A little more than a week after the Dallas Stars traded Brenden Morrow to the Pittsburgh Penguins, general manager Joe Nieuwendyk pulled another trade from under his sleeve on Tuesday. This time, he sent center Derek Roy to the Vancouver Canucks for prospect Kevin Connauton and a second-round draft pick.
Roy will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year, and Nieuwendyk must’ve felt that he couldn’t re-sign Roy to an extension. According to a report by Mike Helka of the Dallas Morning-News, Nieuwendyk was in the process of trying to negotiate extensions for not only Roy but also Jaromir Jagr and Eric Nystrom, but wasn’t progressing towards an agreement. This ensures the Stars get something for Roy in the event a contract couldn’t be agreed upon by the time he entered the free agency market.
Kevin Connauton was drafted by the Canucks in the third-round of the 2009 NHL Draft. He was currently on the roster of the Chicago Wolves, who is Vancouver’s AHL affiliate (soon to be the St. Louis affiliate). In less than three full seasons, Connauton has scored 31 goals to go along with 81 points. Many scouts feel that he is almost NHL-ready, and that while his defensive skills may be lacking his value is placed when he controls the puck.
Vancouver gets a guy who fills a large hole down the middle. The Canucks have been without the services of face-off specialist Manny Malhotra, who was removed from the lineup due to vision loss suffered in an injury in 2011. Ryan Kesler has also missed significant time due to injury. After using Andrew Ebbett and Jordan Schoreder as centers, the Canucks felt it was time to make a move that was a long-term solution.