09/06/2008 at 12:31am EDT
A couple months ago, media and fans got the idea that Canucks GM Mike Gillis was ready to trade Daniel and Henrik Sedin to the first takers. Clearly this didn’t happen but the root of the rumors wasn’t unreasonable. When Gillis was first hired, he was put on the spot about the future of the twins and his response was this:
“I don’t think the group of forwards right now are ready to compete. I don’t know if they [the Sedins] are players the team will be built around moving forward.”
Next week, he’ll finally be meeting them face to face and so today he addressed his earlier comments:
“It wasn’t my intention to disparage their ability. When I was asked that question [about the Sedins], I answered in the context of players going into the last year of their contract. I can’t build around players I might not have for more than a year. I tried to correct that because it did come out the wrong way. It was my fault.”
Wednesday’s meeting will be between the Sedins, their agent J.P. Barry, Mike Gillis and his assistant GM, Laurence Gilman. Will the Canucks try to open contract negotiations? It’s difficult to say. For all we know, it might just be some smoke-and-mirrors on the way to trading them straight out of town.
So it’s hard to be sure what to expect, but we do know that the Sedins have been much-maligned in Vancouver over the years, despite consistent development through every year of their tenure on the Canucks.
Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Sun provides a sound perspective on their talents, and why a great many criticisms directed at the two players are unfounded:
You can argue Daniel and Henrik aren’t “dominant” first-liners or “dynamic” first-liners or “intimidating” first-liners. You might even claim they’re not “good enough” first-liners, but you must have awfully high standards because by any statistical measure, Daniel and Henrik are elite forwards.
In the last two seasons, Daniel has 158 points and Henrik 157. Mats Sundin, who has left Gillis hanging on a two-year, $20-million offer and whose only contract right now is with an online poker service, has 154 points the last two seasons.
Only 18 players have outscored the Sedins. There are 30 NHL first lines—by definition, 90 first-line players. So the twins not only score like first-line players, but are among the better ones in the league.
That’s very solid reasoning, if you ask me. While I can appreciate that some people don’t enjoy their style of play, I’ll never understand the mentality that they’re simply “not good enough.”
Clearly they are.
*Quotes sourced in the Vancouver Sun