Canucks' Tanner Pearson 'not going to share opinions' on mismanaged injury

Pearson appeared in only 14 games this season before being shut down with a hand injury.

Tanner Pearson was quite candid when asked for an update on the hand injury that kept him out of the Canucks lineup for the majority of the 2022-23 season. (Reuters)

Tanner Pearson’s 2022-23 campaign was anything but ideal.

Injuring his hand on Nov. 9 against the Montreal Canadiens, Pearson’s diagnosis went from weeks to months and culminated in three procedures before the forward was declared out for the season in mid-January.

The frustration that came with that difficult cycle — the confusion around the timeline, the extent of the injury — was on display Saturday afternoon as the Vancouver Canucks spoke to the media for the final time this season on locker clean-out day.

“It’s been a crappy year, to say the least,” Pearson told reporters. “Right now I’m just taking it day by day, week by week, just keep trying to progress.”

“I’m not going to share my personal opinions,” the 11-year NHL veteran said when pressed on his thoughts on how the injury was handled by the Canucks. “Look, I’m just trying to get my hand back. I’m just trying to go home and be a dad and be with my kids and be able to play.”

Pearson’s injury and the chaos that surrounded it was one of several storylines that made headlines for the wrong reasons throughout the season. At one point, the handling was even ridiculed from within the Canucks room, with defenceman Quinn Hughes expressing disappointment on how things had transpired.

“I feel bad for him. I mean, it wasn’t handled properly and you know, it’s not really a good situation he’s got there and hopefully, he’s going to be alright,” Hughes said back in January.

Things eventually grew so dire surrounding Pearson’s murky situation that talk of a grievance from the NHLPA on the 30-year-old’s behalf began to swirl, though an internal investigation from the Canucks found no concerns, despite the unfortunate circumstances.

In the end, Pearson was able to muster just 14 total games during his truncated campaign, collecting one goal and tallying five points. The Kitchener, Ont., native is heading into the final year of a three-year contract with the Canucks, having previously played for the Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins.