One week until the draft. About a week and a half until free agency begins. And the only thing that could have knocked Luongo's contract status out of the headlines was a pair of Swedish twins (not the fun ones).
The recent contract leak caused the Vancouver writers to wake up from the summer slumber (or Vegas hangovers, whichever) and chime in. Gallagher has his, MacIntyre has his. But it's Willes (who I don't agree with that often) who hits the nail on the head:
Teams might be able to fill one or two holes in their lineups by dipping into the free-agent pool.
But no one in their right mind would try to sign their best players that way.
I mean, there might be cheaper options than the twins on July 1. There might even be flashier ones. But if Mike Gillis is serious about building an organization around the core values of character and integrity, as he's said repeatedly he is, he will make this deal.
This point is so obvious, it hardly needs making.
Bingo. If the Sedins walk Gillis will drown under the double whammy of having to create a reliable, offensive core on the open market coupled with having to send fruit baskets to Luongo daily to persuade him that, yes, Vancouver is going to remain competitive.
The Sedins will get their money; there are a few teams who would take a run at meeting the Sedins demands if they hit July 1st unsigned. Gillis can't just assume running towards a Hossa or Gaborik would adequately replace what the Sedins bring.
needs maybe one more year before he can be a reliable offensive force. But he's not there yet. Neither is Burrows who needs to prove last season wasn't a fluke. Demitra's best days are behind him. Full stop right there because no other top six guys are left. Bernier? Nope. The rest are fourth liners in Johnson, Hordichuk and Rypien. The young guys like Raymond or maybe Grabner and Hodgson are still in supporting roles at best.
Gillis has more to lose here than the Sedins. And yet both sides want it done, so they say. I still think it will. Having them locked up prior to the draft would allow Gillis to be as flexible as possible should a deal come down the pike.
But that's the main question we have now. Do we need the twins?