Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/2/13
It’s probably not a stretch to surmise that one of the things the Vancouver Canucks were eager to learn, when GM Mike Gillis interviewed candidates for the head coaching job over the summer, was what outsiders thought of the team. No one knows exactly what opinion the successful applicant gave, though we can guess. But Gillis said Friday that it was John Tortorella’s impassioned confirmation of what the Canucks already believed about Henrik and Daniel Sedin that convinced the club it had to lock up the twins for the foreseeable future. By signing them to palatable, four-year, $28-million contract extensions that kick in next season (they’ll be 37, going on 38 when the deals expire after the 2017-18 season), Gillis has all but guaranteed that they will finish their careers with the same team that drafted them. And once again, as they did in their current contracts, the Sedins — who won back-to-back Art Ross Trophies in 2009-10 and ’10-11 (and Henrik the Hart, as well, in the first of those years) — signed for about $3 million per season under the average of the top 10 salaries in the NHL. Hometown discount? What else would you call it? “People who know us know that money is a small part of the whole negotiation,” said Henrik. “We’ve always loved it here, our families love it here, and that’s a major thing. To be part of a great team for the next couple of years, that was the most important thing to us. “If you go UFA (unrestricted free agent), you’re maybe going to get better money somewhere else, but that was never part of the discussion.” Could the Canucks have done it on some other day, when Pavel Bure wasn’t upstairs at Rogers Arena waxing poetic on the glory of having his number retired here Saturday afternoon, prior to the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs? Possibly. But as much as the Bure ceremony is about tying up a loose end from the past, securing the services of the splendid Swedes closes what might have been a gaping hole in the club’s future. Every quality the Canucks have or hope to have is embodied by the red-headed doppelgangers from Ornskoldsvik, who might actually be those “better people than they are players” you always hear about.
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