Canucks bolster defense; add Ehrhoff, Lukowich, and Schneider

The Vancouver Canucks have added a lot of depth to their blueline in a short period of time. The team has acquired defencemen Christian Ehrhoff and Brad Lukowich from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for defenceman Daniel Rahimi and forward Patrick White. Vancouver also announced on Friday that they have inked veteran defenceman Mathieu Schneider to a contract.

In my opinion this is an exceptional trade for Vancouver. They acquired a legit top 4 defensemen, coming off a career year, and is only 27 years old. Ehrhoff makes a fair 3.1 million. Brad Lukowich is solid too. He’s a Stanley Cup winner, plays a solid defensive game, and blocks shots. His 1.6 million dollar cap hit isn’t bad either.

This trade is essentially just a salary dump for San Jose, because Daniel Rahimi might not have even made the Moose this year, and Vancouver may have never even chosen to sign Pat White after his college career is over. Both were once expected to be solid players for Vancouver, but after two very disappointing seasons in a row by both players they seem to have little chance of ever playing in the NHL.

Pretty much Vancouver is just cutting their loses and in exchange acquired a young top 4 defender, and solid 3rd pairing vet.

Mathieu Schneider will likely be the 8th defensemen on the team now – which speaks volumes about the amount of depth the Canucks have accquired on defense in the last day.

These moves make Vancouver a legit contender for the Cup. They are very deep on defense all of a sudden, have the best goalei in the world, and an offense that will surprise people this year – could finish in the top 10 in goals for.

Look at this lineup (and for anyone that doesn’t no Vancouver carries 13 forwards and 8 defensemen as oppose to 14 forwards and 7 defensemen).

Sedin – Sedin – Burrows
Samuelsson – Kesler – Demitra
Bernier – Hodgson – Raymond/Hansen
Hordichuk/Rypien – Wellwood – Raymond/Hansen

extra: Hordichuk/Rypien

Bieksa – Edler
Mitchell – Ehrhoff
O’Brien/Lukowich – Salo

extras: O’Brien/Lukowich, Schneider

Schneider/Raycroft (Raycroft only possibly for cap reasons now)

Ryan Johnson is likely gone now, as they need to clear a bit of cap space now. He will not be missed anyways though.

Not bad eh? This team will be really good this year. Mike Gillis has proven he really is one of the top GM’s in the league – not a single bad move yet, and has made many solid trades, signings, and waiver pickups.

43 Responses to Canucks bolster defense; add Ehrhoff, Lukowich, and Schneider

  1. Kramer says:

    Now that I got a new computer, I learned something.  All computers wait at the same speed.

  2. cam7777 says:

    It's better than an exceptional trade.  The Canucks acquired two legitimate NHL defensemen – one an experienced vet with a Cup on his resume, and the other an affordable PP man coming off a career year.  It cost them two prospects that aren't likely to amount to anything.  Again, I don't advocate Hockey Future's as a legitimate authority on prospect worth, but according to them, these guys are long shots to be NHL 3rd liners, and could easily fall to being permanent AHL'ers.    Regardless of the legitimacy of HF's, that gives us a vague idea of how "valuable" these two were.

    This is going to set the standard for some of the other teams facing similar difficulties either right now (Boston), or in the next year or two (Chicago/Washington/New York/etc…).  If you want/need cap space, it's going to cost you.

  3. cam7777 says:

    Oh, and just a few things about your propsed lineup Bure. 

    Samuelsson isn't a top six winger.  He will play the same role he played in Detroit: 4th line winger with top powerplay minutes.  His biggest asset is his shot.

    Someone might have to go from that defense.  Schneider will easily beat out O'Brien and Lukowich for a spot on the roster, and if you value either one of them above Salo, than Schneider would beat him out too (32 points in 67 games last year, playing three quarters of the year in Craplanta).

    As far as Scheider/Raycroft goes, I've been reading on a few sites people seem to think a bigger trade could be coming for Vancouver.  It makes sense; they have all sorts of pieces they don't need now, but that are still desirable.  They have a spare defensemen (O'Brien or Lukowich), a spare goaltender in Schneider (assuming Luongo is locked up long-term), and a spare role player or two (Wellwood/Hansen/Hordichuk/Johnson).  A combination of these players could be on their way out…..

  4. Bure96 says:

    I know Samuelsson isn't quite a top 6 forward. He's got a booming slapshot, and is an asset on the PP, but they aren't paying him 7.5 million over 3 seasons to not play a top 9 role.

    When I say the Canucks are deep upfront I mean they have great depth 1 through 12, though you could say they only have 4 or 5 legit top 6 forwards as of right now. This isn't a top heavy team. They'll role the first 3 lines, and give fair ice time to line 4. I think they need more size in the top 6 too – which is why I really hope Steve Bernier can have a 20 season. Sedins are tall, but obviously not physical. Burrows, and Kesler are nasty players, but aren't that big either (both under 200 pounds), and Demitra of course is a finesse player.

    I think Demitra, and Samuelsson could have some nice chemistry too. Samuelsson is coming off a 20 goal season in Detroit, and on every team in the league except Detroit is at least a top 9 forward.

    I believe Schneider is a better player then Shane O'Brien too, but I don't think they'll sit a 26 year old defender with upside out (one that is a legit 3rd pairing defender too) for a 40 year old that is effective on the PP at this point in his career … but that's about it.

    You have to think Shane O'Brien is on his way out. I would be shocked to see Vancouver hanging on to an asset like O'Brien to play him as the 7th defender. Jannik Hansen seems like a guy who could be moved too. You have to sense a big move coming, but I don't know what they might have in mind. They only way they make a play for a big name forward is if Demitra is moved too, though someone would probably pick him off waivers since he's in the final year of his deal.

  5. cam7777 says:

    I read a rumor that it might be Heatley that interests the Canucks, and that may have been why they acquired Ehrhoff – because he was rumored to be a guy Ottawa was interested in when San Jose was in the running.  That seems far-fetched, but who knows?

    Also, I said that about Samuelsson knowing that Vancouver would run the gauntlet in their lineup every night.  If everyone is getting pretty equal ice-time, and he's playing every powerplay, does it really matter if he's playing 2nd, 3rd or 4th line?

    I envisioned it looking something like this:

    D.Sedin – H.Sedin – Burrows
    Kesler – Hodgson – Demitra (Hodgson needs a chance to score goals)*
    Bernier – Wellwood – Samuelsson
    Raymond – Johnson – Hansen

    (Rypien, Hordichuk)

    Mitchell – Bieksa
    Ehrhoff – Edler
    Schneider – Salo

    (O'Brien, Lukowich)

    Luongo – Raycroft


    Anyway you look at it though, the Canucks have an excess in every position.  I'm starting to really like the look of this team.  I really hope they can out-perform Calgary and prove that all the Bouwmeester hype was excessive to say the least.

  6. JustYouW8 says:

    Off topic, but the Maple Leafs have agreed to let Jason Allison tryout for a roster spot in training camp..

  7. cam7777 says:

    Oh, and with that *, I wanted to say that I would want to insulate Hodgson with some great talent in his first year.  Kesler plays a nasty game, but can also help this kid along his way to winning the Calder.  Demitra is a fine veteran for him to learn from too.  He has plenty of time to learn the defensive game without having to drop down to play with Raymond and Bernier on the 3rd line, or what have you.  Let this kid shine.

  8. pezzz123 says:

    Salo and Raymond will be gone in a package by the training camp for a top 6 forward. Tim Connolly is a strong possibility. RJ Umberger also. Cory Stillman is another one. Or why not Brandon Dubinsky? Or even Chris Clark?

  9. VCRMillionaires says:

    RJ is not going anywhere he played really well for the Jackets last year and New York really does want to get rid of Dubinsky quite yet. But Raymond is fo'sho' a goner… I also think the Nucks will just get back draft picks or prospects.

  10. cam7777 says:

    They could go after another top prospect, or a top player with the left-overs they have.  They could package Schneider, Salo, Raymond, and one of their extra 4th liners (Hansen, Rypien, Johnson, Wellwood, Hordichuk).

    I'm really impressed with what Gillis has done in one year as GM.  Now granted, a lot of the pieces were already in place for him, but he has held it all together so well.  As soon as he gets Luongo to ink a long-term extension, you can bet another big trade is coming soon after…

  11. VCRMillionaires says:

    I was thinking about a trade with the Sharks but getting Murrey instead of Luko and giving up SOB. But I'm still happy with what we got and for a d-man that will never make the NHL and a bag of 'White' pucks.

  12. reinjosh says:

    im willing to bet that Schneider won't be traded until after Luongo is signed

  13. VCRMillionaires says:

    I think your pegging SOB to be a better player then he actually is. Yes he's still young but he takes way to many unnecessary penalties. He's a 5 or 6 defender and yes he would be put to waste if he's in the 7 spot, but seeing how often our "d" gets hurt it would be good to invest in a good #7.

  14. VCRMillionaires says:

    "far-fetched" is what this site is for. And yes I'm jumping the gun by suggesting the Heatley will be a Canuck soon. (In return the Sens would get Demitra , Ehrhoff(or Salo) and maybe a 1st? (i'll even through in Raymond))

    And for your 4th line Raymond will be out and Rypien will be in.
    Even if Gillis doesn't make anymore trades i think he wants more competition for each position (may the best win)… this is going to make for a tough and entertaining training camp. 
    Sorry fans of other teams but the Canucks will win it so just start practicing your putting now.
  15. cam7777 says:

    Just heard a rumor on another site that ESPN put up "Marleau to Chicago for Sharp and more".  That was a while ago though, and nothing has come of it on major websites.  Still, that would be an interesting trade. 

  16. VCRMillionaires says:

    Chicago doesn't have enough money for that???

  17. sensnation says:

    The only reason for the Sharks to make this move is for the cap space, and one would believe that the only reason they would need such cap space would be to make another deal.  Perhaps the long rumored deal with the Senators?

    Considering that Sharks GM Doug Wilson promised a change of attitude in the Sharks locker room and that the Senators have too many defenseman, the signs seem to point that both clubs could work something out.

    I see a trade like this going down:

    To San Jose (cap space 5.566):
    Danny Heatley (7.5)
    Jason Smith (2.6)
    Total cap hit (10.1)

    To Ottawa (cap space -1.143):
    Patrick Marleau (6.3)
    Jamie McGinn (.685)
    Conditional Pick
    Total cap hit (6.985)

    Why this deal makes sense:

    Ottawa: They manage to get Heatley off the team while still managing to get a top line player in return in Marleau.  Clearing Jason Smith will allow more financial room while clearing some space on the blueline for youngsters Karlsson or Lee.
    New Salary: 55.293

    San Jose:  San Jose acquires a character guy to replace some of the departed defenseman who will change the makeup of the locker room in Jason Smith.  They also add a premier sniper in Heatley to play with the passing machine that is Joe Thornton.  McGinn is a decent prospect and is the cost for upgrading from Marleau to Heatley.  The conditional pick is conditional on Ottawa re-signing Marleau at years end.  A 2nd round pick if unsigned, a 5th if he does.
    New Salary: 54.774

    New Ottawa Roster




    New San Jose roster




  18. cam7777 says:

    Sharp, Ladd, Sopel = 7.783 million
    Marleau, 2nd = 6.3 million

    Chicago would have saved money, and given themselves cap relief next off-season.

    It makes a lot of sense for both clubs if you look at the new lineups:

    Michalek – Thornton – Setoguchi
    Clowe – Pavelski – Sharp
    Ladd – Couture – Cheechoo  (great insulation for Couture's rookie season)
    Shelley – S.Nichol – Mitchell 

    Boyle – Vlasic
    Blake – Murray
    Sopel – Huskins

    Nabokov – Greiss

    CAP HIT – 55.25 million


    Versteeg – Toews – Hossa
    Marleau – Bolland – Kane
    Burrish – Madden – Byfuglien
    Eager – Kopecky – Brouwer

    Keith – Seabrook
    Campbell – Barker
    Johnson – Hjalmarsson

    Huet – Crawford

    CAP HIT – 56.9 million
    (but Hossa is out for the first month, so they will squeeze under)

  19. cam7777 says:

    it will cost more than that to acquire heatley.  the sharks will not consider smith an asset to acquire seeing as they just dumped ehrhoff and lukowich (both better than smith at this point in his career) for nothing prospects that are unlikely to ever play in the nhl.  so that's a plus in san jose's favor if they take him back, but it will still cost them more than mcginn, and that pick will have to be a guaranteed 1st.

    marleau is obviously significant, but where his value is lacking is the term of his deal.  the sharks get a 50 goal man for 4 years, and the sens get marleau for possibly only 1 season.. what if marleau went down in game one with a broken leg and never played a game for the sens?  murray would be the laughing stock of GMs and immediately lose his job.  Ottawa would have to get someone like Cheechoo back, or a top prospect in Couture, or it's not worth it for them.

    moreover, there are rumors out there that this deal would have been accomplished much sooner, regardless of cap concerns, but marleau has told wilson he will not waive to go to ottawa.  who knows if there's any truth to that, but i could see it.  i can't imagine murray is the most popular gm these days.  if marleau is going to move, he's going to want to go to a pretty sure-bet kinda atmosphere; especially in a contract year.

  20. Bure96 says:

    Hmmmmm. You might be right about Hodgson. If we really do almost just role the first 3 lines then it would make sense to pair him Demitra, and Kesler. He's more of a playmaker though, so I don't like the idea of Hodgson playing with Demitra. You have a net presence in Ryan Kesler, but none of those guys have a lethal shot.

    I don't like the idea of Dany Heatley. Too much money, and this teams needs to re-up the contracts of Kesler, Mitchell, and Luongo this summer. What about Phil Kessel? He'll be out for a chunk of the season, so they could work their way around their cap issues. Vancouver would have all the leverage in this deal too. He's unsigned, and there is no way Boston doesn't trade him or sign him before training camp starts.

    What about Mason Raymond, Jannik Hansen, SOB, and a conditional pick? If he scores at a 50+ goal pace it's a 1st rounder, 40+ it's a 2nd and 4th rounder, 35+ it's a 2nd rounder, 30+ it's a 3rd rounder, and a 5th rounder, and anything less is a 4th rounder.

    It's not a terrible trade. You add two top 9 forwards with top 6 upside, and both make under 1 million a year, you add the perfect 6th defender for this team, and move Andrew Ference out of the lineup who in reality really isn't that good. They still aren't under the cap, but all they need after that is to move a player like Marco Sturm, and they now have the depth to replace him. It's not a great trade for Boston, but someone is going to take advantage of them being up against the cap.

    Vancouver would still have to move a player to get under the cap, but it could be done. It doesn't have any long term issues yet, so they could acquire a longer term deal with a lower cap hit for Pavol Demitra maybe.

  21. cam7777 says:

    Problem with that is, I don't think Boston has any interest in spare pieces.  They have a ton of talent that are ready to take the next step, but don't have the room to accomadate them.  Colborne, Hamill, Sobotka, Boychuk and more are all good to go.  They need someone who can put the puck in the net on Savard's wing, if they are going to move Kessel…and for cheap.

    I also personally don't think Kessel is that special.  I'd like to see him put up two good years in a row before we officially label him the greatest player ever.  If he was that good, someone would have snapped him up by now.  It would only cost a 1st and a 3rd in all likelihood.

    What do you think of this one:

    to Philadelphia
    Cory Schneider, Sami Salo, Mason Raymond
    to Vancouver
    Simon Gagne, Ryan Parent

    Top six winger, salary dump with Salo, and swap a defensive prospect for an offensive one (Raymond and Parent are about the same stage in their career/development).  Then you've got your guy with a lethal shot to play with Hodgson.

    D.Sedin – H.Sedin – Burrows
    Gagne – Hodgson – Kesler
    Bernier – Demitra – Samuelsson  (Demitra can play center, can't he?)
    Rypien – Wellwood – Hansen

    Mitchell – Bieksa
    Ehrhoff – Edler
    Schneider – Parent

    (O'Brien, Lukowich)

    Luongo – Raycroft

    Should be able to squeeze that under the cap with injuries and what not.

  22. JustYouW8 says:

    TSN is reporting that Tampa Bay has signed  Alex Tanguay

  23. VCRMillionaires says:

    Looks like the Hawks would get the better end of the deal. Poor Sharks if they have to take Sopel…

  24. VCRMillionaires says:

    I would take that trade but i think the Flyers would want us to take Coburn instead of young Parent or more likely Randy Jones and cash.

    Also… i know getting Heatley is a bit of a pipe dream but if Lu doesn't sign Gillis might/should look into it… this year could be his best chance for the cup.
  25. VCRMillionaires says:

    There would have to be a 3rd party (like the Hawks) if this deal was to happen, seeing that Marleau doesn't want to go to Ottawa. Also the Sharks do have the upper hand in the deal so i don't think they would want Jason Smith.

  26. VCRMillionaires says:

    I also read somewhere that Demitra has a NTC so it might be hard to move him.

  27. hockey_lover says:

    I hope bbruins doesnt read this. He'll say that Ference is a legit top 6 dman and Sturm is one of the best all around players in the league.

  28. sensnation says:

    It actually makes sense for the Sharks to acquire Smith. He would help bolster their weakend defnece after the Canucks trade and would add tons of character to this team.  Smith is a former captainwho leaves it all on the ice and is not afraid to call anybody out.  He is exactly what the Sharks need.

  29. pezzz123 says:

    Andrew Ference isn't only a legit top 6 guy, he's a good 2nd pairing d-man.

  30. reinjosh says:

    dont you think that this deal could just be taken at face value
    and because the sharks needed to be under the cap in a month
    that the deal was done so that they wont break the league rules
    i dont know
    just a thought

  31. Bure96 says:

    That is a good trade for Vancouver of course, but i'm not sure Philly would ever go for it.

    Nice lineup though. It makes sense for both teams really, but at this point seems a bit lopsided … until Schneider prove himself at the NHL. Simon Gagne is a really nice deal at slightly more then 5 million a year. This deal only happens if Philly is can't get under the cap, and has to trade Simon Gagne. They want to hold on to him.

    I still love the team this year, even if at some point they have to bury Lukowich in the minors they still made an excellent deal.

    They all of a sudden are loaded with weapons on defense. Bieksa, Schneider, Edler, Ehrhoff, Salo … this could be one of the highest scoring defenses in the league this year.

  32. sensnation says:

    Before the deal, the Sharks had a cap hit of 56.326 million and actually had 475,000 in cap space. You simply do not trade a 42 point defenseman to "get under the cap".

    And teams dont seem to be worried too much about the cap right now, since the Canucks additions of Lukowich and Ehrhoff puts them at 58.1 million, 1.3 million over the cap, and that does not include Schneider`s deal.

  33. reinjosh says:

    why else would you trade a 42 point defenseman for absolutely nothing genius
    it makes no other sense to them
    they gave him away because no one else wanted him
    how else do you explain this
    look at the hockeybuzz san jose blogger
    "It's a trade necessitated by San Jose's salary cap constraints, which can only be pinned on Wilson's terrible cap management."
    a direct quote from his blog
    thanks for proving my point

  34. cam7777 says:

    Teams are trying to pretend they don't care about the cap, like Chiarelli in Boston.  He keeps saying things that make it seem as if maneuvering the cap is easy, and if he has to, he will simply ship out a player for a quality return and sign kessel.  It's a bunch of crap to try and garner bargaining position, and the Ehrhoff deal proves it.  Wilson would have gone all over searching for a return for that package, and THAT was the best he could do.

    Yes, the Sharks were under the cap before the deal, according to nhlnumbers, BUT, that number did not factor in the contract for Greiss, their backup goalie, and it saw their roster 4 players short of a full squad.  So really, they were right at the cap (assuming Greiss got between 500k and 900k) or just over, and still had 4 players to add.  It was strictly a salary dump.

  35. cam7777 says:

    Oh, and as far as the Canucks go, that new figure accounts for all the overages on their roster – 8 defensemen and 15 forwards.  They will obviously try to trade one of their defensemen, probably a forward, and then bury someone in the minors.  My guess is that Gillis has a plan which is contingent on whether Luongo resigns in VanCity:

    If Luongo resigns, Schneider will be packaged with a defensemen (Salo or O'Brien), and possibly an excess forward (Wellwood, Johnson, Hansen), for a top-six forward. 

    If Luongo doesn't resign, Gillis will attempt to dangle a more valuable forward (Bernier, Demitra), packaged with a defensmen, for a lesser return.  Subsequently, he would put off making a decision on retaining Schneider until he is sure of what Luongo is going to do….

  36. sensnation says:

    First of all, I highly, highly doubt that "nobody wanted him" as there were 15 teams, half the league, that did not have a defensemen get Ehrhoff's 42 points.  Many teams, Columbus, Dallas and Phoenix, chief among them, are looking for a good young puck moving defenceman.

    Secondly, if the Sharks were just looking to clear some cap space to get under the cap, many other players could have been moved ahead of the league's 25th leading scorer among defencemen.  Some other players that could have been moved ahead of him:
    – Doug Murray (7 points, 38PIMs, 2.5 million)
    – Jonathan Cheechoo (29 points, 3 million)
    – Kent Huskins (33 games, 6 points, 1.7 million) 

    Now if the goal was not only to move below the cap, which was unnecessary as they were already under the cap, but to creat some more space to help facilitate a future trade, then moving Ehrhoff's 3.1 million salary makes more sense.

    And finally, I would not really put too much credence into what a hockeybuzz correspondent has to blog about.  Rather I would be more inclined to believe Sharks G.M.  "It gives you the ability to explore all opportunities that do come our way,"

  37. cam7777 says:

    Read what I wrote about this below, and you'll see that the Sharks were in fact in severe cap trouble. 

    As far as moving players like Cheechoo, Murray and Huskins before Ehrhoff, than you clearly were not watching the Sharks at all this year.  Yes, Ehrhoff had more points than those people, but the other three did their jobs better.  Cheechoo is the only guy who came to play when it mattered.  Murray is a shut down guy – he's not there to get points.  And they just signed Huskins because they want him on their team.  The guy has been a champion before, and he's a good, gritty, team guy.

    The fact is, Ehrhoff is soft, and he collected a good number of his points because he was priveleged enough to play a powerplay that had Dan Boyle, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi on it.  Is he a good PP defensemen?  Yes, he's quite good.  But for less than a million, the Sharks could sign M.A, Bergeron to that role, and he would still put up 30-35 points.  Ehrhoff was very expendable for their particular franchise.

    Also, in regards to teams being interested in someone like Ehrhoff, think about the teams who just mentioned.  All of them are in financial difficulty to say the least.  Columbus cannot afford to take on salary unless they send back an equal amount – that doesn't work for the Sharks.  Phoenix cannot afford to take on anymore salary, for obvious reasons.  Dallas has an owner who is having real troubles right now, and they are looking to shed salary as a result.  None of these teams can afford an extra 6.2 million over 2 years, for Christian Ehrhoff.

  38. reinjosh says:

    no i don't put much credence in eklund but i give credit to a guy who actually pays attention to a specific team and generally has good intellect when it comes to hockey
    and listen to what your saying
    if this wasnt a salary dump don't you think that Wilson would have got back more for him than two no-name prospects with very little future (not to mention Lukowich was part of the deal)
    and obviously other teams had no interest in him as they got next to nothing back from him
    and yes teams usually make trades to free up cap room
    teams need cap space in case of injury when they may need to get a replacement
    so in that regards you are semi correct
    but don't you think if their was an imminent trade that Wilson would have used Ehrhoff or got something in return worth something to use in this "imminent" trade
    it would make sense logic wise.
    this trade doesnt make any sense to me
    and in regards to your pointing out they were just under the cap, thanks for pointing that out, i dont know why i though they were over.
    though your last quote doesnt really support a trade, just leaves the possibility open for one if it comes along

  39. reinjosh says:

    though i just found out they were only under because they hadnt signed enough players
    and still need to sign 5 players
    so again im saying that this is just a pure salary dump
    every thing about this deal points to a salary dump
    plain and simple

  40. reinjosh says:

    yah ive been thinking exactly the same thing

  41. cam7777 says:

    you thought they were over because they were.  why does no one listen to me.  That 56.3 didn't account for Greiss's extension (which would have brought them over), and it also left their roster 4 players short.  So even if they signed 4 guys at league minimum, they were still at least 2 million over the cap.

  42. reinjosh says:

    yah i just saw your comment lower on the page
    and yah i did listen to you
    thats why for a minute i thought i was going crazy lol
    would you agree this is a complete salary dump?
    it just doesnt make any sense otherwise

  43. cam7777 says:

    of course it is.  the only way it kind of isn't a salary dump, is if we saw a second deal go through right away.  in that case, we might have assumed that space had to be cleared immediately, in order to make room for someone who was only going to be available for a short time. 

    for instance, if a superstar like heatley was coming back and marleau said "i will waive my clause any time in the next 48 hours, to go to one of these 5 teams".  or if murray had come to wilson and said, "we have a suitable offer from new york, but i'll give you till tomorrow to match it".  well then, wilson wouldn't have had time to dick around with finding a viable offer for ehrhoff.

    but nothing happened, and the team still isnt' exactly over-flowing with cap space.  even assuming they fill out their roster with organizational depth – moore, joslin, mcginn, ortmeyer, and helminen, they still only have about a million or less in cap space, and four massive contracts to renew next off-season (Marleau, Pavelski, Setoguchi, Nabokov).  not to mention, filling out the roster with those guys is pretty weak.  it's a pretty substantial drop from the first two lines, to the bottom two lines.  it's a very top heavy team all around. 

    it's hard to argue with success, but the sharks have reached their pinnacle in my view, and are starting to tumble backwards now….

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