It's never too early to over-react at Vancouver Canucks' training camp and there is no sense in stopping now. So here is Saturday's declaration: the hunt for a third-line centre may already be over. New head coach John Tortorella put new centre Brad Richardson between veteran wingers Chris Higgins and Jannik Hansen and they promptly dominated the Saturday morning scrimmage scoring four goals. Higgins had three and Richardson the other the latter's a lovely individual effort in which he cut through the slot traffic and beat goalie hopeful Eddie Lack high to the glove side. Tortorella didn't fool around with his line combos in the first two scrimmages. The Sedin twins skated with Zack Kassian while Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows were together as well mostly alongside rookie Hunter Shinkaruk who appears to be keeping a seat warm for the injured David Booth (ankle). The defence pairings looked big league too. Alex Edler skated with Chris Tanev Jason Garrison with Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis with Frankie Corrado. So maybe we should put a lot of stock into the Higgins-Richardson-Hansen trio. They all skated well Saturday they moved the puck well and of course they finished against a goalie (Lack) who is supposed to be close to NHL-ready. Richardson naturally emphasized it was far too early to jump to conclusions. “I know you guys love to do that I've noticed” he said with a chuckle “I felt Jannik Chris and I were reading well off each other but I mean it's so early and there is so much to go. You don't want to read too much into it. But it was a fun day. You want to develop chemistry early. It's better to do it now than trying to figure it out during the season.” Richardson 28 agreed to a two-year deal with the Canucks worth $2.3 million on the first day of free agency July 5. He wasn't promised the third-line centre position but was given every indication it was available for the taking.
Richardson shows early chemistry in third-line audition with Higgins, Hansen
Vancouver Sun | Sep 15