Henrik and Daniel Sedin are 32 years old.
Alex Burrows is 32, as well.
Kevin Bieksa is 31.
Dan Hamhuis is 30.
While none of those five are too old for, you know, the earth, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault knows the core of his team is running out of chances to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.
“Guys are smart, we’re all getting a little older,” Vigneault said Tuesday, one day prior to Vancouver’s first-round opener versus San Jose (another team that’s not exactly young) at Rogers Arena.
“They understand about the window. We’re in our window.”
Vigneault is also cognizant of the fact head coaches have a limited life span in the NHL. If the Canucks are eliminated early for a second straight season, he may be looking for a new job.
“We all know that. That’s the nature of this business,” he told the Vancouver Sun recently.
“I don’t go into the playoffs worrying about (getting fired). I go into it like it’s another great opportunity for this group. Our motivation is going to be so high. I get the disappointment or frustration from fans because we haven’t won the Cup. But since I’ve been here, we’ve had some great seasons and we’re doing our damn best to win that Cup. I hope our fans understand there’s not one player who won’t do everything they can to get this done. We’re going to go out there and kick some butt.”
As for who will be in goal for the Canucks for Game 1, that’s still to be determined. Cory Schneider says he’s ready to go, but Vigneault says the decision won’t be made until tomorrow.
If Schneider can’t play, Roberto Luongo will start.
Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.
Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.
From the club:
Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.
Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.
This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.
Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.
Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.
Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.
A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.
“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”
The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.
Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap