Henrik hopes contract settled before season starts
Vancouver Canucks Henrik Sedin waves to the spectators after he became the team's all-time highest scorer during their NHL hockey game against the Dallas Stars in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 15, 2013. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)
For a brief second there Tuesday, Henrik Sedin had his sights set on playing some soccer — maybe.
The Vancouver Canucks captain was at the University of B.C. with defenceman Alex Edler and goaltender Eddie Lack, training on the running track that encompasses the field where the Vancouver Whitecaps were practising. And while the trio did their own thing before heading back to the nearby rink for a quick on-ice session, Henrik admits he was tempted to join the Major League Soccer squad — even if just for a moment.
"It would have been fun but not today," Henrik said with a laugh. "We (joined them) a few times last year too during the lockout so it was good."
Don't be fooled though, with the start of the new campaign fast approaching, the club's all-time points leader is solely focused on hockey — this year with a team facing similar high expectations but a different look behind the bench.
Already in town now for three weeks, Henrik voiced his excitement for NHL life with John Tortorella as training camp is set to get underway in two weeks. He hasn't talked to the new head coach much during the past couple months, save for the time at the hiring press conference and once more during the summer, but isn't concerned at all with what to expect come camp.
"As a player, you can only work on conditioning, coming in as good a shape as you can," he said. "That's everything the coach is asking from you too. If you come in prepared, that's not going to be a problem."
One of the talking points Henrik and his brother Daniel — who flies into town Monday — will be forced to address from media and fans leading into the season and possibly throughout it will be their expiring contracts. The two enter the final season of a five-year deal which pays them an average of $6.1 million. But the elder twin claims they haven't thought about it much just yet.
"I know they started talking about it a little bit," Henrik said, referring to his agent and the Canucks. "It would be nice to get something done (before the season starts) but if it doesn't happen, we're going to go out and focus and play hockey."