The move announced via the team’s official Twitter account is just the latest twist in a turbulent 7 1/2 months for the centre, who will now become an unrestricted free agent.
Spooner, 27, was traded by the New York Rangers to the Edmonton Oilers on Nov. 16 for forward Ryan Strome. The Oilers then demoted him to the American Hockey League’s Bakersfield Condors after he put up just two goals and an assist in 25 games.
Edmonton subsequently dealt Spooner to Vancouver for centre Sam Gagner, who was also playing in the AHL at the time, on Feb. 16.
Spooner registered just four assists in 11 games with the Canucks. In a combined 53 outings with New York, Edmonton and Vancouver in 2018-19, the Ottawa native had a paltry three goals and nine points.
Spooner signed a two-year, US$8-million contract with the Rangers as a restricted free agent last summer.
According to the website capfriendly.com, Saturday’s move will save Vancouver roughly $3 million in salary cap space next season. The Canucks will pay out $1,033,333 to Spooner in both 2019-20 and 2020-21.
Drafted 45th overall by the Boston Bruins in 2010, Spooner has 48 goals and 119 assists in 325 regular-season NHL games. He’s also added two assists in four playoff outings.