VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Canucks opened their training camp Saturday with coach Alain Vigneault excited about the signing of a pair of free agents over the summer who have won Stanley Cups.
Forward Mikael Samuelsson won a Cup with the Detroit Red Wings while defenceman Mathieu Schneider was a member of the 1993 Montreal Canadiens that won the NHL championship.
“I love the fact we’ve signed two guys that have won the Stanley Cup,” said Vigneault. “The experience, that maturity added to our group will definitely help this team.
“We have a lot of young players that are in the developing process. When you add elements that have won, know what it takes to handle the moments and the pressure of those situations, it should help our group.”
Samuelsson signed a three-year deal worth US$7.5 million. Schneider agreed to a one-year, $1.55-million contract
The Canucks had 40 players – veterans and prospects – at the UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre for pre-training camp medicals and testing.
The team will begin skating Sunday.
Vigneault didn’t want to comment on reports he is close to signing a three-year contract extension with the Canucks.
“As you know, we don’t discuss contract situations,” he laughed. “But at the end off the day, if I can continue my time here with the Vancouver Canucks, I would certainly consider it.”