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Return To Vancouver

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks

By Josh Plummer

Canucks GM Dave Nonis re-acquired defenceman Brent Sopel for a second and fourth round pick on Monday afternoon in a move designed to add depth to an already solid defensive corps.

Strong work, Mr. Nonis. Very strong work.

Sopel played six years with the Canucks before signing with the New York Islanders in 2005 and he hasn't seen playoff action since. The Calgary native is chomping at the bit to get back into the post-season with Vancouver and during yesterday's conference call he said he's looking forward to helping out any way he can.

"My family is very excited, we never wanted to leave Vancouver in the first place," said Sopel. "I'll do whatever the Canucks want me to do."

Vancouver is known throughout the league for their feisty work ethic, but they're also well known for having a solid cohesiveness in the dressing room. Sopel (or Sopes as he's affectionately known) will be a welcome addition because he's played with a lot of the current roster guys and won't alter anything.

"I'm going to come in, slide right in there, have fun with the boys and do what we need to do to win," he said.

I wonder if he'll get his old stall back?

One thing for sure is he won't be wearing jersey number 3. Kevin Bieksa inherited that sweater and I'm not sure anyone wants to get in an argument with Bieksa about, well....anything.

Sopel will put on #4. Other notable Canucks to wear the #4 are Barry Wilkins - the man who scored the first ever goal for Vancouver way back in 1970, Gerald Diduck and Rick Lanz. Let's not forget about rookie sensation Luc Bourdon.

Funny story about Sopel.

While he was with Vancouver, he briefly inherited the nickname "Clark" because his house was decked out with more Christmas lights than Clark Griswold in the hilarious Christmas Vacation movie. The glow from the bright lights emanated for blocks. The sound you hear is Vancouver residents quickly closing their drapes.

It's no secret the Canucks number one asset is Roberto Luongo. At 6'2, 205 pounds, Sopel will do more than an admirable job of patrolling the blue paint and knocking around anyone who comes close to Luongo.

He's got a right-handed shot, a good first pass and he can play on the power-play and penalty-kill. What else can you ask for?

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