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Canucks clear room for Sundin return by sending Hansen to Manitoba

VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks cleared room for Mats Sundin to join the lineup this week, sending forward Jannik Hansen to Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Monday.

Sundin, who signed as a free agent on Dec. 18 and joined the team Dec. 30, had his first full practice on Monday. He said he would travel with the team to Wednesday night’s game at Edmonton, but there was no word if the longtime Toronto captain would play.

“I don’t know. I think another practice tomorrow and we’ll see,” said Sundin, who had taken part in two morning skates since arriving in Vancouver.

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The 37-year-old plans to practise again on Tuesday and decide on playing after Wednesday’s morning skate. Sundin is nine months removed from his last NHL game in a 17-season career, and said he doesn’t want to jump in mid-season if his body is not ready.

“It’s a different intensity and different pace when you’re out there with the whole team,” he said. “It’s how I feel tomorrow morning and maybe Wednesday morning – see how the body reacts skating at this pace.”

Hansen, a 22-year-old rookie from Denmark, had 17 points in 37 games.