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Canucks: Tanner Pearson’s injury not managed properly, says Quinn Hughes

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Quinn Hughes is not happy with the treatment Tanner Pearson received after breaking his hand two months ago.

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TAMPA — Tanner Pearson’s hand injury ended his 2022-23 season.

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And at least one of his teammates isn’t happy about it.

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When asked after Thursday’s 5-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning how the room reacted to the news that the veteran winger had undergone a third procedure on a broken hand suffered two months ago, Quinn Hughes was blunt with his response.

“I feel bad for him. I mean, it wasn’t handled correctly and, you know, it’s not really a good situation he has in there and I hope he’s okay,” Hughes said.

The 30-year-old Pearson, who is very popular with his teammates, originally injured his hand in a Nov. 9 game against the Montreal Canadiens and underwent surgery the next day. He was initially expected to be out for four to six weeks, the team said at the time.

But a month later, his hand was not healing as expected and he had another procedure on his hand, delaying his expected return.

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Meanwhile, Pearson skated and participated in occasional practices to stay in shape.

After Christmas, head coach Bruce Boudreau said he was not sure when Pearson would return, but expressed some optimism that he could join the team on their current tour.

Instead, Pearson’s season is over. He skated in just 14 games this year, scoring one goal and adding four assists for five points.

And since he’s had three procedures on his hand in three months, questions are raised about the long-term health of his hand and how it might affect the rest of his hockey career.

Asked after Hughes’ comments if they might redo the decision to operate on Pearson, Boudreau said he had not been involved in the decision.

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“I have no idea, that’s not my decision,” he said.

“I really like Tanner a lot, so that really is sad news. Here is a guy, he is over 30 years old and you lose a year? He’s very hard and I feel sorry for him. But I know he will come back stronger than ever.”

Pearson has one year remaining on his contract, a three-year deal with an annual salary cap of US$3.25 million signed at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Pearson has scored 46 goals in 202 career games for the Canucks, who acquired him in a 2018-19 season trade from the Pittsburgh Penguins for defenseman Erik Gudbranson. The Canucks’ current president of hockey operations, Jim Rutherford, was the Penguins’ general manager at the time.

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