Breaking news: The Canucks issued a press release this morning announcing they are planning to trade Chris Higgins,at some point, to somewhere. I can't ever recall a team issuing a press release like this, and I'm not sure I understand why they'd take this step. It's like placing him outside Rogers Arena with a 'for sale' sign wrapped around his neck.
Ben Kuzma suggested the most plausible reason I can think of for the club's announcement
Well, if there's no interest, letting season-ticket holders know they tried is wise if they have to waive him. https://t.co/1C4K2OqThz— Ben Kuzma (@benkuzma) January 10, 2016
And this from Elliotte Friedman
Ultimately, I'd guess VAN knew news would break when Higgins not at practice...figured best strategy was to get in front of it.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 10, 2016
Higgins is owed $2.5 million through next season. I don't see many suitors for that, so I expect the Canucks will have to retain some salary in order to move Higgins.
Higgins had some friends and/or family taking pictures in front of his stall in the Canucks' locker-room after Friday's practice.— Josh Clipperton (@JClipperton_CP) January 10, 2016
Higgins is not with team and won't be until situation is resolved, I was just told by team spokesman. #Canucks— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) January 10, 2016
At least two former players tweeted that doing this to Higgins is not the best look for the organization:
Players remember moments like these next time they are asked for a hometown discount, or loyalty to organization. https://t.co/Wq7k8nBzT0— Mike Johnson (@mike_p_johnson) January 10, 2016
I've heard of NHL players asking for a trade but I've never heard of management announcing it first. Why not just healthy scratch him?— Garry Valk (@garryvalk) January 10, 2016
Post-game links from last night's Horvat and Baertschi show:
Jeff Patterson, including some good perspective on Higgins
Thomas Drance says Jake Virtanen showed last night he can help the Canucks win now, and they should keep him.
The Provies, now with even more goat-gate hand wringing.
Coach confirms Markstrom starts & Etem makes #Canucks debut Monday vs Florida. Also says Sutter & Sbisa will be on upcoming road trip.— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) January 10, 2016
Links to the weekend columns:
Steve Simmons, only because he includes this:
Roberto Luongo is sneaking into the conversation for both the Vezina and Hart Trophies. The first half seemed almost all Braden Holtby for the Vezina as top goaltender. And the first-half MVP is somewhere between Patrick Kane and Jamie Benn. But with the first-place Panthers as hockey’s hottest team, Luongo has to be considered for both awards.
Fluto Shinzawa (who, quietly, has become one of NHL's best columnists)
Bruce Garrioch's weekly knee slappers.
The Hockey Night in Canada Sunday Headlines, in case you missed them
Tonight marks the return of Ricky Gervais to the Golden Globe Awards. Took a long while for him to be invited back, given his nasty, mean, but funny jokes, like these: