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Edmonton Oilers' Raffi Torres, left, looks for an open teammate while being pursued by Los Angeles Kings' Jon Klemm during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. (Chris Pizzello)
Edmonton Oilers' Raffi Torres, left, looks for an open teammate while being pursued by Los Angeles Kings' Jon Klemm during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Monday, Dec. 3, 2007. (Chris Pizzello)

Canucks jambalaya Add to ...

The Canucks have divided their skaters into three groups at training camp here in rainy Penticton, and there doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason for most of the forward and defence combinations trotted out by head coach Alain Vigneault.

But there's one line here in Group B that could find itself together come next month, when the NHL regular-season begins.

Free-agent winger Raffi Torres may get a chance to fill-in for an injured Alex Burrows beside the Sedin twins on the top line, but Mikael Samuelsson is still the front-runner for that role. Likewise, Torres could fit with Ryan Kesler and Mason Raymond on Line No. 2.

But eventually, when everyone is healthy, one would think that Torres with Manny Malhotra and Jeff Tambellini has a chance to be a regular third-line combination - provided Tambellini establishes himself as a bona fide NHL player, which will get every opportunity to do. That's the trio Vigneault has put together for camp, and given that all three are newcomers, it's clear the coach wants to see how they work together.

Jannik Hansen, Tanner Glass, Sergei Shirokov, Victor Oreskovich and a host of others will have something to say about wing duty on the third and fourth units, but a big part of the Canucks' summer plan was to increase their thump and size in the bottom six. And if he's not called upon to serve in a more offensive role, Torres (beside Malhotra) certainly fits that bill.

Follow on Twitter: @mattsekeres

 

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