Vancouver Canucks forward Taylor Pyatt returned to team activities today and issued the following statement:
“I would like to thank my teammates, coaches and the entire Canucks organization for their tremendous compassion and support during this very difficult time for myself, my family and the entire Bragnalo family. I would also like to thank the passionate fans of the Canucks for their support and the media who have given us the respect and time to grieve in private. I loved Carly very much. My family and I will forever miss her. At this difficult time for our families it is my wish to not speak about our loss publically. Thank you.”
The Thunder Bay native was on the ice half an hour before practice and stayed for the first part of the team skate.
“Taylor came in yesterday and worked out off the ice and worked out on the ice by himself,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. "He decided to take the first part of warm up today, which I’m very happy about, he saw the rest of the teammates that he didn’t see yesterday. We’re happy he’s back, he’s got a lot of support here and things are going to work out.
“[Pyatt is] day to day, he just got back. I don’t think he did anything on his own for those three weeks. We’ll see how he feels and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”
“It’s great just having his presence around this morning,” said Ryan Johnson. “I know it’s great for us as a team to have him around and see his face. I know for him too I’m sure it’s nice to have some of the guys around and some of the guys to talk to.
“I don’t think it’s fair for me to comment on his feelings or how he’s doing, but for us as a team it’s a huge lift. I know he’s just going to go day to day and see how things go and that’s all we can ask. But like I said his presence alone is a huge lift for us. He’s been a big part of this team for years and will continue to be as we move forward.”CANUCKS PREPARE FOR ROAD AHEAD
After a restful two days following their first round sweep of the St. Louis Blues, the Canucks were back to work Friday morning. The team held a practice at GM Place to prepare for Round 2, and whatever opponent that brings.
“Right now, what we’re trying to do is use the time that we have here to heal different wounds that we got in that very physical series,” said Vigneault. “At the same time we’re trying to work on our conditioning. We practice today, practice tomorrow, we’re going to give Sunday off and maybe by Monday we’ll have a better idea of who we’re going to play and if we don’t it doesn’t matter. We’re going to work on our game as far as getting it to where it needs to be for the second series. Practice really hard Monday, Tuesday and maybe we’ll know by then.”
Defencemen Willie Mitchell and Sami Salo
did not practice as the team gave them some extra time to rest. Centre Mats Sundin participated in the full hour practice.
“I expect Willie [will practice] tomorrow, we just gave him an extra day and Sami since we don’t practice Sunday should be back Monday, I’m thinking,” said Vigneault.
“I felt a little better, it felt good to be out there skating,” said Sundin. “I think that’s the most important thing for me to make sure I get some good skates in here.
“I mean in my position I welcome that we don’t have any games right now and hopefully I’ll keep moving in the right direction. At the same time with the team playing as well as we have you want to get back on the ice and play more games. But hopefully this will be a long playoffs for us and this rest will help us later.”OTHER NEWS:
Defenceman Evan Oberg who signed with the Canucks as a free agent from the University of Minnesota-Duluth on April 10, 2009 was at GM Place today working out with the team's strength and condidtioning staff. The Camrose, Alberta native also watched some of the Canucks' practice with Jonathon Wall, director of hockey administration and Stan Smyl, senior advisor to the GM.PLAYOFF TICKETS:
The Vancouver Canucks announced Monday that single game tickets for Home Games 1 to 4 in Round 2 of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs will go on sale via phone and internet only on Saturday, April 25th at 10:00 am. More