Loui Eriksson won't be handed a lineup spot based on his salary if the forward returns to the Vancouver Canucks this season, coach Travis Green told Sportsnet on Friday.
"Loui, I respect his career," Green said. "I know he wants to probably play better than he has and have more success for himself. But I still have a job to do. And my job is to put the best team on the ice and play guys I see fit, and not just based on salaries. I want players who will do anything in their power to help the Vancouver Canucks win. That's all they care about: being a Canuck and helping us win. With the additions of some forwards, we've got some tough decisions to make. And he's no different than any other player coming into (training) camp."
Eriksson, who has three seasons remaining on a six-year contract with an average annual value of $6 million, this offseason told a Swedish website that he and Green "don't really get along 100 percent," and his agent, J.P. Barry, said a possible trade of the 34-year-old has been discussed.
"I was surprised that it came out publicly," Green said in his first remarks to the media since the NHL Draft in June. "But I'm not surprised that he isn't happy about certain things. Players are proud, they want to play well and want to have individual success. I understand Loui hasn't scored as much as he wanted to and maybe played at times as much as he wanted to. I understand that and we've discussed that. But it happens a lot (in the NHL). I like to think I have an open-door policy and try to be as honest with players as I can. Loui and I have talked about his play and I know he's frustrated."
Video: TOR@VAN: Eriksson tallies on deft backhander
Eriksson signed in Vancouver as a free agent after scoring 63 points (30 goals, 33 assists) in 82 games with the Boston Bruins in 2015-16. He has 76 points (32 goals, 44 assists) in 196 games with the Canucks over the past three seasons. He was a healthy scratch in March for the first time with the Canucks and finished the season with 29 points (11 goals, 18 assists) in 81 games.
This offseason, the Canucks added forwards J.T. Miller (in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning) and Micheal Ferland (as a free agent) and let forward Markus Granlund leave as a free agent.
"I haven't talked to Loui yet," Green said. "I'm sure we will talk when I see him."