Canucks’ Eriksson ‘excited’ to play in first game since opener

Vancouver Canucks winger Loui Eriksson. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

After sitting for the past nine games, Loui Eriksson will be back in the Vancouver Canucks‘ lineup against the Florida Panthers on Monday night.

Eriksson, 34, skated alongside Tim Schaller and Jay Beagle on the fourth line at practice Sunday, and will see the ice for the first time since the Canucks’ opening-night loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

“It’ll be fun to be back at it. It’s been a few weeks, so I’m looking forward to it,” he told reporters Monday.

“I’ve been trying to work hard in practice and in the gym, and stay in shape and now I get the opportunity to play a game.”

Eriksson said it was tough to watch the team from the press box, but understood why it was tough to get back into a lineup that had gone 6-3-1 over its first 10 games.

“Of course it’s not fun to sit there and watch the games. I mean, the team has been playing real well, so that’s really good to see,” he said.

“It’s tough to change the lineup when the team is doing so good. All I can do is try to be in shape and work hard in practice, like I said, and work on the few things I need to improve and finally now I get the chance to play again tonight and I’m excited.”

The 34-year-old veteran is in the fourth year of a six-year, $36-million contract with the Canucks.

Reports from Sweden circulated over the summer that Eriksson wasn’t satisfied with his role on the team and his relationship with Canucks coach Travis Green.

Eriksson has struggled in Vancouver since joining the club, collecting 76 points across 197 total games. He has yet to crack 30 points in a season with the Canucks.

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