Forward Sven Baertschi was recalled late Thursday night and joined the team in Winnipeg this morning, as did injured goaltender Ryan Miller, who practiced with the Canucks for the first time since going down February 22nd.
Miller is not ready to return to the line-up, him beginning to practice is merely the next step in his recovery, according to coach Willie Desjardins.
Game ready or not, Miller is simply happy to be back around the guys.
“It’s exciting to finally get back, even if it’s just practicing and going to meetings,” said Miller. “At home I’ve been around the rink and being a part of everything I can be a part of, but it’s tough, guys are in game mode and are making the push here, so I try to stay out of their way. So it’s nice to just be back in the locker room and feel like I’m a part of everything, especially this great time of year.”
Miller said he was scared after he initially suffered the injury and despite not trying to overthink everything, he feared the worst.
Luckily he had a tiny distraction that helped him shift gears.
Miller became a father on March 20th as he and wife Noureen DeWulf welcomed Bodhi into the world; Ryan said he’s holding his own when it comes to changing diapers and burping and having something new to focus on has helped ease his competitive nature.
He said he’s talked to his mother a few times since Bodhi was born.
“I can’t believe she did all this with four kids, it really puts it in perspective.”BAERTSCHI BUBBLING
Sven Baertschi was all smiles after practice Friday and it’s a wonder he could even keep his eyes open.
The 22-year-old, who was recalled late last night, got in early this morning and immediately hit the ice for his first skate with team that acquired him at the trade deadline this year.
He’s just happy to be here.
“It feels really good right now,” said Baertschi, who has loved being in Utica the past month. “It’s a great group of guys there, very hardworking and talented; going there, I just felt comfortable right away. That’s why I think I’ve been so successful there.”
Baertschi said things just didn’t workout with the Calgary Flames organization, for whatever reason, and that sometimes a change of scenery is needed.
He got what he wanted and could get his first taste of NHL action as a member of the Canucks against the Winnipeg Jets. Baertschi skated in place of Ronalds Kenins alongside Bo Horvat and Jannik Hansen at practice.