As the Vancouver Canucks attempt to chase down a Western Conference wild card spot, they are set to add two formerly injured players back into the fold. The team has announced that defenseman Tucker Poolman and forward Jason Dickinson have been activated off of injured reserve. Dickinson has been out since February 24th when he suffered a lower-body injury, and Poolman has been out since January 27th due to issues with headaches and migraines.
These two players have now been out for a not-insignificant amount of time just as the Canucks entered a crucial part of their season. They both are new arrivals to Vancouver, having each come aboard this past offseason. Dickinson was acquired from the Dallas Stars for a 2021 third-round pick, and Poolman was signed from the Winnipeg Jets as an unrestricted free agent to a contract costing $2.5MM against the cap each season through 2024-2025.
Before their injuries, each player was going through an underwhelming first season in Vancouver. Dickinson, 26, has only three goals and six points in his 49 games this year, which is 10 point pace, a significant decline from his usual form of around 20 points per season. Dickinson’s ice time has also declined from over 16 minutes per game last season to only 13:01 per game in Vancouver. Poolman, 28, is not known for his offense from the back end, and he has three points in 39 games this year. Poolman averaged just over 17 minutes per game before his injury and could help give coach Bruce Boudreau options on the team’s bottom pairing.
Both players are likely headed back into the lineup with significant motivations to salvage something positive from this season. The Canucks’ playoff odds are getting longer with each passing game, but they still have a chance. The impact of strong performances from any player is magnified in these circumstances, so as fresh arrivals off of injured reserve Dickinson and Poolman each have the opportunity to re-write the narratives surrounding their tenures in Vancouver, to improve their standing with fans who have been thus far left wanting more.