For the past 13 years, Daniel and Henrik Sedin have been mainstays with the Vancouver Canucks. The twins are the Canucks’ marquee players, and the pair have each gained their respective collections of NHL awards since their debut in 2000.
Excited as the Canucks faithful are at seeing another season with the Swedish twins in Vancouver sweaters, there’s a little anxiety amongst the fan base at the moment. You see, both Daniel and Henrik are in the final years of their contracts, set to be unrestricted free agents this coming offseason. The idea of seeing the brothers depart British Columbia, or even seeing the pair split up is enough to make a Canucks fan shiver.
At the moment, there hasn’t been a ton of movement between the Sedins and Vancouver GM Mike Gillis. This inactivity has left many wondering if there were some issues getting things together, specifically in terms of contract length. Each at 33 years of age, a lengthy set of contracts may be ill-advised since they’re on the opposite end of their primes.
However, Gillis recently told Team 1040 in Vancouver that length of terms had nothing to do with the stalled contract talks. Instead, he claims its an issue of just figuring out how the salary cap will shake out in the next few seasons.
“The process has been very respectful from both sides,” Gillis said. “We’re trying to figure out what the cap is going to be next year and the upcoming years and really that’s the key. Those guys have been fantastic people, No. 1, for this organization. They’ve been great players and it’s really a function of how you allocate money in a cap system and we’re just trying to ensure we do the right thing for the entire organization and for Daniel and Henrik.”
Gillis went on to say that, unlike the last time the Sedins resigned, he doesn’t expect talks to drag out until the July 1 deadline.
It has to be said, though, Vancouver is in a different place now than when they last resigned Daniel and Henrik to matching $30.5 million contracts. After making a Stanley Cup Finals run in 2011, in which they were eventually defeated by the Boston Bruins, they’ve since significantly struggled in the postseason. They were knocked out almost immediately the following two years, losing in five games to the Los Angeles Kings in 2012, and being swept by the San Jose Sharks last year. With former coach Alain Vigneault being replaced by John Tortorella, many began to wonder if this was a sign the Canucks’ window was shutting.
This all plays a factor in just how much money Gillis decides to spend on the Sedins. Does he give gracious offers to each, a sign of dedication to his two best players? Or does Gillis consider that it may be time to focus more on the future and leave enough cap space to bring some youth to the team?
Its a tough predicament, made even more difficult by the fact that he’s dealing with resigning two franchise players instead of just one. The pure outrage Canucks fans would send Gillis’ way if he attempted to split up the brothers by only offering one a contract is something he’d surely like to avoid.
Currently, the Canucks are riding a four game win streak, sitting just a few points shy of the juggernaut Sharks. Keep an eye on the team, though, as the results of this season could have a major impact on Gillis’ actions.