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Vigneault says addition of Stanley Cup winners will help Canucks

Saturday, 09.12.2009 / 5:08 PM / News

The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. - The Vancouver Canucks opened their training camp Saturday with coach Alain Vigneault excited about the signing of a pair of free agents over the summer who have won Stanley Cups.

Forward Mikael Samuelsson won a Cup with the Detroit Red Wings while defenceman Mathieu Schneider was a member of the 1993 Montreal Canadiens that won the NHL championship.

"I love the fact we've signed two guys that have won the Stanley Cup," said Vigneault. "The experience, that maturity added to our group will definitely help this team.

"We have a lot of young players that are in the developing process. When you add elements that have won, know what it takes to handle the moments and the pressure of those situations, it should help our group."

Samuelsson signed a three-year deal worth US$7.5 million. Schneider agreed to a one-year, $1.55-million contract

The Canucks had 40 players - veterans and prospects - at the UBC's Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre for pre-training camp medicals and testing.

The team will begin skating Sunday.

Vigneault didn't want to comment on reports he is close to signing a three-year contract extension with the Canucks.

"As you know, we don't discuss contract situations," he laughed. "But at the end off the day, if I can continue my time here with the Vancouver Canucks, I would certainly consider it."

Quote of the Day

You've got to focus on playing good hockey. When we do that we give ourselves a chance to win games. Win games and then maybe we''ll have a chance at the end. You can't worry about something like (the division title) when we're not playing our best hockey down the stretch. We'll figure things out together the way we always do and get back on the right page.

— Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews after loss to Flyers on Wednesday left them five points out of first place in Central Division
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