'Nucks pick up 'Smo', 'Sope'

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

For the second consecutive season, Brent Sopel was packing a suitcase on the eve of the National Hockey League's trading deadline.

The Vancouver Canucks regained the defenceman by sending the Los Angeles Kings a second round pick in 2007 or 2008 and a fourth rounder in 2008. The New York Islanders sent Sopel to the Kings on March 8, 2006.

"It's a playoff spot, that's what we play for, and it's been a while since I've been in the playoffs," Sopel said. "So whatever they want me to do, I'm going to go out there and do it."

The Calgary native had four goals and 19 points in 44 games with L.A. He missed most of November with a foot injury. Vancouver drafted Sopel in 1995's sixth round. He recorded 32 goals and 93 assists over six seasons. He was dealt to Long Island in 2005.

The Canucks also picked up centre Bryan Smolinski from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2007 second-round pick. Smolinski has 14 goals and 23 assists in 62 Windy City games. He'll be an unrestricted free agent in July. He could, however, finish his career across the street from B.C. Place Stadium where the Boston Bruins drafted him in the first round in 1990. The Canucks will be his seventh team.

The NHL's trading deadline is noon Pacific today.


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