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Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) looks out from behind his visor as he prepares to face off against the Anaheim Ducks during their preseason NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (MIKE BLAKE)
Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) looks out from behind his visor as he prepares to face off against the Anaheim Ducks during their preseason NHL hockey game in Anaheim, California October 1, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Blake (MIKE BLAKE)

Canucks create buzz ahead of opener Add to ...

The Vancouver Canucks did not name a captain Saturday morning, meaning their new leader will be announced in a ceremony preceding their NHL regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Kings.

It will almost assuredly be centre Henrik Sedin, who was conspicuously absent for a media availability period after the morning skate. Sedin, the reigning league MVP and scoring champion, is almost always available for interviews.

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When the other captain candidate, Ryan Kesler, was asked if he had a role in Saturday's ceremony, he said: "No. I don't know. No comment. Can't you guys wait five hours?"

Head coach Alain Vigneault said he and general manager Mike Gillis settled on a captain this week, and informed the player on Friday. "We felt one guy stood out," Vigneault said.

The Canucks are celebrating their 40th anniversary Saturday. They began their first NHL season with an Oct. 9 game against the Kings, and both teams will wear retro sweaters for the occasion.

The game also marks the final broadcast for Canucks radio colour man Tom Larscheid, and the return of defenceman Willie Mitchell.

Larscheid, 70, is calling his last game after 33 years in the booth. He has become part of Canucks' lore for his endless enthusiasm, his humour (intended or otherwise), and his pull-no-punches style.

Mitchell, meanwhile, is returning to the NHL after being sidelined by a concussion since January. The former Canucks defenceman will wear No. 33 for Los Angeles, but he said it has nothing to do with Sedin, who wears the same number, and his vote for Vancouver's captaincy. Mitchell, a British Columbian who signed with the Kings this summer, said it had more to with his fishing habit (a No. 33 boat was kind to him), his age, and numerology (three plus three equals six, which stands for good health).

Follow on Twitter: @mattsekeres

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