Canucks focused on Wild, not trade deadline
Alain Vigneault knows how easy it is for his players to be distracted at this time of the year.
But the Vancouver coach still expects them to be focused on the task at hand when the Canucks host the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night, less than 24 hours before the NHL trade deadline.
With the trade deadline looming, players from across the league find themselves answering countless questions regarding their future. Vigneault concedes that media speculation about possible trades is more fervent in Canadian cities this time of the year, but he believes his players aren't distracted by it.
"Our guys are all professionals and they know that, this is a Canadian phenomenon," Vigneault told the Canucks website.
"Obviously if you're in an American city there's not this much hype or interest. Guys that have been in this market for quite some time are used to the hype of these next couple of days. They'll deal with it in a professional manner and they know they have to get ready … and come ready to play."
A lot of the media attention in Vancouver involves Mattias Ohlund because his contract expires at the end of this season, leading many to believe that Canucks general manager Mike Gillis will trade him on Wednesday.
Ohlund isn't interested in speculating about his future with the club.
"I would like to continue [playing in Vancouver] if it's a good fit," said Ohlund. "If it's not a good fit for me and for the team we'll find another place and I'll be perfectly happy doing that. But the focus now is on playing hockey and first and foremost on getting into the playoffs."
The Canucks, who sit fifth overall in the Western Conference with 72 points, are coming off a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Sunday, their 10th win in 12 games.
Canucks forward Pavol Demitra didn't practise with the team Monday in order to rest an injured finger, but will be in the lineup against the Wild.
Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard, meanwhile, will sit out the contest because he is still serving a five-game suspension. The NHL issued the ban on Saturday after Boogaard elbowed Calgary's Brandon Prust in the head during Friday night's loss. Boogaard will be eligible to return March 10.
Vancouver hosts the San Jose Sharks on Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET).