Chris Higgins is back in Vancouver.
According to a report from Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar, the ex-Canuck appears set to rejoin the team in a player development role.
Sounds like Chris Higgins is joining the #Canucks in a player development role. Similar to what Scott Walker was doing.
— Irfaan Gaffar (@sportsnetirf) July 29, 2019
Higgins appears to be a replacement type for Scott Walker, who is no longer with the team. Walker had been serving as the Canucks’ Director of Player Development before getting hired by the Coyotes this offseason to serve as a Special Assistant to GM John Chayka.
Walker had been with the Canucks since 2015-16 where he started as a Development Coach and then was moved to the Director of Player Development in 2018-19. Walker also remained owner of the OHL Guelph Storm throughout his time with the Canucks.
It was clear the Canucks were going to make some moves this summer in terms of player development. Walker worked with the Canucks prospects and was part of the decision-making regarding amatuer players. Bringing in an ex-Canuck in Higgins is a nice step in helping compensate for Walker’s departure and providing support to Utica Comets GM Ryan Johnson.
According to fans in attendance, Higgins was present throughout Vancouver’s 2019 Development camp at UBC this summer. It isn’t much of a surprise that he’s rejoining the team. Higgins spent the last six years of his NHL career with the Canucks and was a nice supporting piece on the 2011 squad that made it to the Stanley Cup Final.
Higgins final year in Vancouver (2015-16) was derailed by injury. He fractured his foot blocking a shot just 20 minutes into his first preseason game and never got back on track. He only played 33 games for the Canucks that season and was sent down to Utica in January. In 22 games with the Comets, Higgins recorded nine goals. The Canucks bought out the remaining year of his contract in June of 2016.
Higgins attempted to resurrect his NHL career in the 2016 offseason as he landed a PTO with the Calgary Flames. He was released by the team, though, before the season began.
While Higgins didn’t get his Cup in 2011, he’ll have another chance with the Canucks in a new role and with a different core.