Defenceman Sami Salo will likely return to the lineup when they face the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday.
“It’s been really good,” said Salo. “I’ve been able to participate in a couple of practices and made a lot of strides since a couple weeks ago so I’m happy with it.”
“Sami is good to go,” said head coach Alain Vigneault. “He passed all the protocol and has been practicing on his own for four straight days and practiced with the team today.”
After being sidelined 17 days with a concussion as a result of a hit from Brad Marchand, Salo told head coach Alain Vigneault he was ready to suit up following practice Monday. The Canucks have been without the blueliner for six games and posted a record of 3-2-1 in his absence.
Coach was quick to reiterate the importance of having him back on the ice as they try to close out the month on a winning note.
“He’s able to contribute both offensively and defensively. He’s such a smart player both with the puck and without the puck that he makes our groove so much better and that’s why he’s going to play tomorrow.”
TANEV TO CHICAGO
With the return of Salo, Chris Tanev was re-assigned to the Chicago Wolves Monday after just one appearance with the Canucks.
“Ever since Chris came here, I’ve really liked everything this young man has brought to our team, real low maintenance, prepares well, comes to play, and plays through pain,” said Vigneault. “He’s a real quality individual that helps our group.”
Tanev has played four games with Vancouver this season, recording an even plus/minus rating and averaging 13:37 TOI per game.
“We know he’s a real strong young man that is real close to playing on the NHL in a regular basis. In our minds too, with what we’ve seen we think he’s got the possibility one day to maybe play in the top four. He’s only 22 years old right now and he needs to play a little bit more, but it did give us another opportunity to confirm what we already knew.”
He has 12 assists through 25 games with the Wolves this year.
GETTING THE START
Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo will get his fifth straight start when the Oilers come into town before the All-Star break.
Luongo made 23 saves Saturday afternoon and has posted a 2-2 record in his previous four starts.