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Canucks acquire Bernier

by Phil Coffey

The Vancouver Canucks have added a fresh face in restricted free agent Steve Bernier.

Bernier was acquired from Buffalo Sabres on Friday in exchange for a third-round selection in the 2009 Entry Draft that the Canucks had acquired in a previous trade with the Los Angeles Kings. Vancouver also will send a second-round selection in the 2010 Entry Draft to the Sabres.

"Steve Bernier is a highly regarded young player who's enjoyed success early in his career...With his right-handed shot he will be a great addition to our top-six forward group and an asset to our power play."
-- Canucks GM Mike Gillis

He will help fill the gap created by Markus Naslund’s signing with the New York Rangers.

Steve Bernier is a highly regarded young player who's enjoyed success early in his career," said Canuck general manager Mike Gillis. "With his right-handed shot he will be a great addition to our top-six forward group and an asset to our power play."

Bernier, originally drafted 16th overall in the 2003 Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks, was traded to the Sabres last season in the deal that sent Brian Campbell to the Sharks.
"When I got the call I was shocked," Bernier said via a conference call. "Right now the only thing I am thinking about is getting in shape and having a chance to improve myself with the Vancouver Canucks.
“I didn't see this coming,” Bernier continued. “I got traded last year in February. I thought I was going to stay there (Buffalo) for a little while. It took me by surprise but it's part of the job. I'm going to Vancouver and it's tough not to be happy."
With San Jose last season, Bernier scored 13 goal and 10 assists. He added three goals and six assists in 17 games with the Sabres.

For his career, Bernier has 45 goals and 45 assists in 177 regular-season games. As a rookie in 2005-06 with the Sharks, Bernier scored 14 goals and 13 assists in 39 games. In 2006-07, he netted 15 goals and 16 assists in 62 games.

For his career, he has one goal and six assists in 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
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