Sports Canucks

Roy ‘breath of fresh air,’ says Canucks' Higgins 0

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Chris Higgins may now have more to cheer about with the addition of new linemate Derek Roy, who will centre the second line for now between Higgins and Jannik Hansen. (REUTERS)

Chris Higgins may now have more to cheer about with the addition of new linemate Derek Roy, who will centre the second line for now between Higgins and Jannik Hansen. (REUTERS)

As management was feverishly working the phones upstairs, the latest member of the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice with his new teammates Wednesday.

Having arrived in Vancouver the night before, Derek Roy skated at Rogers Arena for his first practice, and admitted he was just trying to get accommodated with the new surroundings.

“It’s a good practice today and I got to meet all the guys,” Roy said. “I just try to fit right in right away and work as hard as I can.

“I’m going to try to bring leadership to the team as well as speed and play-making ability and finish goals.”

The centre skated alongside Jannik Hansen and Chris Higgins, a trio that currently looked to be the team’s second line with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond still sidelined.

Kesler (fractured foot) is expected to start skating Thursday, while Raymond (shoulder) could return later in the week, as the team prepares to host the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Arena on Thursday.

“It’s always nice to get a breath of fresh air in the locker room,” Higgins said of Roy. “Playing against him for a number of years in Montreal, he’s a pretty crafty player … I’m looking forward to seeing his game develop in Vancouver.”

Roy joins the Canucks after a deal from the Dallas Stars Tuesday, and brings with him four goals and 22 points through 30 games. The generously listed 5-foot-9 forward also has six power play points and was centring the second man advantage unit during practice.

Captain Henrik Sedin was clearly pleased with the move to help provide depth in the middle.

“Bringing in Derek, he’s a number one centreman on a lot of teams, he’s a point-per-game guy,” Sedin said. “He’s really going to help us, so I feel great going forward.”

Roy will become an unrestricted free agent by the end of the season but isn’t thinking about a contract extension just yet.

“I just want to be the best teammate I can be … if down the road, something opens up then we’ll talk about it but for now, I just want to mesh with my line mates and I don’t want to think about that.”

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