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Chris Higgins re-signs with Canucks for four years, $10 million

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Chris Higgins signing his extension, via the Canucks' Instagram.

It's been a busy Tuesday afternoon for the Vancouver Canucks. Only a few hours after acquiring Derek Roy from the Dallas Stars, the club has announced an extension for winger Chris Higgins.

The owner of Vancouver's most famous abs has re-signed with the club for $10 million over the next four years. It's a cap hit of $2.5 million. It's a raise of just over half a million for Higgins, who is in the second and final year of a deal that was paying him $1.9 million annually.

While he hasn't exactly been putting up contract year numbers with just 14 points in 34 games, this is a good signing for Vancouver.

[Also: Report: Jaromir Jagr dealt to Bruins; Can he help topple Penguins?]

With both Higgins and Mason Raymond slated to become unrestricted free agents, the Canucks were going to need a top-six winger come summer, and paying for one on the open market could have cost them upwards of $4M. With the cap coming down and the Canucks already up against it, retaining the versatile Higgins on the cheap is just shrewd asset management.

In exchange for a manageable deal, however, the Canucks did have to sacrifice some wiggle room. Four years is a lot, and Higgins also apparently gets a modified no-trade. Provided he continues to produce, this deal will keep looking good. But if Higgins slows down and the deal begins to look like a bad one, the Canucks really have no way to get out from under it.

As mentioned, this likely spells the end of Mason Raymond in Vancouver.

The Raymond and Higgins scenario seems somewhat similar to the summer of 2011, when the Canucks were attempting to re-sign both Christian Ehrhoff and Kevin Bieksa. They offered both players the same below market-value deal. Bieksa took it. Ehrhoff took off.

If the club did the same for Raymond and Higgins, they were wise to complete that process in advance of Wednesday at noon, when they still had the option of getting something for Raymond instead of watching him leave in a few months for nothing. Might the Canucks consider moving Raymond before the deadline?

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