Locked out Vancouver Canucks winger Aaron Volpatti is reportedly close to signing in Europe and could be the second Canuck to sign abroad.
According to News 1130 Sports, his agent Peter Cooney is currently speaking to 2-3 different teams and Volpatti “could sign soon.” Cooney attempted to get his client exemption to play in the American Hockey League, but it was not granted.
For Volpatti to play in the AHL, the Canucks would have had to place him on waivers and re-assigned him to the minors prior to the NHL locking out its players on September 15. However, the Canucks did not do this out of fear rival teams would claim the forward off waivers.
An exception was granted to fellow Canucks winger Steve Pinizzotto whereby he was allowed to sign an AHL contract instead of the Canucks placing him on waivers and assigning him to the minors on a NHL contract.
The AHL likely did not grant Volpatti an exception because they saw him as more of a “NHL player” since he played 23 games and was a regular with the big club last season. Pinizzotto missed the entire 2011-12 campaign and had yet to make his NHL debut.
The Canucks thus far have one player signed in Europe. Dale Weise signed with the Tilburg Trappers in the Netherlands last Friday and has yet to play a game for the club.