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Vancouver Canucks Acquire Maxim Lapierre and Chris Higgins in Separate Deals

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 12:  Maxim Lapierre #14 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the St. Louis Blues at the Honda Center on January 12, 2011 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images
Kevin WContributor IIFebruary 28, 2011

The Vancouver Canucks did not acquire the heavily rumoured Marty Reasoner from the Florida Panthers or Zenon Konopka from the New York Islanders.

Instead, the Canucks acquired two surprise players: centre Maxim Lapierre from the Anaheim Ducks and left winger Christopher Higgins from the Florida Panthers.

 

Maxim Lapierre

This is the second time Lapierre has been traded this season. He was first traded from the Montreal Canadiens to the Anaheim Ducks on December 31 for Brett Festerling and a fifth round pick in 2012.

The Canucks sent centre Joel Perrault and a third-round pick to the Ducks for Lapierre and minor leaguer MacGregor Sharp.

Lapierre brings an interesting dynamic to the Canucks. He brings grit, face-off skills, and agitating qualities.

In 21 games with the Ducks, Lapierre has 59 hits for an average of 2.8 hits per game. He holds the best face-off percentage on the Ducks team at 53.4 percent.

Prior to joining the Ducks, Lapierre had 104 hits in 38 games (2.7 hits per game) and 58 percent face-off percentage with the Montreal Canadiens. 

Lapierre is a well-known agitator around the league. With Alex Burrows and Ryan Kesler now focused on scoring goals, this was an element missing from the Canucks lineup. 

We saw last year how Dave Bolland and Adam Burish were able to drive Daniel Sedin and the Canucks crazy last year.

The Canucks will be the ones driving opponents crazy rather than being driven crazy.

Joel Perrault was an expendable player who didn't quite work out for the Canucks on the fourth line and has been a disappointment as a first line centre for the Manitoba Moose. He is currently out with an injury.

In a separate transaction, the Ducks assigned forward Jason Jaffray to the Manitoba Moose. 

 

Christopher Higgins

Christopher Higgins was picked up for defenseman Evan Oberg and a third-round pick.

He broke his left thumb on Friday in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers and is out at least 7-10 days before he can return to the lineup.

When he does return to the lineup, it will be interesting where does he play. In 2005-06, he potted 23 goals with Montreal, then 22 in 2006-07, and then 27 in 2007-08.

So he does have some goal-scoring prowess, it will be interesting to see where he plays in the Canucks lineup.

Does he take over Mason Raymond's left wing spot on the second line?

Will he move to the right wing and play with Raffi Torres on the third line and bump Jannik Hansen to the fourth line? Or will he be on the fourth line?

 

Cody Hodgson

With these moves, expect Cody Hodgson to be returned to the minors and it remains to be seen if Victor Oreskovich and Jeff Tambellini sticks with the team.

Tambellini requires waivers to be sent down, but any player claimed off waivers is ineligible to play for the new team for the rest of the season. It would be relatively safe to get Tambellini down.

The AHL's Clear Day rosters must be declared by March 7 at 12 p.m. PST.

Only players on the list can compete for that AHL team for the remainder of the regular season and the Calder Cup playoffs.

 

Kevin W is a featured columnist for the Vancouver Canucks on Bleacher Report and regularly blogs on his website, InsideCanucks.com. You can follow him at Twitter at @icanucks. 

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