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Vasily Podkolzin continues to shine while Covid-19 threat rages around him.

Meanwhile, TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal sleeps with one eye open

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits
Vasily Podkolzin poses for the camera after being selected 10th overall by the Vancouver Canucks at the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 21, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada.
Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Vasily Podkolzin wrapped up his final KHL training camp potting two goals while leading his team Blue squad to a 4-2 scrimmage victory over team White.

His KHL club held training camp in Novogorsk, Russia which is located about a forty-five minute drive northwest of Moscow. The camp was scheduled to take place from July 15th to 28th. The camp was completed as scheduled and the club flew back home as planned following the scrimmage to their home base of St. Petersburg, Russia.

TSN 1040’s Rick Dhaliwal then revealed on Twitter that a Russian source of his told him that the club was concerned about the Covid-19 situation in Russia.

The SKA club’s official Twitter account got wind of Dhaliwal’s report and vehemently denied the story. It went as far as to call Dhaliwal’s tweet “fake news”.

Canucks’ Twitter then united in it’s defence of the beloved local media icon.

SKA’s next scheduled trip is to head to Sochi, Russia on August 3rd for a four-team tournament beginning with a game against KHL rival Lokomotiv on August 4th. The two other teams involved in the tournament are the host KHL Sochi club and the Russia U20 Olympic squad. Last year at the tourney, SKA loaned Podkolzin to the U20 team. This season he will play on SKA’s KHL team and should have a big role in the club’s top six forward group. He will be joined on his team by former Vancouver Canucks player and new SKA teammate Linden Vey. Vey has found a home in the KHL. During the recent Covid-19 cancelled season he tallied 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points in 52 games with his now former team CSKA Moscow. He also added one goal and one assist in four playoff games.

Vey also at one time was projected to be the centerman on the Los Angles Kings for two current players in Vancouver’s current top six forward group.

There is no doubt though that currently the Covid-19 virus is a threat to many KHL clubs. There is no dispute that it’s Avangard Omsk franchise is currently rife with infection. Avangard was scheduled to be a fifth team at the Sochi get together prior to pulling out due to Covid-19.

Dhaliwal has confirmed the Sportsnet story and wonders if it might cause former Canucks’ property Reid Boucher to rethink his move to the KHL despite the lure of the rich US dollar contract he signed with Avangard.

It is unknown if Canucks’ prospect Artyom Manukyan is one of the infected Avangard players. Earlier this month he appeared healthy and ready for battle.

Dhaliwal discussed the KHL situation while on TSN 1040 this morning.

Dhaliwal joked that he slept with one eye open last night given his public Twitter dispute with the Russian SKA club. But he has no real worries because Canucks Twitter takes care of its own.

The best news Dhaliwal shared on his radio hit this morning was that his source told him twice that Vasily Podkolzin is very excited about joining the Vancouver Canucks’ club next season. Podkolzin just finished an excellent training camp and is ready to play.

If all goes well he should be eligible to sign on the dotted line of an NHL contract with the Canucks on May 1st, 2021 and join them for the conclusion of the NHL’s 2020/21 season.