Cam Barker

Barker released from Blackhawks camp

Defenseman Cam Barker didn’t survive the latest round of Chicago Blackhawks cuts.

The 28-year-old was originally a 2004 first round pick (third overall) of the Blackhawks was dealt to the Minnesota Wild in February 2010.

After bouncing around with the Wild, Oilers and Canucks following the trade, Barker was invited to Chicago’s camp on a tryout earlier this month.

Barker spent the 2013-14 season with Barys Astana in the KHL where he scored two goals and 12 points in 26 games.

Additionally, forwards Matt Carey and Phillip Danault along with defenseman Stephen Johns were assigned to the Rockford IceHogs of the American Hockey League.

Chicago currently has 21 forwards, 11 defenseman and four goaltenders.

Canucks’ Tanev (ankle) ‘very, very, very doubtful’ for first game of playoffs


Injured Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev (ankle) is “very, very, very doubtful” to be ready for the first game of the playoffs, according to Vancouver assistant coach Rick Bowness (per TSN’s Farhan Lalji).

Tanev, 23, played an average of 17:17 in 38 games this season. If the steady, young blue-liner can’t go, head coach Alain Vigneault will have an interesting decision to make.

The top four is a given: Dan Hamhuis, Alex Edler, Kevin Bieksa, and Jason Garrison.

The bottom pairing could be veterans Keith Ballard and Andrew Alberts, but Vigneault also now has the option to dress 20-year-old rookie Frank Corrado, who’s acquitted himself rather well in two games since being called up on Monday.

Like Tanev, Corrado is a right-handed shot. (Though unlike Tanev, Corrado spent most of the season in the OHL.)

Bieksa is the only other right-shooting defenseman on the roster.

Cam Barker is also available.

Related: Bieksa also has a ‘body injury’

Injured Bieksa returned to Vancouver; Vigneault swears ‘on my daughters’ it’s not a groin


After sitting out Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis with a lower-body injury, Kevin Bieksa is being flown back to Vancouver for examination, rather than stick with the Canucks as they take on the Stars in Dallas tonight.

On that note, Alain Vigneault wants to make one thing clear — the issue isn’t with Bieksa’s groin.

“Day-to-day,” was how the Canucks head coach classified the injury, before swearing “on my daughters” that it’s not a groin problem.

Okay then!

To be fair to Vigneault, Bieksa does have a history of groin issues. The 31-year-old defenseman has been hampered with the ailment, missing seven games in March.

Bieksa also isn’t the only Vancouver defenseman on the limp right now.

Vigneault said Chris Tanev (ankle) won’t be ready for the start of the playoffs, further hampering a unit that was forced to rely on Cam Barker (17:50 TOI) and Andrew Alberts (14:19) in Tuesday’s loss to St. Louis.

In a related move, the Canucks recalled blueliner Derek Joslin from AHL Worcester on Wednesday.

No Bieksa for Canucks against Blues

Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa will sit out Tuesday’s game against the St. Louis Blues because of a lower-body injury, Sportsnet’s Dan Murphy reports.

This allows depth blueliner Cam Barker to make his way back into the lineup. Murphy reports that Barker will be paired with Alexander Edler.

Bieksa, 31, dealt with a groin injury earlier this season. It’s unclear if that’s what is plaguing him today or if it’s a different problem.

One other minor move addresses the team lower forward ranks as Tom Sestito comes in for Steven Pinizzotto. Finally, Cory Schneider will start in goal.

Canucks re-sign Higgins: Four years, $10 million


The Vancouver Canucks have had themselves a busy little Tuesday.

Shortly after acquiring Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars, the club announced it had re-signed winger Chris Higgins to a four-year deal.

Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston says the contact is worth $10 million all told.

Higgins, 29, was acquired from Florida at the 2011 NHL trade deadline and provided an immediate impact in the Vancouver lineup.

He scored eight points en route to the ’11 Cup final and scored three game-winning goals along the way, tying a franchise record for most GWGs in a single playoff season.

The Canucks rewarded Higgins with a two-year, $3.8 million deal that July, and he’s gone on to post impressive numbers.

In 2011-12, he scored 18G-25A-43PTS in 71 games, finishing fourth on the team in goals.

This year he has 9G-5A-14PTS in 35 games, tied for second on the team in goals.

How Higgins’ new deal affects Vancouver’s financial future remains to be seen. According to Capgeek, the Canucks have nearly $63 million committed to just 15 players next year, with the salary cap falling to $64.3 million.

The team has a number of unrestricted free agents — Roy, Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Max Lapierre, Andrew Alberts, Cam Barker — and will need to make decisions on RFAs like Chris Tanev and Dale Weise.

Of course, the club could use one of its amnesty buyouts to relieve some of the financial strain.