Sven Baertschi has opted out of returning to play for the Vancouver Canucks this summer.
Kole Lind will replace Baertschi’s spot on the roster, with training camp set to begin on Monday at Rogers Arena.
“Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL Return to Play Program,” said Canucks GM Jim Benning. “It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand. We have added Kole Lind to our Return to Play roster and will continue to focus on preparation for camp.”
— Rob Williams (@RobTheHockeyGuy) July 11, 2020
Players have until Monday to decide to opt out of the NHL’s return, which is their right to do for any reason and without penalty for the modified set of games during the pandemic. Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic became the first player in the league to opt out Friday night.
We don’t have Baertschi’s reason yet, but it would be completely understandable for him to not want to leave his family for a tournament that he was unlikely to play in.
The Canucks are allowed to carry 30 skaters, plus an unlimited amount of goalies, when they travel to Edmonton for their five-game series against the Minnesota Wild. Baertschi appeared in just six games with the Canucks this year, spending the rest of the season in the AHL with the Utica Comets.