The generally accepted narrative surrounding the ongoing contract negotiations between the Vancouver Canucks and the Sedin twins is that term is the main holdup to reaching an extension.
That narrative has been supported by comments from the Sedins’ agent; however, it was refuted today on TEAM 1040 radio by the club’s general manager, Mike Gillis.
“We’re trying to figure out what the cap is going to be next year and the upcoming years and really that’s the key,” said Gillis, per the Vancouver Sun. “Those guys have been fantastic people, No. 1, for this organization. They’ve been great players and it’s really a function of how you allocate money in a cap system and we’re just trying to ensure we do the right thing for the entire organization and for Daniel and Henrik.”
Of course, if the Canucks agreed to give the Sedins a longer term, they could probably lower the annual cap hit. So the amount of years is still a factor, in all likelihood.
Not counting the Sedins, who are pending unrestricted free agents, the Canucks have most of their core signed through 2015-16 and beyond.
But looking a couple of years ahead, key veterans Ryan Kesler, Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis can become unrestricted in the summer of 2016, and then there are younger players like Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev that the club is hoping will be worthy of bigger deals along the way.
The Canucks may also want to add other assets in free agency or via trade, and that’s tough to do with no cap flexibility.
Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, and Panthers center Vincent Trocheck have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.
From the NHL:
Crosby led the League in goals and points (5-3-8) in three games as the Penguins (26-18-7, 59 points) earned four of a possible six points to secure the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Karlsson led the League in assists and ranked second in points (0-7-7) in three games as the Senators (24-23-6, 54 points) won one of three starts for the week.
Trocheck notched six points (3-3—6) in three games, helping the Panthers (31-15-6, 68 points) widen their lead atop the Atlantic Division to six points.
Related: Red-hot Crosby could make Pens a flawed (but dangerous) dark horse
Evgeni Malkin‘s “nagging” lower-body injury will keep him out at least one more game.
Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said this morning that the star center will sit out tonight at home against the Ducks. Malkin already missed two contests this weekend in Florida. His status is day-to-day.
The Penguins lost, 6-3, in Tampa on Friday, but rebounded Saturday with a 3-2 OT win over the Panthers.
Pittsburgh’s next game after tonight’s is Wednesday at home versus the Rangers.
The New York Rangers will be without Ryan McDonagh tonight at home to New Jersey, the club announcing this morning that the defenseman is out with a concussion.
McDonagh left Saturday’s game in Philadelphia following an altercation with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds that ended with McDonagh taking a punch to the face from Simmonds.
Simmonds received a match penalty and was thrown out of the game, but did not receive any supplemental discipline.
Given the standings, the Rangers can ill afford to lose McDonagh for long. They play in Pittsburgh Wednesday, followed by three home games against Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
Tuesday night, Milan Lucic will play his first game in Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings.
It should be an emotional return for the big 27-year-old winger. In an interview with the L.A. Times, he recalled his time with his former club fondly, saying how great it was to be a “part of one of the best-ever eras to be a Bruin.”
A pending unrestricted free agent, Lucic also commented on his contract negotiations with the Kings.
“Nothing to get excited about,” he said. “There’s been two or three little talks here and there. My plan is to remain a King and hopefully finish off my career here. Like I said, I go day by day and you never know what tomorrow is going to bring.”
Lucic has 12 goals and 18 assists in 50 games this season. Though the Kings reportedly want to keep him, the question is whether they can find the cap space to make it happen.
Los Angeles already has Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Drew Doughty, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez, and Jonathan Quick locked up long term. Plus, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson will require new deals after next season.
Related: Why Lucic is an interesting pending UFA