The Vancouver Canucks are getting ready to start contract talks with two players, Alexandre Burrows and Alexander Edler, regardless of how things look on the NHL’s labor front.
Burrows is going into the fourth year of his contract and will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Undrafted, he made his way to the NHL from the ECHL and has been on Vancouver’s roster since 2005. In each of his last four seasons, he has scored at least 20 goals, he had a 67-point effort in 2009-10, scored 17 points in the Canucks’ Stanley Cup run in 2011 and finished last season with 28 goals, 24 assists and 90 penalty minutes.
This kind of performance could mean big money for Burrows. He currently makes $2 million a year with no performance or salary bonuses, but look at some of the similar re-signing deals that have been handed out recently to players like Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Ryan Callahan, all of whom got new contracts with pay raises. That could give Vancouver an idea of how to proceed.
Edler, like Burrows, could join the UFA ranks next summer and may be in line for a boost in pay himself. He currently makes $3.25 million a year with no bonuses and got this current contract in 2009-10, like Burrows. He’s also been with Vancouver for a while, since 2006, and has scored at least 20 points in every season he’s spent in British Columbia. This past season was his best in terms of production–11 goals and 38 assists for 49 points total. He could get a bump that puts him in line with fellow blueliners Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison, but only time will tell.
The Canucks want to act now and secure two of their players while the current collective bargaining agreement is still in place because no one really knows what a new one could do to things like the salary cap, contract term limits and other important aspects of the business side of hockey.
The specter of a Roberto Luongo trade still hangs in the air as well. Earlier in the summer, it seemed all but certain that he would return to the Florida Panthers, but reportedly his asking price is too high for the Cats. He may still be moved to Florida or perhaps Toronto, but there’s no rush in his case, plus his no-trade clause gives him a lot of control over his own destiny.
Also, count the Canucks among those teams potentially interested in Shane Doan if he feels the Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation isn’t resolved to his satisfaction. They’ve even tendered him an offer, but like any other team who would want him on their roster, they must wait for Doan to make his own decision.