Gillis: 'Serious concern' about Raymond's injury

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:54 PM ET

VANCOUVER - Mike Gillis wasn't going to resort to whining.

Speaking to the media Tuesday, the Vancouver Canucks general manager did not turn the spotlight on himself by ranting about the officiating in the Stanley Cup final. Instead, he took the time to stress the severity of Mason Raymond's injury.

The Canucks forward was driven into the boards by Boston Bruins defenceman Johnny Boychuk on the opening shift of Game 6, suffering compression fracture of the vertebra, which could have left him unable to walk.

"Initially, there was some very serious concern about that," said Gillis. "He did move after he had been on the ice for a period of time. He began to move his legs and I know when he got to the hospital they were very concerned. If we get Mason Raymond back by November of next year, we will be very happy."

The team tried to delay their flight as long as they could to get Raymond home, but he remained in a Boston hospital and won't return "at least until (Wednesday) or the following day.

"It's a severe injury and we'll know more over the next week when he gets back here," said Gillis. "At this point they're hopeful that it won't require surgery, that it has the opportunity to heal on its own. He's going to face a long, hard recovery."

As for the hit that led to the injury, Gillis said he hasn't had any discussion with the NHL after Monday night.

"All I can tell you is my observations of the hit," he said. "I didn't see the puck around him. I thought the Boston player used a can opener and drove him into the boards with enough force to break his back. That's what I saw. I don't have much more to say about that other than that observation."


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