I think if you do that you will block the oil passage for the crank on the closure plate and then have other issues.
Screw a coarse thread drywall screw into the seal as close to the crank as possible, no more than a few threads and pull out the seal, you may need one opposite the other for stubborn seals...
I must be living right for a change. got a couple screws out and 2 small slide hammers a pry bar and 2 pair of vice grips. started the one screw and just as it was getting tighter the seal sun a little and was in my lap. Thanks