NHL Trade News: Canucks Trade Sergei Shirokov to Panthers for Mike Duco

Sean LarsonContributor IIIJuly 9, 2011

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29:  Sergei Shirokov #25 of the Vancouver Canucks waits to faceoff against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on October 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The Vancouver Canucks made another relatively quiet offseason move, acquiring left winger Mike Duco from the Florida Panthers in exchange for left winger Sergei Shirokov.

Duco scored 20 goals, 31 points, and spent 126 minutes in the penalty box in 67 games last season with the AHL's Rochester Americans. He played two games for the Panthers and spent 10 minutes in the penalty box during those games.

Duco is young at 24 and has plenty of time to continue to develop in the minors before the Canucks find a place for him on their roster in the future.

The Panthers, who have been making the most noise during this free agency period, picked up Shirokov, a 2006 sixth-round draft pick who had back-to-back 22-goal seasons with the Maniotba Moose. He appeared in eight games for the Canucks, scoring one goal.

While this trade involved two young players who have yet to prove themselves in the NHL, it should help the Canucks in the future. One of their offseason goals, especially after Raffi Torres left town, was to acquire a hard-nosed player not afraid to fight.

Duco could provide just that in the future. His numbers in the minors have been promising, and he is known as a tough player who could play an enforcer role for the Canucks sometime in the future.

While this trade won't have an immediate payoff, it was a good move from Mike Gillis.

They might have even made a bit of a steal depending on what happens with Shirokov. He recently signed a three-year deal with CSKA Moscow of the Kontinental Hockey League in Europe, so it seems likely that Shirokov will develop overseas rather than the AHL.

Duco will probably appear in more than just two games this season, but don't look for him to be a regular around Vancouver for a few seasons.

While this is another quiet move for the Canucks, they've added a tough enforcer who could fit in somewhere nicely in Vancouver in the years to come.