In a recent interview, Daniel and Henrik Sedin said they wished to finish their careers in Vancouver, but, while trading both the Sedins would be difficult, it could significantly speed up the rebuild process for the Canucks. New Toronto GM Lou Lamoriello will likely take his time before making a major move, while Carolina GM Ron Francis could be waiting for prices to drop before nabbing some free agent talent.
NBC Sports’ Jason Brough notes Daniel and Henrik Sedin were recently asked by a Swedish newspaper if they felt they might be traded. The twins replied they had no intention of finishing their NHL careers with another team, even if it meant another shot at a Stanley Cup.
Brough observes, however, the Sedins didn’t outright reject the notion of waiving their no-movement clauses by the final season (2017-18) of their contracts. Should the Canucks miss the 2016 playoffs or become a first-round casualty again, Brough suspects calls for a major rebuild in Vancouver could increase.
Such a rebuild would mean shipping out the Sedins. Their no-movement clauses, however, aren’t the only impediment. It’s no stretch of the imagination to assume the twins will only accept a deal in which they’re moved together to the same team. With both earning $7-million per season, takers for their combined $14-million annual salaries could be scarce. That especially if the salary cap doesn’t significantly increase for 2016-17.
The Sedins turn 35 in September, meaning age becomes an issue. While their numbers improved last season (Daniel tallied 76 points, Henrik 73), their best seasons are well behind them.
It’s difficult enough for a team to trade one aging, expensive veteran. Trading two, especially when they’ll want to be packaged together, is doubly difficult.
LAMORIELLO WILL BE PATIENT IN TORONTO
The news of the Toronto Maple Leafs hiring now-former New Jersey Devils general manager and president Lou Lamoriello as GM was nearly as stunning as their hire of Mike Babcock as head coach. It also raises questions about what Lamoriello’s addition means for the Leafs’ core players.
When the off-season began, it was widely assumed defenseman and captain Dion Phaneuf, center Tyler Bozak and left winger Joffrey Lupul would be dealt before the puck drops in October on the new season. Since the Phil Kessel trade earlier this month, it was assumed Bozak would be next to hit the trade block.
TSN’s Frank Seravalli, however, believes Lamoriello won’t prejudge those players. He feels the new Leafs GM, who has a history of building with veterans, will give Phaneuf, Bozak, Lupul and the rest of the roster the opportunity next season to prove themselves.
That doesn’t mean Lamoriello won’t make any deals before the start of 2015-16. Roster issues during training camp and pre-season could require a trade or free-agent signing. At this point in the off-season, it’s difficult to find willing trade partners for players under long-term deals. If Lamoriello does ship out a core player, it likely won’t happen before mid-September.
HURRICANES WAITING FOR PRICES TO DROP
The Carolina Hurricanes still have some roster issues to address this summer. The News & Observer’s Luke DeCock reports they could use another top-six winger and another reliable defenseman.
It appears GM Ron Francis could address those areas via free agency. He tells DeCock he’s had discussions “with some guys” but is “waiting to see where the numbers go.” Like his peers, Francis seems to be waiting for the asking prices of the available UFAs to drop.
Not much depth remains in what was a shallow free-agent pool, but there are several players who could suit the Hurricanes’ needs. Available wingers include Brad Boyes, Curtis Glencross and former Hurricane Jiri Tlusty. Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff and David Schlemko round out the remaining blueliners.
DeCock also reported the Hurricanes were listening to offers for left winger Jeff Skinner, but haven’t received anything worthwhile thus far. Given the 23-year-old Skinner’s concussion history and $5.725 million annual cap hit through 2018-19, it’s hardly surprising they’re not getting worthwhile offers.
Rumor Roundup appears regularly only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.