Canucks lose winger Aaron Volpatti to Washington Capitals
'Mixed feeling' for Revelstoke native leaving his home province
Aaron Volpatti of the Vancouver Canucks celebrates his goal Friday night that gave Vancouver a 3-0 lead over the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
Photograph by: Harry How, Getty Images
VANCOUVER — As ex-Vancouver Canuck fourth-liner Aaron Volpatti headed east Thursday to join the Washington Capitals, veteran centre Andrew Ebbett was flying west to rejoin the Canucks after his recall from the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.
The Canucks had been trying to get Volpatti down to the Wolves for more playing time and were willing to risk losing him on waivers, which is precisely what transpired when the Capitals claimed him.
Volpatti, a 27-year-old native of Revelstoke, was a healthy scratch in three of the last five games and was averaging just 7:18 of ice time, lowest on the Canucks by more than two minutes.
"It’s a bit of a mixed feeling," Volpatti said before he left for Washington. "I’m happy to stay in the NHL and have a new opportunity but Vancouver was my first shot and, being a B.C. kid, I really loved it here. So, as I said, it’s a bit of a mixed feeling."
Volpatti admitted he was somewhat caught off guard by the Canucks’ decision to place him on waivers. He was told following Tuesday night’s 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
"Yeah, I was a little bit surprised," he said. "I was healthy scratched a few games there but I thought I could still contribute. My plan, if I did clear, was to hopefully be back shortly."
Volpatti appeared in 54 games as a Canuck over three seasons. He scored three goals and added one assist. This season, he netted one goal, fought four times and had 28 penalty minutes. He was in the final year of his contract paying him a pro-rated $600,000. He stands to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Ebbett, meanwhile, was summoned to fill the void left by Ryan Kesler’s broken right foot. The 30-year-old from Vernon began the lockout-shortened season with the big club but dressed for just five games and was a frequent healthy scratch until being dispatched Feb. 18 to the Wolves.
Ebbett had no points in the NHL but 25 for the Wolves in 32 AHL appearances. In 168 career NHL games with five different teams, Ebbett has 24 goals and 58 points.
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