The more I absorb the contracts handed out to this year’s group of unrestricted free agents, the more I appreciate the Sedins’ new contract. Committing a combined $61 million over the next 5 years to Henrik and Daniel isn’t peanuts, except when compared to some of the massive terms handed out to lesser players.
I’m glad Mike Gillis got this deal done. If the Sedins had walked, Gillis would have been faced with a complete rebuild of the Canucks’ top line. If it had come to that, his options would have been limited – he either has to anoint the likes of Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows, Steve Bernier, Cody Hodgson and Michael Grabner as top line forwards, or dole out bigger money, bigger-term contracts to unrestricted free agents.
To be sure, look at some of the contracts handed out to potential Sedin replacements (all numbers via TSN): Michael Cammalleri – 5 years/$30 million, Brian Gionta – 5 years/$25 million, Marian Gaborik – 5 years/$37.5 million, Marian Hossa – 12 years/$62 million and Martin Havlat – 6 years/$30 million and Nik Antropov – 4 years/$16 million. These guys are good, but whether it’s their durability or consistency, each one has a question mark attached to them; on the other hand, the Sedins have proven since the lockout that they are both.
In the end, Gillis chose to dance with the devils he knew. Seeing now how much it would have cost him otherwise, it looks like he made the right choice.