Canucks assistant GM Laurence Gilman joined Matt Sekeres and Blake Price Thursday afternoon on TEAM1040, and verified that Roberto Luongo is in Vancouver and is expected to be at Canucks training camp.
“He’s an important member of our organization and like any other player under contract to us, he’ll be in camp,” stated Gilman.
Trade rumours continue to float around Luongo, with a number of teams interested in adding the goaltender. Toronto, Florida, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Edmonton are among the clubs reportedly with interest in the 33-year-old.
Meanwhile, the other pressing issue for the team to deal with is finding a second-line centre to replace the injured Ryan Kesler. He’s still rehabbing after offseason shoulder and wrist injuries, with a very foggy timeline for a return to action.
“I don’t know the answer to that question, and that’s not being coy with you,” Gilman told TEAM1040. “He’s continuing on his rehabilitation, he’s improving the strength in his shoulder. Needless to say, he’s a critical component of our team. It’s of vital importance that we get him as healthy as possible, as soon as possible, and it’s of vital importance that when he get back into our lineup that he is healthy enough, and durable enough, to stay in our lineup.”
Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schroeder are likely candidates to fill in for Kesler, but the club is likely looking to add a depth centre in any Luongo trade.
Meanwhile, Zack Kassian skated separately from his teammates Thursday at UBC as he continues to struggle with some back spasms. Kassian said he’s simply being cautious and will be ready to go for training camp on Sunday.
He may start the season alongside the Sedins, and is obviously not opposed to the opportunity. Daniel and Henrik spent some time training this summer with Kassian.
Hear from Kassian: Zack Kassian – on return to Van
Also making appearances Thursday at UBC were Alex Burrows, Mason Raymond, David Booth, Dale Weise, and Aaron Volpatti.
Booth, in particular, was quite chatty about his hunting trips this summer.