Jason LaBarbera Leaves Kings for Canucks

Joel LefevreAnalyst IDecember 30, 2008

The Canucks finally made a move Tuesday in an attempt to help their goaltending situation, acquiring Kings goaltender Jason LaBarbera from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a seventh round pick in the '09 entry draft.  The deal comes at a time of great excitement in Vancouver, with the arrival of Mats Sundin, who skated with the team for the first time yesterday.

With Luongo expected to be out at least until the all-star break evidently Gillis felt it was time to make a move.  What this means to the current goaltending situation is still unclear, as Sanford and Schneider have been splitting duties since Luongo's injury.

The likely move would be to send Corey Schneider back to Manitoba and then go with Sanford and LaBarbera until Luongo gets back. Whether or not that will happen is anybody's guess.

This move may also open the door down the road for the Canucks to unload a goaltender (likely Sanford) should Luongo come back this season, in exchange for another top six forward or even a top defenceman.  The Canucks do still have cap space so do not be surprised to see them make another big move when the trade deadline approaches.

LaBarbera has played 19 games this season for the Kings, posting a 5-8-4 record with a 839 save percentage and a 2.83 GAA with two shutouts.  He should be able to join the team on their upcoming road trip starting in Nashville on Thursday, and may get his first start as a Canuck as early as Friday in Atlanta.  All that is of course is speculation, but at this point that appears to be the most likely thing to do.

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