Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran NHLers Ryan Spooner, Luke Scheen Seek Fresh Starts in Vancouver

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Veteran NHLers Ryan Spooner, Luke Scheen Seek Fresh Starts in Vancouver

Article excerpt

Spooner, Schenn seek fresh starts with Canucks

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VANCOUVER - This hasn't been the NHL season that Ryan Spooner expected.

The 27-year-old forward started the year with the New York Rangers then was dealt to the Edmonton Oilers in November, only to be sent down to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Bakersfield Condors, after 25 games.

Last week, the logo on Spooner's chest changed yet again as the Oilers traded him to the Vancouver Canucks (26-27-7) in exchange for Sam Gagner.

Now back in the NHL, the Ottawa native admits that all of the moves have taken a toll on his psyche.

"Kind of in the back of my own mind, you're thinking 'Am I still good enough to play in the league?' " he said on Wednesday. "I've just got to think with a more positive mind set. That's all I can do."

Picked up by the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2010 draft, Spooner's 314-game NHL career has seen stints in Boston, New York and Edmonton. He's put up 115 assists and 48 goals, but said something has been off this year.

"For some reason, this season hasn't gone well for me," he said. "It's in the past now, though. It's a fresh start."

The fresh start may see Spooner skate alongside some of the Canucks' top young talent. At Wednesday's practice, he lined up with star rookie Elias Pettersson and right-winger Brock Boeser, who have combined for 41 goals this season.

"I'm just going to try to get to the net and work hard for those guys," Spooner said, adding that he needs to keep his game simple and not get too cute with the puck.

Canucks head coach Travis Green said he's told Spooner to enjoy the opportunity ahead and bring his best game.

"I see a guy that has some skill and it looks like he can skate all right, he has some speed in his game," Green said. "You're hoping that he can find his confidence."

Spooner isn't the only player looking for new opportunities in Vancouver. …

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