The Vancouver Canucks already know they have a superstar in Elias Pettersson. He’s just solidifying it by deciding to stay in Vancouver rather than flying home this offseason. The Sportsnet panel of Dan Murphy, Iain MacIntyre, and Satiar Shah got together to discuss that decision in the following video:
The primary reasons for staying in North America are simple, Pettersson avoids the two-week quarantine period upon re-entering the country, and it allows him to have available ice to practice on. He’s already taken advantage of it by skating at Rogers Arena shortly after the playoffs ended and taking part in a mountain top shinny game with Thatcher Demko, Alex Edler, Zack MacEwen, Jason Garrison, and Troy Stecher.
As Shah stated, Pettersson wants to be in the best possible shape when the NHL’s 2020-21 season ultimately gets started. The fact that he’s already skating and spending time with teammates on the ice shows that he wants to get better and be ready for when training camp begins.
The panel also mentioned Pettersson’s desire to increase his branding in the Vancouver market and become a permanent resident rather than a visitor when the regular season is going on. He wants the fans and media to get to know him as a person, not just a hockey player.
Pettersson is becoming a crown jewel in Vancouver, not just for his skills on the ice, but his personality off of it as well. His social media accounts are always active and his interactions with the fans are unparalleled, as we saw a couple of months ago when he accepted a basketball challenge from Canucks Army contributor Clarissa Sabile. Most celebrities do not go to those lengths to appease a fan, but Pettersson is not just any celebrity or hockey player for that matter.
The Canucks and their fans are lucky to have Pettersson on their team and in their city. He’s already a Vancouverite and will be for a very long time. His reason for staying in Vancouver may be as simple as avoiding the quarantine period but knowing him, that’s probably just a bonus. He wants to be engrained in the fabric of the community and the fan base. Sticking around this offseason is a gesture that won’t soon be forgotten by the people of Canucks Nation.