Hank practiced with the team Sunday for the first time since suffering an upper-body injury mid-January that ended his ironman streak at 679 games.
“It feels better and better each day, we’ll see how it is tomorrow and go from there,” said Henrik, following a 90-minute skate in Detroit.
Henrik admitted he’s anxious to return to the team, especially with the Canucks struggling to end January, but he’ll make sure he’s fit to play before hitting the ice.
Vancouver’s training staff is optimistic a return will happen sooner rather than later, based on today’s skate.
“They were really encouraged, today was his first full practice with contact and that step was a big step for him,” said assistant coach Mike Sullivan. “He seemed to do very well through the process; we’ll wait and see, we know he’s making progress so we’ll see what happens soon.”
Sullivan also updated the status of Yannick Weber, who was injured Friday in a loss to the Winnipeg Jets saying although details aren’t available, Weber has returned to Vancouver to be further evaluated.
In Weber absence, the Canucks recalled 23-year-old defenceman Yann Sauve from the Utica Comets. He arrived in Detroit Sunday and expectations are high for Sauve.
“The guys down there felt he’s played a solid two-way game and we hope that he can bring that to our club up here,” said Sullivan. “I just saw him and told him that we can use his energy and enthusiasm. We’re going to need him to make a contribution to help us get out of this.”
With head coach John Tortorella able to return to the Canucks Monday, Sullivan spoke for the last time in Torts’ place Sunday. He’s going to miss dealing with the media, but he has a funny way of showing it.
“I’m going to miss you guys like a toothache, don’t take it personally.”