Friday, July 04, 2008

Canucks acquire Bernier

Vancouver Canucks General Manager Mike Gillis announced today that the club has acquired right wing, Steve Bernier from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a second round Draft pick in 2010 and third round pick (Los Angeles’ selection) in 2009.

“Steve Bernier is a highly regarded young player who’s enjoyed success early in his career,” said Gillis. “With his right-handed shot he will be a great addition to our top six forward group and an asset to our power play.”
>> team release
Finally some news for Canucks fans.

It's really only been 72 hours of trades and signings so far, but Gillis has been ripped up and down in the Vancouver press for sitting on his hands. Having your captain sign with the Rangers for a bargain isn't good for PR.

Bernier's only 23, but was a four-time 30+ goal scorer in junior and has shown flashes of being able to produce at the NHL level.

It's a curious deal from the Sabres perspective, as Bernier was the roster player they received in return in the Brian Campbell trade at the deadline four months ago.

Given how thin Vancouver's forward ranks are at the moment, he's a big part of their plans next season. The same wasn't likely in Buffalo.

UPDATE Bernier is a restricted free agent in need of a contract, and was one of three RFA forwards (along with Clarke Macarthur and Daniel Paille) on the Sabres. One less new deal to worry about, I suppose.

And Sports Illustrated's Allan Muir seems to think Gillis could go the offer sheet route (again) and serve up a $4-million deal to Detroit's Valterri Filppula.

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At 2:25 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger Art Vandelay said...

It must be hard being a Buffalo Expos fan.

Develop the kids; get close enough to the big dance every decade or so that you can dream of rioting downtown; then sit by while the team gets dealt off for half-eaten sandwiches.

For having spent all that organizational effort on Campbell over the years, the Sabres netted 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks.

Next up: Ryan Miller.

At 3:34 p.m., July 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Vandelay, just like the Expos, the current owner doesn't care about the team, only the bottom line and has allowed all their key scouts to sign with other organizations.
Their pipeline will be drying up real soon. It's a shame really.

At 5:11 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

I was going to say they just traded picks that make an offer sheet to Filpulla impossible, but they're not. That 2nd rounder is in 2010, not next year, and the 3rd round pick isn't theirs, so they should have all their picks for next year's draft to make a $4m-$5.2m offer sheet an option.

To make a $4m to $5.2m offer sheet, you need your own 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round draft picks in the 2009 draft. That's interesting that the picks he dealt have conveniently not affected his ability to make such a deal.

It's also interesting that Gillis' inability to land anyone in the UFA market has led to media pressure to do something, much like Lowe faced last summer.

At 6:54 p.m., July 04, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Filppula at 4M and longterm would be a good deal but Detroit will match it for sure. Filppula is not there, yet, but he has tons of Zetterstrom and Datsuyk qualities.

At the same time Filppula might not reach such heights and might settle at 60pts level.

Does Bernier have right kind of will and heart? With his size, skating and hands he could be one of the best power forwards in the NHL but it looks like that something is missing.

Buffalo could've had Brian Campbell for 4.5M year ago. So, mirror mirror on the wall, tell me who's the dumbest GM of all?

At 7:30 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger J. Michael Neal said...

I'm not sure that Detroit has the room to match an offer sheet to Filppula, unless they trade someone. They also still need to sign Qunicey, Ericsson and Howard, though I suppose that much of that money will be in Grand Rapids.

I still think that signing Lilja was a mistake, and this is another reason why.

At 11:50 p.m., July 04, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Of course, getting Filpulla to abandon Detroit is the tougher choice. Holland may say to him that they believe in him, but he needs to wait for the cash to come. And he may buy it. The Detroit Kool-Aid is even more intoxicating as Lou's in New Jersey.

I think they'd have to go to the high end of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round pick range and sign Filppula to a $5.2m/year contract. That would certainly be tough for Detroit to match.

And Detroit signing Stuart was as big of a mistake as Lilja. Not because Stuart was bad for Detroit, but because of what they have coming up. I just think it was a little unnecessary. Lilja on top of that is even more so, but his cap hit is pretty miniscule so it's not as big of a problem.

At 8:04 a.m., July 05, 2008, Blogger Mr.Poindexter said...

While I was taken aback by the Lilja signing, Holland hasn't shown he's prone to major blunders, particularly one that would entail losing one of the teams rising stars to an offer sheet he can't match. It's my understanding a team can exceed the cap by 10% so long as they unload the salary by the start of the season, making Lilja a good candidate to be traded to one of many teams thin on defense for a draft pick. I think there's a lot of love for Filppula in the organization, particularly by Yzerman. It would take an insanely large offer for the Wings not to match. I'm expecting to read he's signed by Detroit any day now.
I'm glad for the team and for Stuart that he will be sticking around- the guy was pretty much mistake free for the Wings after the trade and throughout the playoffs. I think that in the comfortable environment of Detroit, he's going to realize much of the potential he had when he came up with San Jose. Also, while the Wings do indeed have some promising young defensemen, it's my opinion (and apparently that of the organization) that they aren't quite ready yet for prime time. Stuart gives the team some breathing room to develop the young talent and continue winning as Lidstrom's career winds down.

At 10:37 a.m., July 05, 2008, Blogger Ebscer said...

I read this as a good move for both teams. Vancouver desperately needed some depth, while Buffalo has a ton of forwards and didn't really need Bernier. I wasn't even too sure if he wasn't going to get pushed out of Buffalo's lineup by Gerbe and Kaleta...

At 5:31 p.m., July 05, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not so sure Detroit could match a $3.9 million offer sheet (1st and 3rd picks) for VP. Right now Detroit has 21 players signed for $53.3 million (after Hossa). If they matched the offer sheet they are up to $57.3 million for 22 players. They could get to the $56.7 million cap by going with a 21 man roster - but even that leaves little room to cover short term injuries during the season - and no room for some depth pickups at the trade deadline.

However, the bigger problem is looking at the cap for the years AFTER 2008/09 if VP is signed for $3.9 million.

For 2009/10, lets assume the cap only rises by $3.3 million to $60 million. With Hossa leaving ($7.4 million) this leaves $10.7 million of cap space to cover the increased salary demands of players with expiring contracts.

Zetterberg will want to go from $2.65 million to $6.65 million - an increase of $4 million.

Franzen - if he has another super year - will want to go from $0.9 million to $5 million - an increase of $4 million.

Hudler, Samuelson, Kopecky wil want increases totaling $5 million.

That totals $13 million of increased salary demands with only $11 million of increased cap room.

It gets even worse the next year with other big player contracts coming due.

If the salary cap keeps escalating $5 to $6 million each year no problem. But if the Cdn dollar stays steady or falls, and a recession sets in, then the cap is likely to only increase by about $2 to $3 million in each of the next two years.

Therefore, based not only on this coming year, but also on future years, Holland cannot afford to overpay VP and reduce his future flexibility. Therefore he will probably take the picks. Since they are coming from Vancouver - they are likely to be "very good picks" in Brian Burke parlance.


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