Slegr is plus-6 in 16 games this season

Updated: January 18, 2004, 2:25 AM ET
Associated Press

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- The Vancouver Canucks traded veteran defenseman Jiri Slegr to the Boston Bruins on Saturday for future considerations.

Slegr, 32, signed a one-year, $800,000 contract with the Canucks in early September after splitting last season between leagues in Russia and his native Czech Republic.

Slegr was a healthy scratch 30 times with the Canucks. He recorded two goals, five assists and a plus-6 rating in 16 games while averaging a little more than 12 minutes of ice time. He also saw occasional power-play time.

"I am happy to be going to a team that wants me, but I'm not happy to leave Vancouver. I love it here," Slegr said.

He started the season platooning with Bryan Allen as the Canucks' sixth defenseman. But Slegr's playing time drop off as Allen emerged as a physical force and steady penalty killer.

A 10-year NHL veteran, Slegr was originally selected by the Canucks in the second round of the 1990 draft. He has 47 goals and 167 assists in 554 career games with Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Detroit, and two stints in Vancouver.

Slegr won the Stanley Cup with Detroit in 2002 before returning to Europe the following season.

He played 10 games last season with HC Litvinov Chemopetrol of the Czech Elite League and six more with Omsk Avangard of the Russian League, recording three goals and five assists before sustaining hernia and groin injuries.

The Canucks recalled 19-year-old forward Ryan Kesler from Manitoba of the American Hockey League and put him in the starting lineup Saturday night against Anaheim.

Kesler, the Canucks' first-round pick in last year's draft, scored his first NHL goal during a seven-game stint earlier in the season. He was also a member of the USA gold-medal winning team at the World Junior Hockey Championships earlier this month.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press