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3 Reasons Elias Pettersson Stayed in Vancouver Over NHL Offseason

Elias Pettersson could go have gone back home during the NHL pause and extended offseason but he chose to stay in Vancouver. Why?

Elias Pettersson could have joined a number of the NHL’s biggest international stars and young players and done what so many of them do; which is go back home over the offseason. This offseason in particular is stranger than most with the NHL season delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wondering whether or not the Swedish superstar might be more at home with such a long break, why did he stay in Vancouver?

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Ultimately, there were few key reasons. The Sportsnet panel of Dan Murphy, Iain MacIntyre, and Satiar Shah took a closer look at why, citing quotes that came directly from the player himself.

The quick explanation is that by not traveling overseas, Pettersson avoids the two-week quarantine period upon re-entering Canada and avoiding delays thanks to the uncertain start time of the NHL season. Still, with proper planning and ample travel time, he could have gone and come back without much issue, still ready to roll in the event Canucks’ training camp kicked off again.

The more detailed reasoning is that back home, he wasn’t likely to skate (the ice surface was a 40-minute drive) and Pettersson was looking to stay in shape. So too, he is trying to establish himself as a marketable star in the NHL. It’s good for his branding and for his future contract to be where the action is and the best way to achieve his goals is to be in North America.

Properly Preparing for the NHL Season

While it’s somewhat rare for an international player to stay in Canada, Pettersson is also said to have wanted to stay close, build a better relationship with the fan base and do his prep for the NHL season as close to Vancouver as possible.

The idea is that Pettersson is preparing himself for what being the face of Canucks franchise will look like and it does him good to send that message early. In other words, he wants the fan base to know his plan is to be a big part of the fabric of the city and has no intention to go anywhere else.

Elias Pettersson Canucks
Elias Pettersson Canucks photo via YouTube

While it’s unlikely fans would have turned on the dynamic forward had he gone back home, sticking put was a smart move from a skilled player who understands what his value to the franchise is and that making himself an easy investment for the long haul simply makes sense.

Next: Oilers Likely to Send Broberg Back to Sweden After WJC

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