Don’t be misled by the title, I’m not suggesting this will be Canucks’ 1st line next season. Instead, I just thought it’s worth while to give a short update on these three players.
First off, aside from announcing on radio CKNW about his preference to sign with the Canucks, at the moment I write this post, Demitra still hasn’t signed with Vancouver yet. Despite some people posting otherwise on CDC, Gillis and Demitra’s camp is still discussing on the number of years of the contract.
Secondly, the signing of the offer sheet to Steve Bernier by the St. Louis Blues may just be the beginning of similar aggressive competition to come. It all started with Kevin Lowe and his offer sheet to Dustin Penner and we all know Burke’s reaction to that and what happened next. Seen as breaking a silent code amongst GMs, Lowe kept quiet for some time, until recently he fought back on Burke’s latest comments on blaming Lowe for overall salary rise in the league.
Gillis, who never was within the GM circle and seeing no love is lost, followed up with what Lowe did by offering this year’s first offer sheet to David Backes, 7.5-million for three years, which the Blues immediately matched. So, when the opportunity arise for acquiring Steve Bernier, Blues president John Davidson return the gesture with a one-year 2.5-million sheet to the Bernier camp. Some suggests that Davidson is merely working within the rules to improve his club, but it sure feels like payback to me.
It took Gillis two hours to matched the offer, and announced the official signing of Bernier, but no details were given on the terms. Maybe more information will be available later. But it is interesting on how this all went down, because I recall what Bernier’s agent Gilles Lupien said during my write-up for the Bernier post a few days ago.
When asked about the rumours of an offer sheet coming from elsewhere, Lupien’s comment was (excerpt from the National Post) [“I don’t work like that,” said Lupien who also represents Roberto Luongo and could have gone the offer-sheet route after Luongo accepted his qualifying offer from the Canucks. “I’ve always asked teams to be honest with my client and I’m sure he (Gillis) is going to be honest with players after being a former player himself.”]
Lastly, about the Kovalchuk deal. Apparently there’s another Western Conference team involved in this trade now. My sources won’t go into details, and wouldn’t even comment on whether it’s a three-way deal or that this team is competing with the Canucks on Ilya. But reading between the lines, I’m pretty sure this team is the L.A. Kings.
In any case, I don’t want to write too much about this, since the intention of this blog is on my views and takes on trades and news of the NHL. I just don’t like to spread these rumors, especially those that I cannot disclose the sources of. I mean, during this time of the year, if we cannot be 100% on Demitra signing here, how can we be sure of anything, really? Anyways, if this deal holds any truth, you all should find out soon enough.