Canucks Goalie Braden Holtby and His Tortoises Are Stuck at the U.S. Border

Vancouver Canucks goalie Braden Holtby has an unexpected problem on his hands. 

Holtby, the veteran goalie who helped the Washington Capitals to a Stanley Cup Finals title in 2018, is currently stuck at the U.S.-Canada border. That in itself is an issue.

Holtby, however, isn’t alone at the border. In one of the strangest situations involving NHL players and the borders in quite some time, Holtby is with his pet tortoises.

Braden Holtby is a veteran NHL goalie

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A fourth-round pick of the Washington Capitals in 2008, Braden Holtby is still going strong over a decade later.

Holtby debuted midway through the 2010-11 season and went 10-2-2 in 14 starts. At 6 feet 2 inches and 211 pounds, Holtby has used his size to make two All-Star Games since becoming a mainstay in Washington during the 2012-13 season.

For his career, Holtby is 282-122-46 as a starter. He has a 91.6% save percentage and 35 career shutouts, including nine-shutout seasons in 2014-15 and 2016-17.

Holtby is 50-47 in the postseason, with 16 of those wins coming in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Washington ended that year with a Stanley Cup Finals victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

Holtby is entering his first season with the Canucks

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After a decade in Washington, Braden Holtby moved north of the border in October.

Holtby signed a two-year contract worth $8.6 million with the Vancouver Canucks. Holtby went 24-14-6 with a .897 save percentage in 48 games and 47 starts last season.

According to the NHL’s official website, Holtby said he joined the Canucks because Vancouver is a “place where there’s an extremely good chance of winning.”

“It’s going to be a good fit for my family, and being closer out West is something that was very intriguing for us as our kids get older and such and a chance to win and a good team and good Canadian city. That can be really exciting and I think that’s a part of the reasons, so I’m looking forward to really get things rolling.”

The NHL has not yet announced when the 2021 NHL season will start. Barring any setbacks in the coming weeks, the NBA is expected to open its season on December 22, less than three months after LeBron James and the Lakers completed the extended season with an NBA Finals victory.

Braden Holtby and his tortoises are in a jam

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The NHL’s delayed start to the 2020-21 season is one of the few things working in Braden Holtby’s favor right now.

As of publication, Holtby and his pet tortoises are stuck at the U.S.-Canada border.

Brandi Holtby, Braden’s wife, shared on Twitter that her husband and the tortoises are stuck because of a paperwork issue involving the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“[We] didn’t know that we needed an export permit (we did do the import permit for the Canadian side),” Brandi tweeted.

In a follow-up tweet, Brandi wrote, “FWS is aware of our situation and they are working towards a solution to get Braden and the boys home!”

Considering how slow tortoises are, there are several easy jokes to be made about the process and Braden being in border limbo. We’ll refrain from making such jokes and instead hope the tortoises arrive at their new home in time for Thanksgiving.

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