Nice. Really locks down our top four on defense for the foreseeable future ... really not much to worry about on the back end for a long time. Now we need to trade Ballard and have some young guys on competitive deals step up to solidify that bottom pairing.
What's in store for Ballard now though? Fifth highest paid d-man on the team at 4.2m.
Well, for this season, it's not a problem. Ballard is the fifth best defenseman on the team, and he's now being paid the fifth most. His poor play has been exaggerated, especially for last year. Part of the reason he looks so bad is in comparison to his teammates, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. We have 5 top-4 defenseman, and a pretty good #6 in Tanev.
When healthy, I think the Canucks have a claim on the top D in the league, and are at least top 5. Healthy, however, cannot be counted on this season.
The best potential free agent D is off the market. There are not many good options on the free agent market this summer. Mostly older guys looking for one big contract. Players who have seen their best days already. Even the forwards ranks thin out after the two Anaheim guys. There are a handful of players who are young enough to still contribute over the next 4-5 years. Many old guy free agent forwards too.
This X 1000. I for one was, and still am very happy about the Luongo signing. Differing slightly, for a few reasons I would prefer to trade Schneider. (bigger return, easier to move, the plan all along... etc
I'm of mixed mind about trading Schneider rather than Luongo. When Vancouver acquired Luongo, the management immediately considered him the team's main franchise player and decided to slowly build the team the old fashioned way from the goal out. Not only is that still the case, now both goal and defense core are at franchise level and will be for many years and now the team is working on solidifying the forward lines.
Compare the Canucks team building to many of the other teams. The Oilers for example are building a forward core that rivals the Rangers and Penguins, but they have no suport structure at the back end. To win they are going to have to revert to the Gretzky era of expecting to be scored upon but trying to outscore their competiton. Schultz may be their new Coffey, but they have no new Fuhr yet.
As far as I'm concerned when Gillis offered Luongo his present long term contract, Luongo's contract was an even better coup for the Canucks than Edler's contract is now. Under the CBA of the time, it not only assured the Canucks would have elite franchise level goal tending for years to come, it found a loophole in how to get around some of the cap rules. It's a pretty good guess Gillis was not thinking what Luongo's trade value would be due to the new contract. GM's look to improve their team now. Not 8 or 10 years from now. In all likelyhood Gillis believes Luongo will still be a first string or at least an above average backup five to ten years from now. At $5.3 million per year Luongo's cap is no longer even considered high for a first string goalie and five years from now likely average for a backup.
I think Gillis is going to do his up most to keep both Luongo and Schnieder. Both are franchise level goalies. Together, like the Sedins, they bring more to the team than the combination of each individually. It is also important to note that Gillis challanges all the prospects and players he brings in that in order for them to win a roster spot, they have to beat out the player who is in that roster spot. Schnieder did just that. Luongo didn't lose his spot. He is just as good a franchise level first string goalie as he was when he signed his latest contract and other GM's know that.
Now that Edler is signed and Ballard has had a chance to heal, I think you may see the next battle for roster position on our defense line up. Cap space can always be found for quality players. I think too many HF fans are too egar to write off Ballard as a failure when in fact, like Bieksa has already proved, he is also a top 4 defenseman. If such happens, it will be the team and our fans that win the most.
This post really isn't discussing Edler's signing, but it was the only place I could answer the poster's comments. Edler's signing has now effectively solidified the Canucks backend from the goal out and including protection for injuries at both postions. Gillis, quietly, is creating a team rather than a collection of hockey players. Don't look to see Gillis being too eager to trade either goal tender or any of the team's current top six D's. That would be counter productive to building a dynasty.
A defensive stud just coming in to his prime. Loyal and classy. My favorite player.
“I don’t think I could ever dream about this situation,” the 26-year-old Swede said after the morning skate for Saturday’s season opener against the Anaheim Ducks. “I’m very fortunate to be here. I’m very happy.
“I wanted to stay here. It’s a great city, great fans, great hockey, a great organization. It was a no-brainer.”
He feels he “maybe,” left some money on the table to remain a Canuck.
“This is where I want to be,” he explained.
Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said that he thought the one-time Kelowna Rock could become “one of the best defencemen in the league.”
“We’ll see if we’re right on that call,” said Vigneault.
“I think he has potential to grow. We’re very fortunate to have him sign a six-year deal.”
Mike Gillis does it again. What a relief to know we have Edler, really loving the look of our D right now. Perfect timing too, one less thing to worry about. Was always a fan, guy is so humble, was concerned a bit for awhile there we might lose him.