far apart. But these are complex and unique offers. These are two good young players who are an important part of our group, so we are going to keep working with (their agents) until we get something done. “
Training camp is scheduled through Saturday at the Abbotsford Center, the home of the team’s new AHL affiliate.
Tickets can be purchased online, with proceeds going to the Canucks For Kids Fund.
– with archives from The Canadian Press
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