Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
...But the issue isn’t whether the Canucks will collapse if they fail to sign the Sedins. The issue is whether they will be better positioned to win the Stanley Cup if they don’t sign the twins. That, after all, is supposed to be the goal here and, to that end, things become pretty clear.
If the recent history of the NHL has taught us anything, it’s that any attempt to assemble core players through free agency is a loser’s game. This was true in the pre-cap world when the Detroits, New Jerseys and Colorados were largely home-grown enterprises. It’s certainly true in the salary-cap world, where it’s a given that free agency represents the most inefficient, and dangerous, method of team-building.
Teams might be able to fill one or two holes in their lineups by dipping into the free-agent pool.
But no one in their right mind would try to sign their best players that way.
It appears as thought the Vancouver Canucks will have to break the bank if they want to hold on to the Sedin brothers.
According to a report on Swedish website expressen.se, Daniel and Henrik Sedin are looking for identical 12-year contracts worth $63 million each, similar to the one signed by fellow countryman Henrik Zetterberg with the Detroit Red Wings.
from Ian MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun,
A smart betting man would wager that Kesler, not goaltender Luongo, will be the first Canuck to sign a long-term extension this summer.
Canuck general manager Mike Gillis said before leaving for Vegas that he’d be speaking with both to get an idea how they might like to proceed on July 1, when teams are eligible to extend contracts due to expire after next season.
Luongo is due to become an unrestricted free agent 12-and-a-half months from now. Kesler would be a restricted free agency with, likely, a load of leverage in salary arbitration. He’ll make $1.75 million US next year, Luongo $7.5 million US.
“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with him,” Gillis said of Luongo, who has said he’ll stay in Vancouver if he feels the Canucks have a chance to win the Stanley Cup. “Very preliminary.
Some great pictures from the Las Vegas Sun of Alexander Ovechkin and Ryan Kesler skating at outdoors at Caesars Palace. Both players were there to participate in a NHL 2K10 outdoor motion capture session.
Also some video of AO in action…
from Jason Botchford of The White Towel at the Vancouver Province,
With three weeks to go before the Sedin twins are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, there’s one thing you can be sure of: Mike Gillis is willing to walk away.
It’s not ideal for the Canucks. Reloading without the Sedins is rife with land mines. There’s the unknown factors of free agency (who will be available and at what cost?). And the trade market is littered with bloated contracts and question marks. Yet, Gillis is willing to take a calculated risk he can quickly rebuild this team without the twins.
from Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun,
The Vancouver Canucks plan to start contract talks with twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin in the next week or two, assistant GM Laurence Gilman said Wednesday.
“We have a few weeks remaining between now and July 1 and we anticipate that we’ll be speaking with them shortly,” Gilman said from Winnipeg after he scouted the Manitoba Moose playoff game Tuesday night. “I would say we’re going to begin negotiations with them in the next week to two weeks.”
Asked if the team intended to wrap things up prior to the June 26-27 entry draft, Gilman could not offer any guarantees.
“Ideally we would,” he replied. “If we’re going to get them done, we’d like to get them done sooner rather than later. But it is conceivable that we’ll get to the draft and they’re not done — and it could go down to the wire.”
from Yvonne Zacharias of the Vancouver Sun,
Crooner Michael Buble is in Los Angeles these days recording a new album set to be released Oct. 15.
But don’t think he hasn’t made time for hockey. The Vancouver native, who is a part owner of the Vancouver Giants, is a huge hockey fan. He watched the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs, including their 7-5 loss to Chicago in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal, at his home in the City of Angels.
Q: What did you think?
A: I was disgusted. I have to take you back to Game 4 with a period left where [Alain] Vigneault stopped sending in two guys and started playing the trap. All year, when everyone kept saying, “Fire the coach!”, I kept saying No, he is a good coach. But every time the Canucks were up by one, he started to employ the trap. We should have won this series. I think the Canucks should have gone home up 3-1 and that would have been that. Instead, I think [Vigneault] tried to play a chess match. I don’t think we were beat by a better team ... I think we were out-coached.
A few months ago I was introduced to Michael’s music and was very impressed, glad to know he is a hockey fan too.
“Last summer, obviously, I didn’t know whether I was going to play or not and I definitely am going to take my time to make a good decision this summer. Right now, I wouldn’t know what my future is going to be, whether I will play or not.”
-Mats Sundin. More from Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun.
from Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province,
...The irony, then, is that the Canucks will have to trade Luongo in order to build a team that would be good enough to win with Luongo.
Think about it for a minute. It’s now apparent the Canucks have more holes in their lineup than Luongo can fill. Their defence was exposed against the Blackhawks as too slow and too conservative. They need scoring. They could also use more size. And speed.
Trading Luongo would not only bring in some prized assets for the organization, it could free up the capital to make a run at a Jay Bouwmeester and make it easier to sign the Sedins.
Granted, this means turning the goaltending over to young Cory Schneider and a veteran of some description, and that means you won’t get what Luongo gives you on a night-in, night-out basis.
Then again, if the rest of your team is good enough, you won’t need lights-out goaltending every night.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
It is difficult, in today’s NHL, to effect immediate and massive changes in a short period of time, which is why Gillis’s moves were restricted to a handful of changes on the periphery. He signed Pavol Demitra as a free agent, away from the Minnesota Wild. He wooed and eventually coaxed Mats Sundin to sign with his team mid-season. He claimed Kyle Wellwood off waivers. The rest of the improvements – from out of the playoffs to the third seed in the Western Conference standings and the fourth best record overall and putting the receipts for five home playoff dates into the coffers of owner Francesco Aquilini - came mostly from the holdovers, including coach Alain Vigneault, who he inherited and ultimately retained.
From now on, however, Gillis’s managing skills will be put to the test, with the Sedin twins poised for unrestricted free agency, the same as Sundin and the same as Mattias Ohlund.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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