RETURN TO VANCOUVER
The Vancouver Canucks signed Matt Pettinger as a free agent Monday.
"Matt has NHL experience, he's a player that we know because he was in our system for a while and this year for, I think, a little bit more than three weeks, he's been up in Manitoba," said head coach Alain Vigneault following the Canucks morning practice.
"The reports that we got is that he's been playing real well and when we were talking last night after the game, we were talking about some possible moves, we found out that Desbiens was hurt and we're a little low on options so Craig Heisinger said that he'd been playing real well and we had Eric Crawford [pro scout] say the same thing, so we decided to sign him and give him an opportunity to see what he can do with us."
Pettinger didn't start the season with an NHL club and had some options opened to him but he signed a pro tryout contract with the Manitoba Moose in October and has four points in seven appearances.
"I was trying to stay positive and stay patient, I was skating over in Victoria with the Salmon Kings and nothing was really developing," said Pettinger.
"There are a few options overseas but I'm 29 years old and I didn't want to give up the opportunity to be over here. I was in the gym over in Winnipeg and [Craig Heisinger] made the call and I appreciate getting another opportunity with the organization."
Pettinger played 20 games with the Canucks in 2007-08 when he was acquired at the trade deadline in exchange for Matt Cooke. Pettinger had four goals and two assists (4-2-6) in his first stint in Vancouver.
"So far, it's a good fit," he said. "I'm from Victoria and that connection. But it was a little weird with me being away last year and then coming back in this situation but it's hockey and it's a business. I've seen it before and I'm probably not the only guy that been on the same team twice."
With the injuries to the team this season, this is Pettinger's chance to show that he deserves to stay on the team and find a position in the NHL and he is very aware of the situation right now.
"I said Matt, we have a lot of injuries right now and you've got an opportunity to play and you've got to make the best of it. I said last year, guys out played you for a position and if you come in, outplay those guys, then you're going to stay," said Vigneault.
He spent last season with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he recorded eight goals and 15 points (8-7-1) in 59 games.
Originally a draft pick with the Washington Capitals, Pettinger spent played seven seasons with the club before the trade brought him to Vancouver in 2008.
The renewed Canuck will sport the number 13, formerly worn by Mike Brown, Artem Chubarov, Lars Lindgren, and most recently Mats Sundin.
THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE
Another body is added to the Canucks injury list with Michael Grabner sidelined after rolling his ankle during warm-up prior to last night's game against the Avalanche.
There is no timeline or confirmed status of his injury. He did get an MRI this morning but results have not been released yet.
Good news is that players listed on the IR are making progress with many players starting to get back on the ice.
Roberto Luongo and Jannik Hansen are skating again. Luongo is a possibility for returning during the upcoming road trip and Hansen is expected to be ready in about 10 days.
"Anybody that's going to come on the trip with us is going to be someone that has a chance in the five road games to play," said Vigneault. "I think that Louie might have a chance to play somewhere on the trip."
Ryan Johnson's "overall body soreness" is improving but he hasn't resumed skating sessions yet and isn't expected to make the trip.
Daniel Sedin will find out where his progress is this Friday when he goes to the doctors for a closer look at his foot to determine what the next steps will be for him.
"They'll make the decision when he can start to skate and once he starts to skate, if he's pain free, then it's just a matter of him finding his groove and his timing."
Sedin has missed 11 games so far since sustaining his injury October 7.