Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Double Trouble?

1) Whenever we write a post where the Sedin's are the central subject line we are amazed how the identical twins both have managed to have their hockey careers be as identical as they are. Both played on the same team back in Sweden before they were drafted. Both players (despite being ranked in the top 5) were picked by the same team when Brian Burke managed to trade/maneuver his way to get them when it was conceivable that they would be separated.

2) Both players progressed at about the same pace. Their offensive output was similar enough that renewing their respective contracts for the same compensation was never an issue/problem. Imagine if one had become significantly better? What if Henrik or Daniel sucked and needed to be demoted, or took some seasoning in the AHL? That would have thrown off the entire series of events that have brought us to where we are today. A mere hours from when the twins will be UFA's.

3) However, they are NOT your usual UFA's. They come as a pair. They are also asking for top forward money and want a Zetterberg type contract in length (10+ years) Now, that would seem to place a HUGE deal of pressure on a team signing them. Its tough enough to sign ONE player for mega bucks/years, but now two? It also could be a case of the Sedin's boxing themselves into a corner. With the salary cap flat lining this season, and expected to decrease modestly next season GM's are going to be wary of adding ONE contract with minimal flexibility. Here they would be adding two. The presumed asking price of 6+ mil for 12 years TIMES TWO will limit the number of teams in the running.

4) Already there are rumours that Vancouver, where the twins have called home in the NHL the past 8 years, are thinking long and hard about accepting their terms. Canuck GM Mike Gillis had a reported 12-year contract worth $63 million/each at his desk last week, and a week later Sedin representative J.P. Barry has yet to even hear a counter offer which would allow the boys from Sweden to be on the open market as soon as noon tomorrow. If their comparative stats are gong to be used its conceivable that they could ask for 7 million. However one source tells us that if they want to either stay in Vancouver or find a home elsewhere together at that figure they'll have to come down from that double digit request. "A 5 year deal at 7 mil is tough enough to swallow, one asst GM told us this weekend. No way do any but 2-3 teams entertain the thought of two getting that kind of deal. One would seem to be Vancouver, the other is unknown. While everyone we talked with raved about the twins talent no one we called wanted to say they would offer two players that kind of a deal simultaneously.

5) So you may ask, any possibility that the twins could go their separate ways? After all, some teams may be looking for a play making center and some for a goalscorer, but not both. That would seem to swell the number of teams that could afford them. However all sources close to the Sedin camp categorically state that the twins intend to stay together for the duration of their careers. In our opinion the Canucks might in the long term be better off rridding themselves of two salary cap anchors. It may hurt PR-wise and on the ice in the short term, but they'll be better for it down the road. As for other interested teams, learn from past mistakes and NEVER sign a player at this stage for anything more than 5-7 years, max. To do this with two players (and a likely no movement clause times 2) would be insanity! Double Trouble, indeed!

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