The Sedins will be 33 when their five-year, $30.5 million contracts expire in 2014.
“We’re already taking it year by year right now,” Daniel told the Province last Thursday. “We have a year and a half on this current contract and then mentally I think it will be easier if we go year by year after that.
“Mentally, when you get to this age, to be able to perform, you have to be there. I really believe if you sign a long-term deal it will be tougher to perform on a nightly basis.”
Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, it was a common practice for veteran players to sign only one-year contracts because any player that signed a multi-year contract when they were 35 years or older, their cap hit would have counted against the team’s salary cap regardless if they were playing or not.
The Canucks took this approach with Sami Salo. The team was willing to do one-year contracts for as long as Salo wanted to play given his injury history, but he wanted a multi-year contract. In the three weeks leading up to free agency, the two sides did not talk and Salo ended up signing a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Lighting worth $7.5 million.
This arrangement works only if both parties are willing as evidenced by the Salo example and there are risks involved.
Jason Brough of ProHockeyTalk points out the Sedins have deep roots in the city of Vancouver and it is unlikely the amount of salary will come between the two and the Canucks.
However, if the team’s fortunes turn for the worst the next few seasons, the Sedins may decide to leave as free agents to chase a Stanley Cup. The Canucks would be left with no compensation and two huge holes to fill up front. On the flip side, the one-year deals opens up the possibility for the Canucks to deal the Sedins at the trade deadline, receive a hefty return, and re-sign them as free agents in the summer if they ever fall out of contention.
This highlights how desperately the Canucks need some talent to come down the pipe soon to replace the Sedins, who may have hit their peak already the past few seasons. The top forward prospects in the system include Brendan Gaunce, Nicklas Jensen, and Jordan Schroeder, but none of them have the same game-changing ability as the Sedins.