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Canucks Report - Injury updates, Vigneault on Sundin

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

This week on
Injury report
How Swede it is
The little things...
It's official
Mats Sundin signs

Vigneault on adding Mats
Gillis on signing Mats
Full Gillis press conference

Practice gallery

Sami Salo is out approximately four weeks with a broken rib after recovering from a strained groin.

Shane O'Brien participated in practice with the team today at GM Place and is expected to dress for tomorrow's tilt against the Chicago Blackhawks.

With one d-man back and one out, Alain Vigneault will dress either Rob Davison or Lawrence Nycholat in the next game. Davison played in the Canucks last three outings while Nycholat hasn't seen ice time since November 22 when the Canucks visited the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ryan Johnson, who's been out since November 25th with a broken finger and broken foot will remain sidelined for at least 3-4 weeks.

Johnson's hand wasn't healing properly and had pins put into a couple fingers last week, while the team was on the road.

Rick Rypien continues to his rehab from a sports hernia.


The man of the moment, Mats Sundin, is certainly creating a lot of buzz in Vancouver and the media can't get enough. One man has yet to speak about signing that was signed, sealed, and delivered, just 24 hours ago.

Head coach, Alain Vigneault, is excited about the addition to the roster but isn't ready to reveal where he will slot into the lineup.

"When Mats comes here," said Vigneault. "We're going to give him the time to find his rhythm and from now until then, there are still a lot of games to play and focus on. We'll figure it out in due time."

"I think our players, our team, our management, everybody's excited, the city should be excited, all Canucks fans should be extremely excited. When he gets here, we'll deal with it."

While Mike Gillis and his management team were the main players in acquiring Sundin, Vigneault was in the loop the whole way.

"I was aware of the process since day one but I wasn't in any conversations with JP [Barry] or Mats but from the beginning, Mike has been giving me his feedback and how the conversations have been going. Form day one Mike has been telling me, 'We're going to get this guy'. I don't know if it was the power of positive thinking but what he was telling me and what I was hearing from outside was two different things. The day before yesterday, he thought we were right there and yesterday it was confirmed."

In addition to the obvious offence Sundin bring to the team, he brings a wealth of experience and a quality already very visible in the Canucks dressing room.

"Obviously, we're adding a top six forward to our team, which was an element we expressed we needed," the Canucks coach said. "He's going to help us there and he's going to help us leadership-wise. We're adding another strong leader, a good person to our dressing room."

"We're extremely pleased that he picked our group. In my mind, I was saying this yesterday, that in the past five to ten years, I've watched certain players handle themselves, whether it was media-wise or on the ice, four guys have always stood out. Trevor [Linden] was one, Jarome [Iginla] was another one, Joe Sakic - every time I saw him and the way he presented himself publicly and the way he handled himself - and Mats. Those guys always stood out in my mind in good times and bad times, handling themselves in a good way."

When Sundin is ready to make his return to the NHL and put on the Canucks sweater, he will proudly wear his familiar number 13, which was being used by Mike Brown.

Brown skated with number 15 on the back of his helmet at practice Friday morning.
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