Which brothers would you take today?
Niedermayers or Sedins?
That’s a question that many Canucks fans are asking themselves today, as rumours started spreading last night that the Niedermayer brothers may be interested in coming to Vancouver next season.
Both Scott and Rob are unrestricted free agents as of July 1st, just like the set of brothers already wearing Canucks jerseys, the Sedins.
A look at the Canucks salary cap situation and the pending free agency of the Sedins would indicate that it is nearly impossible to have both the Niedermayers and the Sedins next season.
So which pair of brothers would you take?
The list of pros for the Sedins is:
- They are both under 30.
- They are both solid point-per-game players.
- They have both indicated a strong desire to stay in Vancouver, so that may lead to a “hometown” discount.
- They finally proved they could be solid playoff performers.
- They are the most valuable C/LW combo available as free agents on July 1st.
The list of pros for the Niedermayers is:
- They are both (especially Scott) winners. They have won the Stanley Cup together. Scott has literally won at every conceivable level of hockey. He exudes winning and excellence.
- They may also take a bit of a discount to play here since they are BC boys (Cranbrook), and may want to play in Vancouver during the Olympics.
- They had immediate experience and poise to the locker room, which they may lack with the likely departures of Ohlund and Sundin.
- Scott fills a hole on defense for a puck-moving defenseman. Rob fills a hole at centre, again assuming Sundin is gone.
- They could both be signed on short-term contracts, allowing the Canucks to go after big-name free agents in 2010.
Although I would love to have both the Niedermayers in Canucks uniforms next season, I think it costs the Canucks too much in the short term, and sacrifices the long term.
Scott won’t be signed for more than one year. This means that you are passing on the Sedins to get Scott and Rob for one year contracts. That seems like a stiff price to pay. That also assumes that the Canucks are only one or players away from getting to a Stanley Cup.
Well that may be true now, with the Sedins and Luongo still in the lineup, but once you pass on the Sedins, then you are still at least two players away from taking a serious run at the Cup.
I think the opportunity to sign the Sedins at a reasonable long-term contract is too great to pass up now in favour of signing a single big-name winner, just because it’s his hometown team.
Unless the Niedermayers’ agent comes to Mike Gillis and says “Scott has one everything he can possible win, except one thing – a Stanley Cup for his hometown team. He knows the team is hitting the cap, so he’ll do it for less than $2m. And so will Rob.”
Is that going to happen? Not bloody likely! But a boy can dream, can’t he?
The best option for the long-term strength of the Vancouver Canucks is to sign Daniel and Henrik and to extend Luongo. The best thing Gillis can do is to get them to take a little money as they are willing to take without jumping ship, and he has to explain to them that the less money they take gives the Canucks a better opportunity to win a Cup, because they can spend more money on bringing in better talent. More and better talent coming in will mean a great shot at a cup in the next couple of seasons. It appears to me that the Sedins and Luongo would all be very receptive to that argument.