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Thursday, February 8, 2001
Canucks get Cloutier for Aucoin, draft pick



Adrian Aucoin
Aucoin

Dan Cloutier
Cloutier

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The Vancouver Canucks' search for a goaltender landed them Tampa Bay's Dan Cloutier on Wednesday.

Vancouver acquired the 24-year-old goaltender from the Lightning in exchange for defenseman Adrian Aucoin and a second-round draft pick.

In 24 games with the Lightning this year, Cloutier has a 3-13-3 record, 3.52 goals against average, .891 save percentage and one shutout.

"Dan Cloutier is a quality young goaltender who we believe will fit well with our team chemistry," Vancouver general manager Brian Burke said. "He was a high draft choice and has gained valuable experience in a relatively short period of time. He's won at the junior and international level and we look forward to having him in our lineup."

Cloutier, 24, is playing his fourth NHL season after being selected by the New York Rangers in the first round, 26th overall, of the 1994 draft. In 110 career NHL games, Cloutier has a 22-56-10 record with a 3.22 goals-against average and .895 save percentage.

"We're not putting a label on him and saying he's the No. 1 guy, but given the assets we've given up, down the road we would expect that to happen," Burke said of Cloutier. "Right now he's coming in to shore up the position."

The acquisition comes with Felix Potvin, the Canucks' designated starter coming out of training camp, struggling to a 14-17-3 record while starting most of the games on a team that is 28-18-4-4. Backup Bob Essensa is 14-5-1 despite making 16 fewer starts and has taken over as the starting goaltender in recent weeks.

Burke said he would sit down with Potvin on Thursday and give him the option of reporting to minor-league Kansas City for a two-week conditioning stint or being placed on waivers. Burke made it clear the Canucks have no intention of carrying three goaltenders in Vancouver. Potvin is making $2.7 million on a one-year contract.

Aucoin, 27, recorded three goals, 13 assists and a plus-13 rating in 47 games with Vancouver this season. He tied an NHL record for defensemen with 18 power-play goals two seasons ago, when he finished with 23 goals overall.

"Adrian is a very good defenseman with great offensive instincts," Lightning general manager Rick Dudley said. "He's someone who has also displayed the ability to play solid defensive hockey, which is evidenced by his plus-13 rating."

Aucoin, the longest-serving member of the Canucks with 341 games, was benched for a pair of games before the All-Star break, leading to speculation he would be traded.

The Canucks already were without Scott Lachance, who sprained his knee Jan. 28, and have recalled defenseman Greg Hawgood from minor-league Kansas City to replace Aucoin. Hawgood played 15 games with Vancouver this year, recording two goals and five assists.

Vancouver also sent 23-year-old center Josh Holden to Kansas City.



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