Canucks Land Lapierre, Higgins

The Vancouver Canucks completed two last-minute deals on Trade Deadline Day, landing Maxim Lapierre from the Anaheim Ducks and Chris Higgins from the Florida Panthers.

It looks as though Mike Gillis found the 4th line center that’s been missing all year.

Here are the two deals the Canucks made today:

  • Canucks acquire Maxim LaPierre and prospect MacGregor Sharp from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Joel Perrault and a 2012 third round draft pick.
  • Canucks acquire Chris Higgins from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Evan Oberg and a 2013 third round draft pick.

The Canucks got the 4th line center that they really needed. Lapierre is a hitting machine, with 163 hits already this year, and is pretty good in the face-off circle too (winning 100/183 faceoffs). Plus they get a prospect in exchange for their own prospect. Joel Perrault got a brief look with the Canucks tihs year, but didn’t do much to impress Canucks brass. And a quick look at Sharp’s numbers indicate that this is really just a swap of underachieving prospects.

So really the Canucks acquired Lapierre for a 3rd round pick in next year’s draft. I’ll take it.

As for the Higgins trade, the Canucks give up a defensive prospect who quickly fell down the depth chart, and a third round pick in the 2013 draft for a player who’s scored 20 goals or more 3 times, and is about to turn 28. He’s had a rough time since leaving Montreal at the end of the 2008-09 season, and is now onto his 4th team since the end of the ’09 season.

For a player with his upside and potential, Gillis gave up a depreciating prospect and a 3rd rounder two years from now. That’s a pretty good trade as for as the Canucks are concerned. Higgins will likely start on the 4th line, but given his potential to score, he could slot in on the third line with Malhotra and Torres to provide a bit of scoring pop if Higgins catches a bit of fire.

The only downside on Higgins is that he is currently out with a hand injury and won’t be back for another week to ten days. That gives the Canucks enough time to sort out how they can fit him under the cap, and who exactly will be sent down to make room for him. It’s very likely the Cody Hodgson will be sent down, as will Victor Oreskovich. Along with Lee Sweatt on LTIR that should make enough space for both Lapierre and Higgins, but we’ll see in the coming 10 days.

All in all, Canucks fans should be pleased with the moves that Gillis made, bringing in grit with some upside for some big goals, without mortgaging the future.