The revolving door between Winnipeg and Vancouver continued to spin this morning with the announcement that Russian sniper Sergei Shirokov is headed back down to the Manitoba Moose while Slovak centreman Mario Bliznak is on his way up to the Vancouver Canucks.
The move comes one night after another former Moose player, Alexandre Bolduc, reinjured his shoulder in a Canucks game against Los Angeles, creating a need for another centreman on the battered Canucks lineup.
Shirokov is a winger and while he was prolific in ten games with the Moose this season, he’d failed to impress in Vancouver since getting called up last Sunday. Shirokov has failed to record a point in six games with the Canucks over two different stints in the NHL this season and was dropped to the fourth line in the Canucks 2-1 shootout win over the Kings Thursday night.
Bliznak has had two goals and three assists with the Moose this season, while Shirokov had four goals and six assists with the Moose.
Moose head coach Scott Arniel said prior to his team’s morning skate at the MTS Centre today that Shirokov is scheduled to arrive on a plane from Vancouver at 5 p.m. local time today and he is hoping the Russian can be at the MTS Centre in time to get into the lineup for tonight’s game against the Wilkes-Barre Penguins. The puck drops at 7:30 pm...
"We’re just hoping that everything works on the airline schedule side of things and he can get himself here for game-time," Arniel said.
While the Moose will be delighted to have Shirokov’s goal scoring abilities on a club that has played to two 0-0 regulation ties in the past three games, Arniel said he’s also giving up a valuable player in Bliznak.
"He’s a guy who at both ends of the rink is going to be an honest player every night," Arniel said of Bliznak, a defensive player who has generally been matched up against the other team’s top line this year.
"Bliz is a guy who you look down at the end of the bench and you know that he’s going to be pretty steady."