After he failed to make the team and was sent to the minor leagues, Alex Biega is now on his way to a new team. The Vancouver Canucks have traded the veteran defenseman to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for David Pope. Biega cleared waivers earlier this month and can be assigned directly to the AHL.
There just wasn’t room for Biega on the Canucks this season, after adding Tyler Myers, Jordie Benn, Quinn Hughes and Oscar Fantenberg to the blueline. The 31-year old played 41 games for the team last season and actually set a career-high in point with 16, but needed a fresh start if he was ever going to get back to being a full-time NHL option. In Detroit, Biega will have to keep fighting for that opportunity as they too have some young players taking on bigger roles. On the final year of his current deal and earning $825K no matter where he plays, Biega could be kept with the NHL club as an extra defenseman or brought up if injuries occur.
Pope’s inclusion in the deal really only represents a way for the Red Wings to even out the contracts. The 25-year old winger split last season between the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL and Toledo Walleye of the ECHL, totaling seven points in 35 regular season games. A very strong playoffs with the Walleye is encouraging, but with just one year left on his entry-level deal it’s hard to imagine Pope ever plays a meaningful role for the Canucks.