Canucks re-sign Sedin brothers to 5-year deals

Wednesday, 07.01.2009 / 11:49 AM
Adam Kimelman  - Deputy Managing Editor
How important was it for Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis to re-sign Daniel and Henrik Sedin? He flew to the twins' home in Sweden on Sunday to negotiate in person.

All the time and frequent-flyer miles have paid off, as the Sedins signed matching five-year contracts to stay with the only NHL team for which they've played.

According to TSN, the deals reportedly will pay them each $6.1 million per season.

Gillis' willingness to come to travel was a key reason the Sedins re-signed.

"That meant a lot to us," Henrik Sedin said of on a conference call of the face-to-face meeting. "It made our decision easier, for sure."

The contracts also contain no-movement clauses.

"It's big," Henrik Sedin said. "It's not a lot of players who get no-move clauses like this. It's important for us, we know we're going to stay here if we keep playing the way we think we can and getting better here for the next couple years."

"Daniel and Henrik Sedin are this club's offensive leaders and players we want to build around," said Gillis. "Their level of performance in every area of the game is exceptional; both Daniel and Henrik are committed to winning and we want them to succeed as Vancouver Canucks."

The twins tied for the team lead with 82 points each in 2008-09. Daniel led the team with 31 goals, and was second with a plus-24 rating. Henrik led the team with 60 assists.

The second and third picks of the 1999 Entry Draft, the pair have eerily similar career numbers. In 642 career games, Daniel is seventh on the team's all-time scoring list with 462 points. In 646 games, Henrik is eighth with 460 points.

"We spent the last 24 hours with Daniel and Henrik going over all the options that they have," J.P. Barry, the Sedins' agent, told Vancouver's CKNW. "The more they analyzed things, the more they truly wanted to remain in Vancouver. They're happy that this deal got to the range that it was fair."

With the impending extension for goaltender Roberto Luongo supposedly days away from being announced, the Canucks seem to have their core players locked up for the long-term.

That assurance didn't come without a lot of effort on Gillis' part. Frustrated with the pace of negotiations leading into the opening of the free-agent market, Gillis flew to Sweden over the weekend to meet face-to-face with the Sedins. The Vancouver Province reported J.P. Barry, the Sedins' agent, was on the flight, which likely means talks started there, and carried over to the brothers' headquarters.

Earlier reports had the twins asking for matching 12-year contracts, $63 million contracts, and when the Canucks didn't make a counter-offer during talks at the draft, Barry reportedly thought the Sedins were done in the Pacific Northwest.

Today's signing, however, gives the Canucks enough space under the salary cap to pursue a replacement for defenseman Mattias Ohlund, who signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"We analyzed how much less we were taking in Vancouver," said Barry, "but for Daniel and Henrik it was always about getting this deal and fairness and Vancouver being the choice if it was fair. As of yesterday, they thought the deal got in the range where they thought it was a fair deal and they wanted to stay."

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