Canucks players try to tune out trade-talk rumours
Notebook: NHL deadline a week Wednesday
VANCOUVER — With the National Hockey League trade deadline fast approaching, fans, media, talk shows and sports channels are in overdrive with gossip, speculation, rumours and the always popular fantasy deal in which the Vancouver Canucks will obtain a front-line player by surrendering a couple of minor-leaguers and some pucks.
The Canucks themselves? They’ll leave it to the rest of us. The deadline is next Wednesday, April 3, at noon Pacific.
“When I was younger I think I was looking into it a little bit more than I am right now,” said winger Alex Burrows, who turns 32 next month. “I’ve always been a big sports fan so I find free agency and the trade deadline in any league really interesting. But being a little bit older and mature, I understand that a lot of the rumours are not true.
“There is only maybe a small percentage of what is going on right now on the Internet and social media that is really going to happen,” he continued. “So I don’t get caught up in it too much.”
Burrows didn’t for one moment suggest everybody else should tune out the talk.
“I know, for fans, it’s a fun part of the year to see if your team is going to improve, or make any moves to make a push for the playoffs, and that kind of stuff,” he said. “As far as rumours about our team, sometimes it will come to my attention, or a buddy will call me, or my old man (Rodney) will call me and say: ‘What’s going on with this?’ I know it’s easy for people from the outside sitting in front of their computer to start a rumour or write a blog about something but, being around every day and living it, it’s much different.”
Like Burrows, goalie Cory Schneider is also a sports fan. (Just ask him about the Boston Red Sox one day. You’ll receive an earful.) Schneider admits he is intrigued by the moves being made, or discussed, but he doesn’t spend his every waking hour away from the rink following the various trade trackers.
“It’s always interesting to see who is going where but, to be honest, you’re so busy and occupied worrying about your games that the deadline sneaks up on you a little bit,” Schneider said Tuesday before he faced the Columbus Blue Jackets. “It was a month ago and now all of a sudden, it’s a week away. You don’t sit there dwelling on it. You just try to win games and, hopefully, guys in your room aren’t going to be leaving.
“We have a lot of faith in our management that they’ll do whatever they can to win. It’s not our job to worry about that. It’s theirs and we trust them to do that.”
SICK BAY WATCH: Canucks right-wingers Zack Kassian (back) and Steve Pinizzotto (ill) both missed their fourth straight game Tuesday but both skated and both appear close to a return, especially Pinizzotto. The latter fell ill last Wednesday just as the team was departing for Phoenix. He said the problem was dehydration and exhaustion.
“I just wasn’t feeling good but I’m on the right track and feeling better,” explained Pinizzotto, who skated Monday as well. “I guess it had to do with travelling and playing a lot of games in a little amount of time. I’ve played a lot of games in the past, but I never had to deal with the travel and it kind of caught up to me.”
Pinizzotto is scheduled to practise with the full team Wednesday and expects to be ready for Thursday’s home date against Colorado Avalanche.
“Probably by then, I’ll be fine so I think so, yeah,” he said.
According to Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault, Kassian remains day-to-day. He’s missed six of seven games and lasted just one period against St. Louis on March 19.
“Zack is improving,” Vigneault said. “He skated with Steve today prior to practice and we’ll see how he responds and take it from there.”
Kassian has five goals on the season but none since Jan. 30.
QUOTABLE: “Mason’s attitude since Day One has been really good. He wanted to have a good season and he’s put in the effort to have one.” — Vigneault on left-winger Mason Raymond, who took a pay cut in the summer and was tied with Daniel Sedin for the team lead in goals (nine) prior to Tuesday’s game against Columbus.
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