Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/17/09 at 11:08 PM ET
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.
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