The concussion that rocked Micheal Ferland
The Canucks GM was a big fan of Micheal Ferland the day he signed a four-year, $14 million dollar deal with Vancouver. Benning made it clear he was retooling the teams top-six and on July 10th, he got exactly the man he was looking for. Ferland agreed to terms and was brought to Vancouver excited to be the brute force on the wings of Elias Pettersson.
It was crystal clear last season as the year went on that Pettersson was being picked apart from the opposition and deep down the team lacked a real bruiser that could prevent harm coming to their star player. Benning had the idea to put a quick, yet necessary stop to it all with the addition of a top-six power forward with bite.
Fans scattered across B.C. were drooling in anticipation to see what the big brawler could do. Just imagine the fear he could place in the eyes of players everywhere? Unfortunately, Ferland’s big debut season ultimately flopped and quickly became a monumental disappointment and easily the biggest failure of the entire campaign. Canucks fans didn’t really get the top-shelf brand of rough and tough hockey they were expecting from Ferland.
Ferland arrived in Vancouver coming off some pretty crazy concussion symptoms he developed playing for the Carolina Hurricanes. It played a factor in him still being an available UFA nine days into free agency. He wanted term, but the Canucks were the guys who offered him an additional year, nobody else.
It was a red flag ignored by Benning that ultimately cost Vancouver in the long run. His concussion was worse than originally thought and the fact that other teams weren’t comfortable giving him term speaks volumes. It was brushed away and because of it, Ferland suited up for only 14 NHL games this year, hasn’t played a second of an NHL game since December 10th and has experienced brutal concussion symptoms all year long.