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Raymond cleared for contact, “coming along great”

Vancouver Canucks v Boston Bruins - Game Six

BOSTON, MA - JUNE 13: Christopher Higgins #20 and Ryan Kesler #17 help Mason Raymond #21 of the Vancouver Canucks off the ice after being checked by Johnny Boychuk #55 of the Boston Bruins in the first period during Game Six of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden on June 13, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Canucks forward Mason Raymond is set to take an important step in his recovery from a broken back. Raymond has been cleared for contact for the first time since being checked awkwardly into the boards by Boston defenseman Johnny Boychuk during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final.

Today, Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault told reporters that Raymond was “coming along great.”

“We had Mason off-ice tested this morning, his results were all real good,” Vigneault said. “Even the strength one for his upper body, it was better than what our guys anticipated.”

No word on when Raymond will be able to play again, but once healthy, it will be interesting to see where he slots in. The Canucks aren’t lacking for depth up front. Is this where Cody Hodgson feels the squeeze? Manny Malhotra even?