Vancouver Canucks Centre Mario Bliznak Signs with HC Sparta Praha

Kevin WContributor IIJune 7, 2011

EDMONTON, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 26: Mario Bliznak #62 of the Vancouver Canucks skates against the Edmonton Oilers on September 26, 2010 at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

Vancouver Canucks centre Mario Bliznak has signed a two-year contract with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, according to the team's website

Bliznak, 24, was set to become a free agent on July 1 after spending the past three years with the Canucks and the team's AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose.

The Canucks have until Wednesday, June 29 at 2 PM PDT to issue a qualifying offer of $605,000 to Bliznak to retain his rights.

This past season, he suited up in 74 games with the Moose scoring 11 goals and adding 16 assists. 

Bliznak also had a four-game audition in November as the team's fourth-line centre and in his first game scored his first NHL goal against Pascal Leclaire and the Ottawa Senators.

During his stint, Bliznak played well defensively and positionally, but struggled mightily in the faceoff circle, winning only 33 percent of faceoffs.