Friday, May 6th, 2016

Signing the Sedins


Iain McIntyre has a good story on the Sedin negotiations, quoting both Gillis and the Sedin’s agent, J.P. Barry. While neither would confirm the numbers, neither denied the reports of a 12 year, $63 MM suggestion from the Sedin camp.

Backed by a tonne of irrefutable statistical data placing the Sedins among the National Hockey League’s highest and most consistent scorers since the 2004-05 lockout, Barry figures his clients are worth closer to $7 million annually.

I don’t see what the statistical data has to do with anything. The Sedins are about to become free agents – after July 1st, they are worth whatever an NHL team is prepared to pay them. Emphasis on the word them. The ballpark here is not between $5 MM and $7 MM. It is between $10 MM and $14 MM. Gillis thinks – and I agree with him – that the pair should come a lot cheaper than individual players of similar quality. The Canucks are being asked to commit $126 MM and I think that’s way too much.

I don’t like these long term deals to lessen the cap hit and I’m happy Gillis doesn’t like them either. I expect that the next few years will be difficult ones for the league and the teams that maintain flexibility are the ones that will do best in that environment.

Gaborik as (part of) the replacement is fine by me.

Update: Michael Russo writes:

For instance, it certainly appears as if the Wild is about to lose Marian Gaborik for nothing. I ran into a million NHL types yesterday who asked me about Gaborik, and each one said the same thing — losing an asset like that for nothing back is the type of thing that takes years to recover from.

I don’t get this thinking at all. I don’t think the Canucks will take years to recover if they lose the Sedins or Mathias Ohlund and get nothing back. First, once players get within sniffing distance of free agency, they are not team assets. They are independent contractors. Players are only assets (or liabilities) when they have a contract. Second, losing these players creates cap space. If the Canucks “trade” the Sedins and Ohlund for Marian Gaborik and Jay Bouwmeester, have they lost anything?

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6 Responses to “Signing the Sedins”
  1. rajeev says:

    While I agree that what Russo writes about having been told by a “million NHL types” is basically gibberish, I do think that the Wild should have traded him at the beginning of the season. Same thing with Bouwmeester. I’m not sure why teams think that players who waited their whole careers to get to unrestricted free agency, and who are only going to have one shot at it while even resembling their prime, would forego that opportunity (even when the world’s economic landscape is crumbling in front of them). The Wild gambled by thinking they’d either convince Gaborik to stay (foolishly hopeless) or that they’d get more for him at the deadline (I think a mistake). The Panters gambled by thinking they could energize the fan base, and increase what I have to imagine are unbelievably embarrassing revenues, if they made the playoffs. I think Fla’s decision is probably more defensible, even considering that they are much less likely to replace their player via UFA.

    The Canucks are in a bit of a different situation because Vancouver is an awesome place to live and the team will spend to the cap every season, so it’s not going to be as hard to attract top flight UFAs. They have a much better chance at replacing UFAs with other UFAs than, say, a Fla or a Buffalo. If you’re an elite level player that’s going to get offered basically the same amount of money from a handful of different teams, why would you ever go to a team that a) won’t spend to the cap every season and b) is a pretty great place to live and play? Despite brutal weather for part of the year, Minneapolis is a pretty great city, but the Wild haven’t had too much success on the UFA front. Maybe it’s because of Lemaire, but I’m not convinced the Wild’s ownership is committed to spending to the cap consistently (at least their previous owners didn’t seem to be) despite probably awesome revenues. I think a team’s ability to replace lost UFAs through the UFA market is going to be team dependent. Places like San Jose or LA or Anaheim or even Toronto are going to be able to attract certain high level UFAs. Places like Buffalo, Edmonton, even Montreal are not. For those teams, I think it can hurt pretty badly to lose impending UFAs for nothing. What are you supposed to do though, trade Chris Drury for a first round pick right before you’re about to make a serious run in the playoffs?

  2. Tom says:

    I agree with basically everything, Raj, but I think you are talking about different issues. The same teams that have trouble attracting free agents have trouble keeping them. I think it always hurts if a player you want to keep decides he wants out. And you are right that the cap space is a lot less valuable to a team like Florida or Buffalo. I’m not so sure about Minnesota. But that’s the CBA.

    I think both Florida and Minnesota floated trade ideas last summer, but trades are really only made during the runup to the trade deadline and the runup to the draft. It is really hard to work out a trade these days. Furthermore it isn’t clear that trading the player is the best plan even if a serious playoff run is unlikely. I don’t think the offers are very good even for the top talents as they enter the FA year. Did Florida get anything from the Luongo trade? I don’t think the Wild had a better trade for Gaborik or the Panthers for Bouwmeester.

  3. JavaGeek says:

    RE: Sedin offer. I think the offer given to the Canucks by the Sedin’s is the lowest they will go before trying out the market. Gillis’ comments to me indicate he is not all that interested in keeping the Sedins. As a result I don’t see them in Vancovuer uniforms next year, so you may just get your wish.

  4. Tom says:

    I think the offer given to the Canucks by the Sedin’s is the lowest they will go before trying out the market. Gillis’ comments to me indicate he is not all that interested in keeping the Sedins. As a result I don’t see them in Vancovuer uniforms next year, so you may just get your wish.

    I’m not sure what I wish. I’d be fine with the Sedins signing something that is less than $6 MM and for, at most, five years.

    I think the Sedins will definitely test the market. I’m not convinced there is any team willing to pay them what they’ve asked. If there is, good luck to them. If not, they could be coming back to Gillis if it is not too late.

  5. Kel says:

    Just to add another point, I don’t think the Sedins would automatically sign even if a team were to offer the 12-year deal. I do think if they hit the market, they may get offered big money (maybe not $63M, but $50M maybe), yet I’m not sure they’d be willing to sign with the highest bidder. It really seems to me that they want to come back more than Gillis wants to bring them back, so I’m not sure they want to test the UFA market because there’s a high chance that they would not receive the Sundin treatment and Gillis would spend the cap space without waiting for them. I think Gillis knows that and is banking on the Sedins to back down at the last minute because of that fear.


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