VANCOUVER - Coach John Tortorella isn’t ready to reveal his opening night lineup, but Tuesday’s practice offered a possible preview.
The first two lines seem set with the Sedin twins skating with Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler in between Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen.
Questions remain with the third and fourth lines. On Tuesday, Mike Santorelli centered the third line with Brad Richardson on left wing and David Booth on the right side. Newly acquired Zac Dalpe centered the fourth line with Dale Weise and Tom Sestito.
The big question on defence is, who is No. 6? Tortorella acknowledged that job is wide open and newly acquired Ryan Stanton has a chance to claim it.
“Sure he has,” Tortorella said. “It hasn’t been grabbed.”
Right now, it’s a three-man competition with Stanton, Andrew Alberts and Yannick Weber.
“I think Webs has tried, I think Albie has tried.. I think we have settled on the five, but the 6 is still wide open,” Tortorella said. “Someone needs to try and grab that spot. They are going to make the decision for us.”
On Tuesday, Stanton skated on what looked like the third pairing with Chris Tanev, while Alberts and Weber skated together. The top two pairings have Kevin Bieksa with Dan Hamhuis and Jason Garrison with Alex Edler.
ON THE BORDER: Tortorella, who has bought a house in Point Roberts, says he’s not worried about the border crossing closing due to the U.S. government shutdown.
“I think that Point Roberts border will stay open all the time,” Tortorella said. “There’s some good people there.”
Tortorella also seems to be establishing a good rapport with the folks who patrol the border. In fact -- and here’s a surprise -- he likes them better than reporters.
“They are not a pain in the ass like you guys,” he said with a smile. “They just like talking hockey, that’s all.”
NO PROBLEM: No news is not bad news as far Henrik Sedin is concerned.
The Canuck captain insisted he’s not concerned about the fact that he and his brother may start the season without a contract extension.
“That’s up to management and (agent) J.P. Barry to talk about,” Henrik said. “ We’re getting ready here and when they come to us and have something for us then we’ll talk about it.”
Henrik said he has no concerns about talks continuing during the regular season.
“I won’t be negotiating so I am good,” he said. “I am going to play hockey. If we take care of what we can do, then everything is going to take care of itself.
“I don’t think we are guys who are focused on what kind of deal we’re going to get. It’s always been about getting better and now we have a new coach and a new system. . .so that is more of what we are focused on.”
Henrik and Daniel are entering the final year of their five-year deals, which pay them each $6.1 million a season.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun