Canucks close in on Smolinski
5:31 p.m. Various reports online, including a tentative one from Sportsnet, have the Vancouver Canucks in hot pursuit of Bryan Smolinski. The apparent compensation is a second-round pick in 2007.
Vancouver's pretty tight up against the cap and needs as much scoring depth as it can get at a bargain price. Smolinski's more of a secondary player, a guy who can chip in a few points on the power play, but with Brendan Morrison struggling this season (he's on pace for just 50 points), this wouldn't be a bad addition to fill in the spots Jan Bulis and Marc Chouinard have been able to grab hold of.
I guess it's wait and see on this one, but it makes sense. The compensation figure reported is also in line with what the New York Islanders gave up for Richard Zednik.
UPDATE The Smolinski deal has been confirmed. The move to put Chouinard's $1.1-million salary on waivers and shuttle him to the Manitoba Moose was likely spurred by this pickup, as the Canucks are tight against the cap and Smolinski is due $1.881-million.