VANCOUVER – Mason Raymond missed his planned return to the Vancouver Canucks lineup Thursday after a severe back injury in the playoffs cost him 24 games this season.
Raymond, 26, was expected to return against the Nashville Predators after the June 13 injury knocked him out of the Stanley Cup final, but the forward from Cochrane, Alta., didn’t take the pre-game skate.
The Canucks were not forthcoming with the reason for Raymond’s absence, with one team spokesman saying it was due to “paperwork with the league.”
Aaron Volpatti, who took Raymond’s place in the lineup said “something fell through in terms of the roster.”
“I’m pretty sure (general manager) Mike (Gillis) and (assistant general manager) Laurence (Gilman) addressed that,” said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. “Obviously, he was real disappointed. He was ready to play and he wanted to come in and help his team mates.”
Raymond suffered a frightening vertebrae compression fracture when sent backwards into the corner boards after a Game 6 hit by Johnny Boychuck of the Boston Bruins.
The injury forced Raymond to wear a corset to stabilize his back prior to a long rehabilitation.
He had been skating in practice with Cody Hodgson and Jannick Hansen on the Canucks’ third line.
Volpatti was told around 3:30 p.m. that he would be playing and scored a goal in Vancouver’s 6-5 loss to Nashville.
“We had a little workout on the ice,” said Volpatti, who participated in an optional morning skate with a few Canucks. “It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it was all right.”
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had Raymond’s age as 28.