Canucks Re-sign Sedins.

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The Vancouver Canucks have announced the re-signing of Daniel and Henrik Sedin to identical four-year, $28 million contracts.

Sedins ink identical 4-year deals with Canucks.

Sedins ink identical 4-year deals with Canucks.

Spector’s note: Scratch two more notable players from next summer’s UFA market. This new deal (worth an average cap hit of $7 million per season) is a raise for each above their current $6.1 million per, but over a shorter term, taking the Twins up to age 37.

Some may question the logic in investing so much in the Sedins at this stage in their careers, but given they’re still playing at an elite level, and the Canucks are nothing without them, GM Mike Gillis had little choice. At least they genuinely want to finish their careers with the Canucks, rather than bolt for potentially greener pastures elsewhere.

Better to stick with the players you know and trust (especially when there’s no one in your system who can replace them next season) than lose them for nothing and be unable to adequately replace them via free agency.  

NHL Morning Rumor Mill – November 1, 2013.

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Some advice for Leafs management in their negotiations with Dion Phaneuf and more.

Should the Maple Leafs hurry to get Dion Phaneuf re-signed?

Should the Maple Leafs hurry to get Dion Phaneuf re-signed?

SPORTSNET.CA: Gord Stellick advised Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis to avoid rushing into getting a new contract in place for captain Dion Phaneuf, suggesting there’s plenty of time throughout the season and even into the off-season to get Phaneuf re-signed. Stellick reminds us of the haste of previous Leafs management in signing blueliner John-Michael Liles and former Leafs defensemen Jeff Finger, Mike Komisarek and Bryan McCabe to expensive deals which eventually became burdensome.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: A fair point by Stellick, though as his colleague Nick Kypreos recently noted, Phaneuf since 2005-06 ranks among the league leaders in several categories for defencemen (goals, points, PPG, games-played and ice time), plus he’s also the Leafs captain. Those factors carry considerably more weight than those which went into signing those busts Stellick noted. Unless the Phaneuf camp starts putting pressure on Nonis, I agree with Stellick the Leafs GM should take his time working out a new deal.

Ultimately, I believe Phaneuf gets a seven-year deal worth an average cap hit of $7  million per season, because he’s too valuable to the Leafs and there’s no one within their system, via trade or next summer’s UFA market to replace him. 

CBC.CA: Elliotte Friedman reports a few teams are watching New York Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. “He’s unrestricted after the season, and a greatly improved player.”…Friedman also wondered if the Islanders make Thomas Vanek a big offer to re-sign with them…The Boston Bruins don’t intend to upgrade their blueline depth for now, preferring to stick with Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton…

NHL Canadian Corner – November 1, 2013.

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Latest on the Leafs goaltending, Canadiens still reaping rewards from former GM Gauthier, concern over the Canucks recent performance, the Senators shake up their lines, Oilers coach understands fans frustration, plus updates on Tobias Enstrom and Mikael Backlund.

Jonathan Bernier (l) and James Reimer are key to the Leafs strong start.

Jonathan Bernier (l) and James Reimer are key to the Leafs strong start.

SPORTSNET.CA: Chris Johnston on how the Maple Leafs goalie tandem of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer are key to the club’s strong start.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering the Leafs are among the league leaders in shots-against per game, they need strong performances from their tandem if they want to avoid lopsided losses. They must address this issue or risk burning out their goalies come playoff time.

SPORTSNET.CA: Ryan Dixon explains how the moves of former Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier (acquiring Lars Ellers and Michael Bournival, drafting Brendan Gallagher) have paid dividends for the Habs this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dixon isn’t saying the Canadiens were wrong to fire Gauthier, merely pointing out that not all of his moves were horrible.

VANCOUVER PROVINCE: Tony Gallagher wondered if the Canucks latest lethargic loss was a “one-off” or a sign the club is tiring under John Tortorella’s demanding system.

SPECTOR’ S NOTE: The Canucks are probably still adapting to Tortorella’s system. More time is needed to determine if they’ll better adjust as the season progresses or if their conditioning has become a problem.

OTTAWA SUN: Senators coach Paul MacLean is shaking up his lines in hopes of snapping his team out of its early season funk.

WINNIPEG SUN: Jets defenseman Tobias Enstrom has decided to pass on playing for Sweden’s Olympic team in Sochi, preferring to put his focus on this season with the Jets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s understandable. Enstrom is coming off two injury-shortened seasons and said he wants to use the Olympic break to rest and be better prepared for the final stretch of the regular season. 

CALGARY HERALD: Flames center Mikael Backlund is once again dealing with adversity, this time becoming a healthy scratch following a so-so start to the season.

EDMONTON JOURNAL: Oilers coach Dallas Eakins says he understands the fans frustration over his club’s poor start, but insists he and his players aren’t giving up.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: For most frustrated Oilers fans, action speaks louder than words.

NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – November 1, 2013.

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Game recaps plus updates on Semyon Varlamov, Alexander Ovechkin, Marian Gaborik,  Johan Franzen, Steve Downie, John Scott and more.

Zdeno Chara celebrates his game-tying goal against the Ducks.

Zdeno Chara celebrates his game-tying goal against the Ducks.

BOSTON HERALD: Zdeno Chara’s late game-tying goal propelled the Boston Bruins toward a 3-2 shootout win over the Anaheim Ducks. Jarome Iginla netted the winning goal.

ARIZONA REPUBLIC: The Phoenix Coyotes overcame an early 3-0 deficit to defeat the Nashville Predators 5-4 in a shootout. The Predators also lost forward Matt Hendricks to injury after he came out on the wrong end of an open-ice collision with Coyotes blueliner Derek Morris.

NEW YORK POST: Henrik Lundqvist made 29 saves backstopping the NY Rangers to a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.

DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche as a team are remaining tight-lipped over the arrest of teammate Semyon Varlamov on domestic violence charges. The NHL is also staying quiet on the matter. Varlamov was released yesterday on $5,000.00 bond and can travel with the team to Dallas for their game Saturday against the Stars.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It remains to be seen if Varlamov will actually play in that game, and if he does I suspect he’ll be the target of fan derision.  Lots of opinion flying around about Varlamov’s alleged actions, but we must refrain from passing judgement until all the facts are known. If it goes to trial it’s up to a court to decide his guilt or innocence. In the meantime, I expect this will be a significant early challenge for he and his teammates in dealing with the media fallout, the possible effect upon his performance, and the club’s handling of this situation.

PHILLY.COM: Flyers GM Paul Holmgren explained his re-acquisition of Steve Downie as a way of shaking things up for his roster. Downie, meanwhile, is excited about returning to where his NHL career began.

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin will miss tonight’s game against the Flyers with a shoulder injury.

COLUMBUS DISPATCH: Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen is pleased with the performance of Marian Gaborik so far, but is looking for him to take on more of a leadership role.  Gaborik is in the final year of his contract and the Jackets are hoping to re-sign him.

DETROIT NEWS: Red Wings forward Johan Franzen is optimistic he’ll snap out of his recent scoring slump soon.

CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Blackhawks backup Nikolai Khabibulin acknowledged his performance must improve. He currently has a 4.73 goals-against average and .818 save percentage.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If he doesn’t the ‘Hawks could be forced to either call up someone or go into the trade market for an affordable backup.

NHL.COM: Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott has been suspended seven games for his illegal hit to the head of Boston Bruins forward Loui Eriksson. He’s already served three games of that suspension while he was awaiting his hearing.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Scott won’t get off so lucky next time. For his sake, he should stick to what he does best, fighting his fellow goons.

NBC SPORTS: Former Canucks Manny Malhotra has signed a one-year, tw0-way contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Remains to be seen if he’ll make the Hurricanes roster, but kudos nevertheless for earning himself a new contract after it was assumed an eye injury had finished his career.