Canucks trade Cloutier to Kings
Goaltender Dan Cloutier and former Vancouver Canucks coach Marc Crawford are together again.
The oft-injured netminder, who missed the final 60 games of the 2005-06 NHL season following surgery on his left knee, was dealt to the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday.
In return, Vancouverreceived a 2007 second-round draft pick and a 2009 conditional pick.
"There were other teams involved over the last couple of days but I wanted to make sure we did the right thing and moved him to a place that would be good for Dan as well," Canucksgeneral managerDave Nonis said on a conference call.
"Part of our job isn't necessarily just to maximize the return but to also treat the player fairly, a player that's given you a lot of time and a lot of effort.
"I thought it was a good fit for him and a good offer for us."
Cloutier compiled a record of 8-3-1 with a 3.17 goals-against average and .892 save percentage in 13 appearances this past season, his fifth for the Canucks.
But the 30-year-old had gained a reputation for being brittle and unable to take Vancouver deep into the playoffs.
In Los Angeles, Cloutier will be reunited with Crawford, who was named coach of the Kings in May.
Nonis fired Crawford on April 25 after the team posted a 42-38-8 record but failed to qualify for the playoffs.
Cloutier underwent knee surgery last December to repair a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained in a 3-2 win at Anaheim on Nov. 20.
He has a year left on his contract worth $2.55 million US.
"Some people were still worried about Dan's injuries and I tried to assure everyone that that wouldn't be an issue," said Nonis. "I don't think he's injury-prone â¦
"It's tough to see him go. I think Dan's a top-15 goaltender in the league, and when he's on top of his game, he's better than that."
Los Angeles has been seeking an upgrade in net after Mathieu Garon had an up-and-down season last year.
Cloutier was the first goaltender inCanucks history to post threeconsecutive 30-win seasons.
"I think it's important to have an established goaltender," Kings GM Dean Lombardi said. "I think some of his best hockey's ahead of him. This kid's a competitor."
Cloutier, anative of Mont-Laurier, Que., has played for the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Canucks since being taken 26th overall by New York Rangers in 1994 NHL draft.
Mika Noronen will enter training camp in September second on the Canucks' depth chart to Roberto Luongo, who was acquired from Florida along with defenceman Lukas Krajicek on June 23 for forward Todd Bertuzzi, defenceman Bryan Allen and goalie Alex Auld.
Noronen was traded to Vancouver from Buffalo at the March 9 trade deadline and posted a 3.53 GAA and .870 save percentage in four contests with the Canucks.
Elsewhere on Wednesday:
- Restricted free-agent winger Erik Cole re-signed with the Carolina Hurricanes for three years and $12 million US.
- Defenceman Jaroslav Spacek bolted the Edmonton Oilers for a three-year, $10 million US deal with Buffalo.
- The Phoenix Coyotes signed rugged right winger Georges Laraque to a two-year contract.
- The Anaheim Ducks re-signed forward Andy McDonald for three years.
- The Philadelphia Flyers re-signed goaltender Antero Niittymaki to a one-year deal.
- Centre Jeff Halpern, who played the past six seasons in Washington, is the newest Dallas Star after inking a four-year, $8 million contract.
- Dallas also signed superpest Steve Ott (two years, $1.75 million US) and Matthew Barnaby. The tough winger will earn $645,000 US next season.
- Restricted free-agent blue-liner Karel Rachunek re-signed for one season with the New York Rangers.
With files from Canadian Press