Daniel Sedin did not take part in Wednesday's morning skate at Rogers Arena and the Vancouver Canucks have ruled him out for Game 1 against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.
"There is nothing new to report. Obviously he's not going to play tonight," coach Alain Vigneault said, refusing to comment on a report out of Sweden in which Sedin's father, Tommy, said Daniel had a headache after returning to the ice on Monday.
That was the first practice for Sedin, who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's leading scorer last season, since being concussed by an elbow from Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith on March 21. He skated with regular linemates Henrik and Alexandre Burrows, and worked in his usual spot on the top power-play unit, staying out through the end of a hard skating session at the end. But on Tuesday he wasn't on the ice with the main group, skating instead with a half dozen spare part players after the regular session ended.
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Twin brother Henrik said Monday that Daniel was "100 percent," and despite his absence Tuesday, Vigneault said he hadn't suffered a setback in his recovery.
"I'm not going to discuss what his father said, if the information is totally true, so I'm not going to get into that and nobody should have," Vigneault said Wednesday. "But they did and we know we've got the total picture, we know what's going on and we're not sharing that. That's not information that's going to be shared."
Daniel, who missed the final nine games of the season but still leads the team with 30 goals and is second with 67 points, has not talked with reporters since the injury, which earned Keith a five-game suspension. The Canucks won eight of nine without him to secure a second straight Presidents' Trophy, but are clearly better with him.
"I think if we would have lost the last 10 games of course it would have been more of distraction but right now we're playing well," Henrik said.
As for his dad being sought out for medical updates, Henrik just shrugged.
"That's the media, right?" he said. "We all have parents that have seen us grow up and play minor hockey and they don't think it's a big deal, but nowadays news travels fast and that's the way it is, so I'm not going to say any more than that."
Henrik politely refused several times to address the headache report, and insisted he didn't mind the awkward middle man role he found himself in talking to media that knows he is in daily conversation with his brother and lifelong linemate. He smiled while suggesting his "100 percent" comment Monday was the result of a "language barrier."
"I'm happy standing here saying 'no comment' another few days -- or whatever it is," Henrik said.
Mason Raymond, who missed the last game for the birth of his first child, takes Daniel's spot on the top line with Henrik and Alexandre Burrows, while normal fourth-line center Maxim Lapierre, who played well in Daniel's place, drops down to the second line.
"Obviously you wish Danny was playing, but I've played with these guys before, and looking forward to it," Raymond said. "We talked this morning as a line about how we are going to go about it, but for myself it's just going out, being who I am, having fun, twisting, turning and using my speed going to the net."
Kings players talked Tuesday about preparing as if Sedin would play. The fact he won't does not make the Canucks any less dangerous, defenseman Willie Mitchell said.
"It's like the whole 'wounded dog' thing," Mitchell said. "It's much more dangerous in the short term just because in that locker room they know they are missing an important piece of the puzzle and usually when you are missing a great player like that, you rally."
Mitchell was sympathetic towards his former teammate. Ironically Mitchell was still with the Canucks when a concussion forced him to miss the 2010 playoffs, including a first-round win over Los Angeles, and threatened his career. He didn't return to the ice until mid-summer and didn't sign with the Kings as a free agent until the end of August.
Mitchell said added pressure to return in the playoffs made it harder to come back.
"It's stressful, and a stressful situation always isn't the best situation with a brain injury," Mitchell said. "It's the time of year everyone wants to play. You train all summer, put in all that work to give yourself an opportunity in the postseason and it's probably frustrating. That added stress of wanting to play because this is why you play the game, and wanting to be there for your organization and teammates and all that puts a lot of extra stress on the body and stress on the body makes it harder to heal."