This is the way the winds were blowing for the last 24 hours, and now it's official: Henrik and Daniel Sedin are off the market one hour before unrestricted free agency begins, re-signing with the Vancouver Canucks. From TSN:
The brothers have signed a pair of five-year contacts, averaging $6.1 million a season.
Daniel and Henrik entered the league as the second and third overall selections by the Vancouver Canucks in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Playing side by side for the Canucks, the duo has amassed 288 goals, 634 assists, and 922 points in 1,288 games combined, but were unable to lead Vancouver into the Stanley Cup Final.
The SedBros each had a cap hit of $3.575 million on their previous deal.
There's no question that their special circumstances as the Tomax and Xamot of the NHL hindered their negotiating stance from the get-go. Henrik alone could have commanded about a million more annually as one of the top playmaking centers on the market. But is he any good without Daniel? Is Daniel any good without Henrik? This two-man show clouds the true talent; which is why we never saw "Lou Costello meets Frankenstein," which is a shame.
Did their initial demand for long-term, Henrik Zetterberg-esque contracts scare off some interest? The cap hit on the 12-year plan was $5.25 million, but clearly the length of the deal wasn't something the Canucks were going to commit to. Going less than $1 million above that figure and keeping the contract to five years is an absolute win for GM Mike Gillis.
The Scott Gomez trade felt like a reactionary one from the Montreal Canadiens yesterday, and perhaps this Sedins news is why. Their re-signing only affects a few teams -- Vancouver being one of them, and a good-day to you Mattias Ohlund -- but their salaries could certainly factor into future contracts like the one the Columbus Blue Jackets want Rick Nash to sign this summer.
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Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke's day just got a little less predictable, eh?