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06-12-2009, 09:13 AM
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This article isn't attributed to anyone, but it's pretty interesting:

Those on the outside who have focused on "secret talks" or whether discussions have "started" again or not have missed the main storyline as we barrel toward the opening of free agency on July 1 without a twin deal. And that is this: The ball is in the Sedins' court and has been for some time.

What is Vancouver, which is both their home and a playoff team, worth to Daniel and Henrik? It's the biggest question of their careers and one the Sedins are wrestling with right now.

Months ago, the Canucks outlined their parameters for what it will take to get a deal done. Essentially, the Canucks drew a line in the sand, giving Barry a term and a per-year dollar figure they said they won't exceed, believed to be about $5.75 million US. The Canucks have presented their case as one which doesn't have much wiggle room.

By now, you know Barry believes the twins are worth more. At least $6.5 million a year. In a different world, one without a salary cap, Vancouver would likely agree with Barry. But under the cap, and faced with one that is decreasing, the Canucks believe fundamentally anything more than what they've outlined will cripple them for years to come.

So here we are, and it's really where we always were.

The Canucks' bargaining strategy hinges on two things: The belief the twins were honest when they said they are willing to take less to stay in Vancouver and the fact Gillis is willing to walk away.

EDIT: Found a similar article on The Province's website which was written by Botchford.

With three weeks to go before the Sedin twins are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, there's one thing you can be sure of: Mike Gillis is willing to walk away.

It's not ideal for the Canucks. Reloading without the Sedins is rife with land mines. There's the unknown factors of free agency (who will be available and at what cost?). And the trade market is littered with bloated contracts and question marks. Yet, Gillis is willing to take a calculated risk he can quickly rebuild this team without the twins.

Interestingly, it's that belief which may be the most important strategy he brings to the Canucks negotiating table in getting a deal done with the Sedins, one that won't cripple the Canucks.

Under the old regime (read Dave Nonis), the most likely scenario would have had the twins locked up last summer to a couple of fat, long-term extensions. How much and for how long is all speculation. But Nonis was planning to go to Sweden last summer to negotiate. Would he really have been willing to walk away without a deal?

Gillis seems determined to trim the fat in this negotiation. And if that means he doesn't meet the twins' price in the end, so be it.

It's a strategy that takes some moxie and some knowledge of what it's like to be on the other side. Gillis knows the twins don't want to leave Vancouver and he is in a position to use that as leverage. Gillis was Markus Naslund's agent coming out of the lockout in a similar scenario. Naslund had more lucrative offers (including one from New York) which easily topped the three years, $18 million he got from the Canucks. But Naslund wasn't interested in leaving.


Gillis on one side has positioned himself at the bargaining table like the guy driving the tractor trailer. He has thus far drawn a line in the sand, a term he won't exceed and a per-year cap hit number he won't go over (believed to be about $5.75 million). What are the Sedins driving at him the other way? No one is sure yet.

But the Sedins are now faced with maybe the biggest question of their careers. Are they willing to walk away from Vancouver and take two families into the unknown? It may mean millions more dollars, but at what cost?

Last edited by pitseleh: 06-12-2009 at 09:21 AM.
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