We Are All Canucks
This week, we take an indepth look at a relatively new kid on the block, one of the members of the AmEx line, a trio that was tagged by fans and media even though they had yet to play a meaningful game this season.
Today, the spotlight shines on Chris Higgins.
Coming over late last season, Higgins, after a five year stint in Montreal, became something of an NHL vagabond, playing for three teams between 2009-2011 (Rangers, Flames, Panthers) before being picked up by the Canucks for Evan Oberg and a third round draft pick in 2013.
With a quick shot release, a willingness to battle along the boards and fast on his feet, Higgins was exactly the player that the Canucks needed to help reach the next level.
After using his fourteen games to get his feet wet last year and establish a spot on the roster, Higgins has shown during his 37 games this season, that he is back to the level of blue collar two way play that he provided the Canadians when he first came into the league.
While averaging 24-26 shifts per game, Higgins has bounced between the Canucks second and third line this season, and barring any major injury, the opportunity to have a career best season stat wise is available.
Playing in all 82 games in the 07-08 season for the Canadians, Higgins tallied 52 points (27 goals, 25 assists), a mark that he could surpass this season.
Sitting at 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 37 games, Higgins could have used the three games he missed during the Canucks New Years California trip to help boost his stat total.
Unfortunately a mysterious hand injury placed Higgins in hospital, following Vancouver’s Boxing Day victory over the Edmonton Oilers, the night in which Higgins posted an assist on Andrew Ebbett‘s game opening goal.
For Higgins, it was the last time he made an appearance in the box score, something that both he and the team hopes will change on Monday night as the team takes on one of Higgins former clubs, the Florida Panthers.
With Mason Raymond‘s healthy return from his playoff back injury and David Booth currently on the injured list with a wonky MCL, the chances of the AmEx line ever really taking off for the Canucks appear to be on the backburner, but that does not seem to faze Higgins as he fits perfectly alongside Raymond and Ryan Kesler.
Following his three team excursion, Higgins looks to have finally made a home with the Canucks regardless of whether his linemates are European, Canadian or American.
Chris Higgins Profile:
Position: Left Wing
Weight: 205 lbs
Birthdate: June 2nd, 1983
Birthplace: Smithtown, NY
Draft: 1st round, 14th overall 2002 by Montreal
LAST FIVE STAT LINE:
Canucks Record: 3-2 Goals: 0, Assists: 1, Points: 1, Plus/Minus +1