Monday, September 11, 2006

RFA Updates

The Vancouver Canucks officially announced Alex Burrows' and Lukas Krajicek's signings last week; this morning, Elliott Pap (Vancouver Sun) has an update on the Ryan Kesler contract talks:
While Vancouver Canuck 2006 first-round pick Michael Grabner dangles with the puck at Burnaby 8-Rinks, former first rounder Ryan Kesler appears close to accepting the contract being dangled by Canuck management.

Kesler, a restricted free agent, was scheduled to fly to Vancouver late Sunday and skate informally with his NHL mates today at 8-Rinks.

He will arrive amid some tough talk from GM Dave Nonis, who declared Sunday he is through negotiating with the Kesler camp. Discussions have reached the take-it-or-leave stage.

"You can write it however you want," Nonis replied when asked if 'take-it-or-leave-it' was an accurate description. "We made Ryan a strong offer. I made it to him over a month ago and it is what we are going to pay him if he's going to play.

"The offer shows what we think of him as a player and there is not going to be any [further] negotiations. It's where we are and it's fair. It's reality."

Kesler, reached Sunday at his Detroit home, didn't appear upset by Nonis's comments. He likely wouldn't be coming to Vancouver if he intended to hold out.

"Obviously we're pretty close," said the 22-year-old centre. "Right now, it's up to me and my agent. I'm just happy to get back and skate with the guys."

Kesler made $722,000 last season, although $200,000 of that was signing bonus money. His qualifying offer was $574,000. It's believed the Canucks' offer is for two years.
Kesler is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights. He's only played in one full NHL season, and while he showed a lot of tenacity and versatility, didn't post eye-popping numbers. He doesn't exactly have a lot of leverage and other than stalling his career - read: hold out - doesn't have a lot of other options.

Let's hope he signs his name on that contract soon.

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, 6:45 AM


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