Food, Wine and Good Company… and that’s it for now
New Canucks GM Mike Gillis, new assistant GM Laurence Gilman, Henrik and Daniel Sedin and agent JP Barry met on Wednesday night, and at least by the Sedins’ account, things went well (Elliott Pap, Vancouver Sun).
“I felt good after the meeting,” Daniel said. “I talked to Henrik in the car after and it felt good. Mike is a nice man. I like his ideas on the team. He wants to play a more exciting style of game. We had an open dialogue.”
The question is if the feeling is mutual (Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun):
More than anything, Daniel and Henrik Sedin went to dinner last night needing to be needed. But Mike Gillis isn’t the warm and cuddly type.
The two sides will learn to like one another. And Wednesday’s bread-breaking was probably a pretty good start.
In truth, Gillis has made it known for a while that he wanted his best two forwards to remain Vancouver Canucks beyond next season.
In truth, a contract offer has been on the table most of the summer. In truth.
But the universal perception — shared by the twins — is that Gillis was unsure about his leading scorers from Ornskoldsvik and might view them as former general manager Dave Nonis’s leftovers.
That perception was largely shaped by Gillis. And not only because of his famous April quote questioning if the Sedins were “players the team will be built around moving forward,” but because he didn’t contact them in the following four months to provide the context he admits was missing from his remarks.
After last night, perhaps Gillis was able to explain himself to the Sedins’ satisfaction.
Now, the party apparently didn’t talk money or contract extension, but both sides laid down some groundwork (TSN.ca).
Gillis described his meeting with the twins as a get-to-know session.
“We didn’t discuss it last night, and I’m not going to discuss it publicly with anyone,” he said Thursday. “We want to keep quality players here, we want to have players that want to play here, and the strategy for any player is to try and accomplish those goals. You know, we’ve had a strategy in place for some time, and we’re gonna follow through on it.”
If anything, there’s no doubting the numbers the Sedins have put up in the last 3 seasons.
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.
And from Ed Willes (Vancouver Province):
The twins, after all, aren’t exactly negotiating from a position of weakness. For starters, they are one year away from unrestricted free agency. They also represent an alarming share of the Canucks’ — for wont of a better term — offence. (Last season Henrik accounted for 76 points and Daniel had 74. The next closest returning Canucks were Ryan Kesler and Taylor Pyatt with, ta-da, 37 points each.) And when you come right down to it, the numbers they’ve put up in the Canucks’ no-goal system compare favourably to some of the NHL’s elite.
Over the last three seasons, for example, both Henrik and Daniel have put up more points than Brad Richards, Patrick Marleau and Marian Gaborik. Of those players, Marleau will be the lowest-paid this season at $6.3 million. Uh, if we can figure that out, rest assured there are others.
In fact, the Henrik and Daniel’s 232 and 229 total points, respectively, in the last 3 seasons rank 19th and 20th in the entire league and their 0.9431 and 0.9347 points per game average during the same time span rank 31st and 33rd.
JP Barry, the Sedins’ agent, likes to trot out the names Scott Gomez (cap hit – $7.357 million; NTC), Chris Drury ($7.05 million; NMC) and Shawn Horcoff ($5.5 million; NTC) as comparables. Other comparables may include Martin St. Louis ($5.25 million), Mike Ribeiro ($5 million), or even, Olli Jokinen ($5.25 million) and Ales Hemsky ($4.1 million). Out of all these players, only St. Louis (246 points; 1.01 points per game average) and Jokinen (251; 1.02) have put up better numbers.
This isn’t to say that the Sedins are now worth double their current $3.575 million contracts. They’re certainly due for a raise, but especially given the NHL’s wacky free agent market, how much of one should they get? Or better yet, how much of a hometown discount are they willing to give?