Vancouver Canucks Sign Chris Higgins to 4-Year, $10M Extension

Joel ProsserCorrespondent IApril 2, 2013

VANCOUVER, CANADA - APRIL 30: Chris Higgins #20 of the Vancouver Canucks handles the puck while being chased by Shane O'Brien #55 of the Nashville Predators during the second period in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on April 30, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)
Rich Lam/Getty Images

Chris Higgins has signed a four-year, $10 million contract extension (per in advance of free agency this summer.

Like many players from the Sedins on down the roster, Higgins has left money on the table to remain a Canuck despite a very weak free-agent pool this summer. 

Acquired at the 2011 trade deadline, Higgins was an integral part of the team that made a run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final.

Stepping up to play on Ryan Kesler’s wing after Mikael Samuelson went down with injury in the the first round, Higgins posted eight points in 25 games, including a team-leading three game-winning goals.  

Higgins also laid out 70 hits, playing a gritty, physical game despite breaking his foot blocking a shot in the second round against the Nashville Predators

In 2011-12, his first full season with the Canucks, Higgins posted a very respectable 18 goals and 43 points in 71 games. His 18 goals ranked him fourth on the Canucks behind Daniel Sedin, Kesler and Alex Burrows. 

This year, Higgins is tied for second in team goal scoring with nine goals in 34 games.

Higgins is a very versatile player, able to play either wing or even fill in at center. While he plays a tenacious checking game that lends itself to the bottom six and the penalty kill, he can provide secondary scoring when playing in the top six or on the power play too.

There isn’t anything not to like about this extension if you are a Canucks fan, especially with the salary cap going down next year.

Hopefully, we get news of Maxim Lapierre and Mason Raymond signing similar extensions as well.