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First Ferland tried to make a comeback in December, but shut things down in his second game back when issues with his vision and balance — his brain’s vestibular system — emerged.
Those issues have been traced back to his October concussion, suffered in a fight with the Kings’ Kyle Clifford.
He tried again in February, but abandoned that attempt inside the first period of his first game with the American Hockey League’s Utica Comets, the Canucks’ primary minor-league affiliate.
Once again, his vision and balance were a problem. Everything, he would later say, was fine in practice, in daily life, but the speed of the game would cause issues.
He was shut down for the season, but the door was left open for a future return.
And then the pandemic arrived. All of hockey shut down. No one could skate or even work out. Like his teammates, Ferland and his family eventually went back to Brandon to be closer to family.
The enforced rest period, he said in July, seemed to make a difference and when the NHL returned to action in July, Ferland was back at it, feeling confident.
And then his return to play lasted less than two games, again.
He returned home to Brandon after that.
Davidson said that life seems good for his client back at home.
“He’s enjoying some hunting,” he said. “He sent me some videos of his oldest daughter Brynlee. She’s started her Timbits hockey.”
“With everything he’s gone through, with the unanswered, I think that was a real bright spot for him to see her out on the ice,” he added. “With such an upside-down year … in another year he might not be able to be there to see that.”