CANUCKS ACQUIRE YAN STASTNY
The deadline has officially come. Mike Gillis announced today that the Vancouver Canucks have acquired Yan Stastny from the St. Louis Blues in return for forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie. Stastny will report to the Manitoba Moose.
The 27 year old American Slovak has played 91 games in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues, Boston Bruins, and the Edmonton Oilers. In those games he recorded 16 points (6-10-16). This season Stastny played for the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen. In 49 games he has accumulated 27 points (10-17-27), and participated in the 2005 IIHF World Championships for Team USA.
Stastny was selected in the eighth round, 259th overall by the Boston Bruins in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
BRAD LUKOWICH ASSIGNED TO THE MOOSE
Mike Gillis also announced today that Canuck defenceman Brad Lukowich has been re-assigned to the AHL's Manitoba Moose.
The 33 year old Cranbrook, BC native has played 13 games with the Canucks this season recording two points (1-1-2). Lukowich has played 653 games in the NHL overall recording 113 points (23-90-113).
Lukowich has played for six other teams in the NHL including the Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, and the San Jose Sharks. He was originally selected by the New York Islanders 90th overall in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.
MATHIEU SCHNEIDER TO PHOENIX FOR SEAN ZIMMERMAN
The Canucks have acquired defenceman Sean Zimmerman and a 2010 conditional sixth-round draft selection from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for defenceman Mathieu Schneider.
The 22 year old from Denver, Colorado has recorded seven points (2-5-7) in 54 games with the AHL's San Antonio Rampage, and played in the 2007 World Junior Championships with Team USA winning bronze.
Zimmerman was originally selected in the sixth round, 170th overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
GAME DAY NOTES
After another third period comeback Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets ending in 4-3, the Canucks play again today against the Detroit Red Wings.
It will be the third time the two teams meet this season. The Canucks haven’t been able to defeat the Red Wings in their two previous matches, losing 5-4 on October 27 at home and 3-1 on November 12 at the Joe, and hope for a better result tonight.
Last season, the series was a tie at 2-2, and the Red Wings finished at the top of the Central Division and second in the West before losing the Stanley Cup battle to the Pittsburg Penguins in the finals. This time around the Red Wings are fighting for a playoff position - something unfamiliar to them - and currently sit in eighth place in the West and third in the Central Division with 70 points (29-21-12).
Like the Canucks, the Red Wings have battled injuries all season, but with the return of key players such as forward Johan Franzen (4-2-6) who suffered a torn ACL in his knee, forward Tomas Holstrom (16-11-27) who was also out with a knee injury, and defenceman Andres Lilja who had missed the whole season so far with a concussion, they continue to contend for a spot in the playoffs, a spot that the Canucks are fighting for as well.
“It’s a final stretch and we’re trying to prepare for the playoffs,” said Henrik Sedin. “It’s going to be an important stretch for us. It’s still a close race so we have to take every point we can on this road trip.”
Canuck twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin will face four former teammates from Team Sweden, two of which are the second and third leading scorers for the Red Wings, Henrik Zetterberg (16-32-48), and Niklas Lidstrom (7-30-37).
The Red Wings defeated the Colorado Avalanche Monday 3-2, and are 4-3-3 in their last ten. Their goaltender Jimmy Howard (22-13-8) is tied for third in the league with a .927 save percentage, and is fifth in the league for GAA with 2.28.
Roberto Luongo reunites with former Team Canada bench boss Mike Babock and will start in net after taking a rest last game against the Blue Jackets.
“Yesterday and today I’ve been doing well in practice and have lots of energy,” said Luongo. “Like I’ve said in the past, winning energizes you more than losing so I’m looking forward to tonight’s game.”
Even with a victory Tuesday against Columbus, the Canucks did have to come back after being down two goals, and are first in the league for coming back after two periods with eight wins. Though they’ve proved they can make those comebacks, the Canucks want to start off stronger in the opening frame tonight.
“It’s a good feeling knowing that we can get back from being down two but in the long run it’s going to be tough,” said Daniel.