Rumours & Revelations: Sedin future, cap crunch, Franson mystery

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This is the time of year that hockey fans start to get a little stir crazy. We haven’t seen a meaningful game in over a month and we are over two months away from the first regular season game of the 2015-16 season.

So what are we left with? Here’s a dog days of summer edition of Rumours and Revelations.

Would the Canucks ever trade the Sedins?

There have been some murmurs recently on talk radio and on Twitter about the possibility of trading Henrik and Daniel Sedin. This isn’t coming from the usual uninformed fans reasoning that they’re not good players, but rather from forward-looking fans that see this team in need of a rebuild.

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SEE ALSO: Sedins ready for a couple of rough years, want to win in Vancouver

As usual, Omar filled us in on an insightful interview on TSN 1040. Jonatan Lindquist, a reporter with Expressen in Sweden was on with Matt Sekeres and Blake Price on Wednesday. Lindquist spoke with Daniel and Henrik Sedin recently in Sweden.

It’s always interesting to hear about what European players tell journalists when they go back home. Players can often be a little bit more revealing about their true feelings when interviewing away from the spotlight.

Last year the Sedins proved that they are still legitimate first line players, finishing in the top-10 in NHL scoring. But with the twins turning 35 before next season, the question needs to be asked: would the team be better off trading them?

With three more years left on their deals, I think you can make a compelling argument either way. If you view the Canucks as 4-5 years away from contending, then the prudent move is to trade Henrik and Daniel as soon as possible to maximize their value. But if you think there’s a chance that the team could contend by the last year of their contracts, when they’ll be 37-years-old, then they could help win a championship.

Two years from now, the Sedins could still be effective players, though they would likely be second liners on a championship team. If everything goes right for the Canucks and many of their young players develop quickly (and that is a huge ‘if’), then the team’s window of opportunity could be in two years.

How fast can Hunter Shinkaruk, Jake Virtanen, Jared McCann, Cole Cassels and Brock Boeser develop?

Salary cap squeeze

The Canucks have 22 players signed and scheduled to start the season in the NHL next season, leaving just one spot open on their 23-man roster. That last spot will be taken by youngster Sven Baertschi, assuming he signs a contract. Baertschi, who has 30 points in 69 career NHL games, isn’t likely to get a big pay day. But the Canucks are less than $2 million away from the salary cap limit, so they’re going to be careful at the money they give Baertschi.

Cody Franson still unsigned

Part of the reason why the Canucks are in a bit of a bind is because they felt the need to sign role players to above-market prices. Next year the Canucks will have $10.5 million in cap space tied up in Derek Dorsett, Brandon Prust, Luca Sbisa and Matt Bartkowski.

Vancouver would have been well-served to practice a bit more patience and save some cap space for a late-summer UFA bargain. The Canucks have done this in the past with Anson Carter and Raffi Torres, who were signed to one-year deals in August. This year’s bargain is Alex Semin, who signed a $1.1M contract with the Montreal Canadiens today. Cody Franson will cost more than that, but likely well below his true value.

Franson, who turns 28 next month, is an offensive defenceman who would have fit in well with the Canucks at the right price. Many people predicted a big pay day on July 1st for the product of Sicamous, but he’s still in limbo.

If Jim Benning could find a way to move a contract or two (or three) and sign Franson to a reasonable contract (let’s say $4M), it would be a stroke of genius for the Canucks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

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Rob Williams Sports Editor at Vancity Buzz covering all sports in Vancouver.
@robthehockeyguy

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