NYCHOLAT ON WAIVERS
Head coach Alain Vigneault told reporters following practice today that defenceman Lawrence Nycholat has been placed on waivers.
“We put Nycholat on waivers this morning,” said Vigneault. “From a selfish standpoint we hope that he’s going to clear and we’re going to be able to send him to Manitoba. But for his situation if he gets picked up by another NHL team we’ll be really happy for him.
“If he gets to Manitoba we’ve got pretty good depth with him and McIver. We’ll see what happens.”
Nycholat, 29, came to Vancouver from Ottawa in September 2008, in exchange for Ryan Shannon. In 14 games with the Canucks this season the Calgary native has one assist, six penalty minutes and a plus/minus rating of +3.DEADLINE APPROACHING
The team was full of energy as they practiced this morning following their decisive 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. Pavol Demitra had a maintenance day to rest his injured finger, but will play tomorrow when the Canucks take on the Wild. The newest Canuck Ossi Vaananen participated in his second team practice, but will not dress for Tuesday’s game.
“[Demitra is] taking care of the pinky,” said Vigneault. “He’s just resting it, he’s fine [ to play tomorrow], it’s just maintenance.”
With the trade deadline coming this Wednesday, players find themselves answering countless questions regarding rumours and speculation. Vigneault is not concerned that the players will be distracted heading into tomorrow’s game against Minnesota.
“Our guys are all professionals and they know that, this is a Canadian phenomenon," said Vigneault. "Obviously if you’re in an American city there’s not this much hype or interest. Guys that have been in this market for quite some time are used to the hype of these next couple of days. They’ll deal with it in a professional manner and they know they have to get ready for tomorrow and come ready to play.”
A lot of the media attention is surrounding veteran defenceman and alternate captain Mattias Ohlund, as his contract expires at the end of this season. Ohlund, who has not been asked to waive his no-trade clause, isn’t letting the interest affect his focus on his game.
“I would like to continue [playing in Vancouver] if it’s a good fit," said Ohlund. "If it’s not a good fit for me and for the team we’ll find another place and I’ll be perfectly happy doing that. But the focus now is on playing hockey and first and foremost on getting into the playoffs.
“I want to be here if they feel I’m a big part of this team. I don’t want to be here because I’ve been here for 11 years, that’s not the right reason. There are a lot of things that have to fall into place. There hasn’t been a lot going on to be honest and right now the focus has to be on hockey, so we’ll worry about it in the summertime and whatever happens will be fine.
“I know this is business and it’s been a great 11 years. If it continues that’s great, if it doesn’t that’s great too. So we’ll figure it out."
The Canucks, now fifth in the West with a four-point cushion between the Blue Jackets, are preparing for Tuesday’s game against division rivals, the Minnesota Wild.LAST SEAT IN THE HOUSE:
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