The Vancouver Canucks are dealt some more injury news Monday morning. Rick Rypien
will be out indefinitely and needs to undergo abdominal surgery.
Rypien was sidelined with a viral infection last week, that sent home early from the Canucks road trip, and was set to return in the next couple of games. He was cleared by the doctors and was skating prior to the team practices and working out on his own for the past week.
"He came back [from the road trip] and wasn’t feeling well," said head coach Alain Vigneault. "Was tested, nothing came up so he started to work out on his own and started to skate on his own and felt a little twinge in his ab so he went this morning to get evaluated by a specialist. We found a sports hernia tear on the left side so he’ll get operated on in the next couple of days and he’ll be out indefinitely. "
Rypien has battled an injury-plagued career and was on track for a healthy season, when he started off the year with goals
in consecutive games. While not known as a goal-scorer, his energy and grit that he brought to the lineup was a welcomed asset that everyone in the organization looked forward to this season.
"I think every person in our organization thinks a lot of this young man because of the way he plays and competes," said Vigneault. "That being said, he's been injured more times than we'd like to and I'm sure than he’d like to so it’s a concern. We feel sorry for what's going on right now."
"If he changed the way he plays, then he's not going to be an NHL player."ON THE MEND
It wasn't all bad news coming out of practice Monday morning, though, as Sami Salo
skated with the team in his second full practice since sustaining a groin injury in Chicago.
Salo is positive about his progression this week and is optimistic about making his return Tuesday when the Boston Bruins come to town.
"I feel good so it's up to the coaching staff and the training staff and see what they think because we have to play three games in four nights so we don't want to rush back in just to play one game," said Salo.
"We're waiting on how the body feels after a couple of good skates. Today was the first real practice, yesterday wasn’t as hard as today but I felt good out there. I'm hoping that everything will be good overnight and that I’ll be ready to go tomorrow."
Salo participated in powerplay drills today, which is a good indication for his return tomorrow, although the final word will not be decided until Tuesday.
While Salo's shot on the point on the Canucks powerplay was missing, Vancouver managed to convert on four of their six chances against Edmonton Saturday night. The powerplay jumped up to 14th best in the League from 29th before puck drop Saturday.ON THE MOVE?
Rumours abound about Mattias Ohlund
moving east towards the Ottawa Senators Monday but so far it remains only gossip.
With one year left on his contract that will expire at the end of the season, questions arise about contract negotiations and whether the native of Pitea, Sweden will remain a Canuck past 2008-09 because he's yet to receive a contract extension.
"We're always working on [contracts] and there are other players who don't have a contract for the upcoming season as well," said General Manager, Mike Gillis. "We're actively working on them but it takes time. It's a continuing process and we’re hoping to get something done."
Gillis explicitly stated that he has no intention on trading Ohlund and although the speculation appears to be growing, he isn't concerned with hearsay.
"There's always speculation with guys in the last year of their contract because they’ve become the most tradable players so I'm not surprised about it."
And as far as trading the Canucks veteran?
"We would never do anything like that with a player with Mattias’ stature with a no-trade clause without going to him in advance and making sure that it was something that he wanted and that we wanted. We wouldn’t do it that way."
Amidst all the talk of reporters and media, Ohlund's not worried and only converned with one thing.
"I'm 32 and I don’t see my end coming soon, hopefully. I know I'm having a lot of fun and obviously at some point, we're going to figure whether it's going to be here or somewhere else but I'll leave it up to Mike [Gillis] and JP [Barry] and they'll work things out."OTHER NEWS:
Tune in after Tuesday's game against the Boston Bruins to watch live post-game interviews from the Canucks dressing room and Coach Alain Vigneault's press conference.