The Calgary Flames have announced the signing of Chris Higgins to a professional try-out. Higgins was bought out earlier this summer by the Vancouver Canucks after a dreadful 2015-16 season that saw him relegated to the AHL for the first time in over a decade.
Higgins, 33, has declined rapidly in recent years and put up only four points in 33 games last season at the NHL level. A former three-time twenty-goal scorer, he could once be counted on to provide 30-40 points while playing a solid two-way game. The Canucks decided he wasn’t going to be able to recapture that skill though, buying out the final year of his contract to save less than $2MM in cap space this season; Higgins will be paid $833K for the next two years, making any contract he earns in Flames camp a bonus.
This isn’t the first time Higgins will be in a Calgary sweater, as the team acquired him in 2010 from the Rangers in a four-player swap. Ironically, that was during his second worst season of his career, one that saw him score only 17 points in 72 games. Perhaps the Flames are convinced they can turn him around this time, and provide some veteran leadership to a group led by young forwards.