Canucks: Bo Horvat and Jim Benning address COVID and return to play

Mar 22, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (53) struggles to leave the ice after getting injured after being hit by a slapshot from Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) in the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena. Jets won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 22, 2021; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (53) struggles to leave the ice after getting injured after being hit by a slapshot from Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) in the third period against the Winnipeg Jets at Rogers Arena. Jets won 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

After Horvat was finished, it was Benning’s turn to talk to the media.

The Canucks GM was asked about a variety of topics, including the team’s schedule.

“We’re gonna have a lot of games in a short period of time but we started the season playing 19 games in 34 nights, so that wasn’t easy,” Benning said. “Everything about this whole year and dealing with COVID and playing through a pandemic has been hard. We’ll just do our best and when we get our players back and they’re healthy, we’ll go from there.”

He also mentioned that team physician Dr. Bovard was constantly communicating with the NHLPA regarding protocols and the schedule.

“These are world-class athletes, and some of them were buckled while dealing with this virus,” Benning said.

He mentioned that the team is in fact dealing with the P1 Variant and there are about three players who just aren’t ready to start skating again.

Benning was also asked about the status of his coaching staff and said that head coach Travis Green hasn’t been on the ice yet so assistants Nolan Baumgartner and Jason King have been in charge of practice. However, he expects Green to be back on the ice on Saturday and behind the bench on Sunday for the game against the Leafs.

Benning also was asked about the injuries to Jay Beagle and Elias Pettersson. Per Brendan Batchelor of Sportsnet 650, there is no timeline for return for Beagle.

As for Pettersson, he saw a specialist on Wednesday and there is also no timeline for return.

Benning also mentioned that the team has a goalie that isn’t 100% ready to play and brought up Michael DiPietro, who hasn’t played a competitive hockey game in over a year. Both Thatcher Demko and Braden Holtby were on the COVID protocol list.

Other news of note is per Chris Johnston, who said that Jake Virtanen and Nate Schmidt are the remaining players on the protocol list. Lastly, Jack Rathbone was called up on Friday morning, according to Rick Dhaliwal.

Next. Please don’t criticize the Canucks’ performance when they return to the ice. dark

What do you think of Horvat’s and Benning’s comments, Canucks fans? Let us know in the comments below!