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Henrik, Daniel Sedin sign twin deals to stay with Vancouver Canucks

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By Allan Muir

Sometimes, things work out exactly the way they should.

You know, like when the dog that gets lost on the family vacation eventually finds his way back home, or the way Indiana Jones’ hat always blows back to him whenever it gets knocked off his head.

That’s the sort of predictable but pitch-perfect note that recent negotiations between the Canucks and the Sedin Twins should have ended on. And so they did.

The twins signed matching four-year, $28 million extensions on Friday that will keep them with Vancouver through the 2017-18 season, essentially for the rest of their careers. That is exactly how it should be.

The deals’ $7 million annual average value provides a fair wage to Henrik and Daniel, both of whom rank among the league’s top 10 scorers and deserve to be two of the NHL’s better-compensated players. But it’s not exactly an outrageous sum. In fact, they left money on the table that would have been theirs in free agency this summer. The new figure ties them with Boston’s Zdeno Chara for 25th highest-paid overall in 2014-15, and they could fall even farther down the charts after the summer’s free-agent spending frenzy. So it’s a number that both they and the Canucks can live with, even without a full understanding of where the salary cap is heading.

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  • Published On Nov 01, 2013
  • NHL’s storm before the CBA calm

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    By Stu Hackel

    Yes, it’s wonderful imagery, but don’t expect a mob of angry professional hockey players to pick up torches, pitchforks, clubs and ax handles, march to whatever hotel the NHL Board of Governors gathers in on Thursday and demand they be allowed to report to training camp. Still, the twin meetings scheduled for this week in New York City could feel like the storm before the calm.

    The troops from both sides of the NHL’s class war are set to mass in the Big Apple. Around 300 players will arrive for Wednesday and Thursday discussions while a parallel meeting of the NHL owners convenes on Thursday. Part strategy sessions, part pep rallies, they’ll all be talking about the expiring CBA, why the stance they’ve taken is right for them, perhaps come up with some last-minute directions to their negotiators, and provide some sense of what to expect when the clock strikes midnight on Sunday morning…after which a whole lot of nothing could break out. At least in the near term.

    UPDATE: Negotiations resume Wednesday in New York. And here’s video from TSN on the talks.

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  • Published On Sep 11, 2012
  • NHL tries to restore order

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    Refs seem to have rediscovered the idea that sending a player to the box and leaving his team in a potentially costly penalty-kill is one of the best ways to curb on-ice mayhem. (Mark Goldman/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    Perhaps Wednesday will go down as the day the NHL regained some control over the Stanley Cup playoffs and did it in the most logical manner – having the referees call penalties rather than “let the boys play.”

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2012
  • Mayhem reigns in Stanley Cup playoffs

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    By Stu Hackel

    After watching too much go too far during the last five days, I think it should be obvious to anyone who has any sense of proportion that the Stanley Cup playoffs are out of control. There have been head-rammings, sucker punches, maulings and ambushes, all of which is apart from the more commonplace vendettas, elbows, crosschecks, spearing, charging, knee-to-knee shots and line brawls that we’ve come to expect each spring.

    This isn’t just hard hockey. It is, as one of the sport’s prominent personages called it during the first phone call I got on Monday morning, “a disgrace.”

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  • Published On Apr 16, 2012
  • First Round Keys: Western Conference

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    If fan whipping boy Roberto Luongo plays poorly against the offensively-challenged Kings, calls for backup netminder Cory Schneider will ring from the rafters in Vancouver. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    If you’re looking for Stanley Cup predictions, you’ve come to the wrong place. As we’ve previously written, predictions are a waste of time. However, we’re willing to take some stabs at what is each playoff team about. What do they have to do to win? What must they avoid to prevent things from going south?

    So here are the keys to the first round match-ups in the Western Conference.  You can find the Eastern Conference here.

    VANCOUVER CANUCKS (1) vs. LOS ANGELES KINGS (8)

    Canucks – Who they are and how they win: They shook off a late season malaise to finish 8-1-1 in their last 10 — much of the time without Daniel Sedin – while playing dominant hockey down the stretch and capturing the Presidents’ Trophy. A superskilled team with a some bite, Vancouver has the best offense in the conference and, potentially, a strong power play. The Canucks have  refined their roster this season a bit, adding depth with a solid offensive performer in David Booth, a proven shutdown center in Sami Pahlsson, and some menace in Zack Kassian. The defense corps excels at moving the puck forward, and the only question in goal is which guy, Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider, will finish the series.

    What could go wrong: If Luongo plays poorly, Schneider remains an unknown when it comes to carrying a team in the playoffs. The power play struggled in the second half and if Daniel Sedin’s concussion symptoms keep him sidelined for an extended period (he was ruled out for Game 1), that probably won’t help its improvement.  Even if Sedin returns, the Canucks, who haven’t always gotten secondary scoring,  will need it if the defensively proficient Kings can shut down their top line. And superior physicality could allow the Kings to win more battles along the boards, in the corners and in the slot. L.A.’s stiffling defense has the potential to frustrate the Canucks into taking penalties. If things go wrong and the Vancouver fan base turns on the team, that could be a significant negative. And Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick is good enough to steal this series.

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  • Published On Apr 11, 2012
  • Leniency makes for a dangerous game

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    The on-ice call after Duncan Keith’s elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin, an illegal shot that could change the course of the Western Conference playoff race, was unfortunately lax. (Warren Wimmer/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    Duncan Keith, the Blackhawks’ top defenseman, had a phone hearing with Brendan Shanahan on Friday for his elbow to the head of the Canucks’ Daniel Sedin, which concussed the Vancouver star and took him out of the lineup indefinitely. There’s widespread speculation that Keith will receive a relatively stiff suspension, since the league asked for an in-person hearing as opposed to over the phone. That’s the procedure the NHL uses when it believes the ban could exceed five games, although Keith waived his right to appear.

    If he’s suspended, and it seems certain he will be, it will likely be for longer than the three games Shane Doan got for the elbow he threw at Jamie Benn earlier this week.

    UPDATE: Keith received a five-game suspension from the NHL.

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  • Published On Mar 23, 2012
  • Sizing up the West playoff races

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    Chasing the Stars in the Pacific Division, Joe Pavelski and the enigmatic Sharks control their own destiny. (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

    By Stu Hackel

    As the days of the regular season dwindle down to a precious few, the playoff picture has begun to get clearer, but only somewhat. Much remains undecided, including the bottom qualifiers in each conference and the first round seedings.

    From a strictly mathematical perspective, only the Blues and Rangers have clinched playoff spots and only the Blue Jackets have been eliminated.

    Yesterday, we looked at the East and today, let’s take stock of  the Western Conference where, realistically, it appears that the Oilers, Wild and Ducks are close to joining the Blue Jackets in the Also-Ran department, too far out of contention with too few games left for us to believe they can make a serious charge to eighth place.

    Beyond that, not much is certain.

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  • Published On Mar 22, 2012
  • Canucks fading as stretch run begins

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    Roberto Luongo’s lousy play has Canucks fans and media calling for him to take a seat on the pine. (Kathleen Hinkel/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    It’s a difficult task to repeat as a champion in the NHL. No Stanley Cup winner has done it since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998. But it’s also tough just to reach the Cup final in consecutive years. Only five clubs have managed that since 1988 which, if my math is correct — always a tricky proposition — means that almost 90 percent of the time, teams don’t get a return trip to the fourth round.

    The way Canucks are playing right now, they look like they’ll be hanging with that 90 percent.

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  • Published On Mar 15, 2012
  • Canucks trying to avoid Cup Final hangover

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    Who are those men in blue? Defenseman Keith Ballard is one of the few recognizable names that has been appearing in preseason games for the Canucks this year. (Anne-Marie Sorvin-US PRESSWIRE)

    By Stu Hackel

    With repeat runs to championship series or games in team sports increasingly unlikely these days, the Vancouver Canucks are trying to increase their chances by managing their roster a bit differently. It’s a long, long year for any NHL club, and even longer for a team that goes deep in the playoffs, so the Canucks know they’re going to need all sorts of luck, breaks, good health and other intangibles aside from consistently superior performances.

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  • Published On Sep 27, 2011
  • Our choices for the 2011 NHL Awards

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    Given the rugged nature of the position, a defenseman hasn’t won the Lady Byng Trophy (gentlemanly play) since 1954, but Nicklas Lidstrom of the Red Wings truly deserves it. (Robin Alam/Icon SMI)

    By Stu Hackel

    The NHL hands out its regular season awards on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas, a venue that just oozes hockey history and tradition. Actually, the “nominees-winner” Academy Awards-style format is as artificial as Vegas glitz because the “nominees” are not nominees at all but actually the top three vote-getters from the April balloting (here’s who SI.com’s Michael Farber chose) after the votes are tabulated. So the winner has already been determined when the nominees are announced. This format transforms the known into the suspenseful, so maybe Vegas is the right venue after all.
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  • Published On Jun 21, 2011


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