Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Trev and Kes

Iain MacIntyre reported this past weekend that Dave Nonis will re-sign Trevor Linden when Nonis returns from his vacation this week. That's good news.

MacIntyre, however, also has not quite so good news on the Ryan Kesler front:

Without salary arbitration rights to strengthen his bargaining position, Kesler has refused the Canucks' qualifying offer and is trying with agent Kurt Overhardt to negotiate a major pay increase for this coming season.

Historically, the Canucks have crushed players in Kesler's position, reasoning that the club must take advantage of whatever leverage the collective bargaining agreement allows it.
Yes, they have.

Since general manager Dave Nonis began handling contracts eight years ago -- then, as Brian Burke's assistant -- the Canucks have liberally wielded their negotiating clout and dropped the hammer on high-profile, restricted free agents Brendan Morrison, Brent Sopel, Matt Cooke, Dave Scatchard and others. They dropped the guillotine on Peter Schaefer four years ago, trading him to the Ottawa Senators after the winger was forced to miss a full NHL season.
If you remember, Cooke and Sopel were among the NHL's most underpaid players, earning just over half-a-million dollars for years. They played their way to earning their current salaries. Kesler should expect to be treated the same.

What exactly is he expecting?

Neither side is saying how far apart but Kesler, whose salary and pro-rated signing bonus for last season was listed as $722,000 US, may be trying to double his pay. If that's the case, forget about him being at training camp in Vernon.
I love Kes and all but if he's expecting to get paid $1.4 million per season, he'll be holding out a looooong time. And he can't start to play for the large paycheque by not playing at all.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 7:32 AM


At August 15, 2006 8:56 AM, Anonymous Isabella said...

This is all speculation on my part, but I think that Kesler and his agent have been bolstered by rumours of Kesler's value to other clubs. I do remember several reports, particularly around the trade deadline, that said that Kesler was one of the most sought-after players from the Canucks.

(This, as my good friend Master Chief pointed out, doesn't make much sense given that clubs often trade for veterans at the deadline, but there you go.)

I do think that Kesler has heard that he's a fairly valuable commodity - to the point where he's possibly overvaluing himself. And if his agent is Pat Morris, Cooke's agent, then no wonder.

At August 16, 2006 12:10 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

I'm sure that's the case. IMHO, his upside is next only to Luc Bourdon among the Canucks' prospects. (Whether that's indicative of the lack of quality prospects in the system or their individual skill is another matter.) Without arbitration rights or many other options, however, he is simply shooting himself in the foot. As a 21-year old with only one full season under his belt, it would foolish of him to choose to hold out.

As for him being the most sought-after Canuck at the trade deadline, I don't doubt that one bit. Nonis went into the trade deadline still with the intention of bolstering the team for a long playoff run. He was looking for veteran help without having to break his veteran core, in which case, he would have been dangling draft picks and prospects. To other teams, Kesler would easily have been one of the most appealing prospects.


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