Benefit: Higgins can start fresh
The main factor holding Higgins back from being traded was his contract. Even GM Benning announced in the offseason that there was no market for Higgins. Turns out that as the market stays shut for Higgins once more, thanks to his contract.
Well, now that he is in the AHL, his contract becomes more attractive for the other NHL teams.
That would add up to be just under $3.7 million for Higgins through the end of next season. Comets coach Travis Green wants to get Higgins up to the NHL again, and that would be good news for the Canucks as they try to move him out for something in return. In that case, Vancouver should give Higgins as much time as they can give him before they trade him. Let him get some wins for the Comets, mentor them, and up his value.
Playing in Utica rather than in Vancouver also brings Higgins closer to home. From Utica to Higgins’ hometown — Smithtown, New York — is just a one-hour flight or a four-hour drive. You can bet that he is going to feel the familiar air around him and settle down to reflect on his career now that he is essentially back home.
Higgins said in an interview after Monday’s practice with the Comets that he was “huffing and puffing” after not having played for a while.
Also, the New York Islanders can get a better look at him. The Islanders were looking for bottom-six help, and it would be a great story to bring Higgins back to his hometown NHL club. Playing in the East Coast certainly exposes Higgins to all the pro scouts of the Eastern Conference.
Higgins’ time with the Canucks is over. But his contributions to the club can last even after he leaves. He can leave knowing that he has breathed an air of confidence into Vey and Etem and that he has allowed that third line to gel together and free Horvat up. He can leave knowing that the future of the Canucks is brighter thanks to his stint with the Comets. And finally, he can fetch the Canucks a mid-round pick in return to aid their rebuild.
See? It is a win-win for everyone involved.
What is your take on the future of Chris Higgins and his contributions to the Canucks organization? Have your say in the comments section below!