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?