Vancouver’s UFA’s in 2013 – Part 4
Name: Chris Higgins
Contract Expires: July 1st, 2013
Current Cap Hit: $1,900,000
When Chris Higgins was traded to Vancouver from the Florida Panthers at the trade deadline in 2011, people didn’t exactly know where he would fit into the line up.
The Canucks were well on their way to their first Presidents’ Trophy, they were first in almost all statistical categories and they had perhaps the best three lines in the NHL.
After sitting out initially due to an injury he sustained while with the Panthers, Higgins was able to make his way into the line up and work his way up from the fourth line.
Higgins versatility allowed him to comfortably move from the fourth through to the second line.
The 2011-2012 season was Chris Higgins best statistical season since 2007-2008. He registered 18 goals and had 25 assists for 43 points. Though he missed 11 games, Higgins was able to establish himself as a key part of the 2nd and 3rd lines.
When he was in the lineup he was one of the most consistent Canucks. 2011-2012 really was the rebirth of Chris Higgins.
We we’re able to see glimpses of that 27 goal scorer from the 07-08 season, as well as a player who was reliable in all three zones of the ice.
2013 Free Agency
It’s hard to say what happens with Chris Higgins. What value do you put on a consistent and highly underrated player who can chip in with timely goals, kill penalties and move up and down the lineup with ease?
I’m not sure what it takes for Vancouver and Higgins to reach an agreement as easily as they did in 2011, but I would work on it sooner rather than later.
There are also a number of things that could factor in to the Canucks thought process before they decide to start negotiations with Higgins.
Do they see him staying in the 3rd line slot?
What other players of that caliber are available in 2013?
Is there going to be a youth movement in Vancouver anytime soon and if so, does one of the up and comers take a run at Higgins role on the team?
Life without Chris Higgins
I’m not sure there is any urgency for Vancouver to extend Higgins before his deal is up. That’s not to say that they won’t bring him back, but like I said before the situation has to be right for it to happen.
Also, it depends where the team is in a year, how they finish the season, what they feel they need to improve or need to change in general.
Who knows where Chris Higgins fits into that.
I think he’ll fit into the teams’ plans for this season and quite possibly one more.