The window is closing on Mike Gillis to land the Sedin twins before they hit the unrestricted free agent market in less than a week.
And on Thursday afternoon, the Vancouver Canucks general manager said he remains optimistic that he can strike a deal with the dynamic pair.
“I think there is common ground. We want them and they’ve made it clear they want to stay in Vancouver,” said Gillis. “Normally, when you have two parties that have that amount of common ground, you can figure out how to do it.”
Gillis acknowledged that the two sides will likely meet over the weekend, as the Sedins agent J.P. Barry is in Montreal for the NHL Entry Draft. However, the Canucks GM refused to verify a published report that the Sedins are seeking identical 12-year contracts in the neighborhood of $65 million.
“I’m not going to comment on that particular story,” said Gillis. “We’re working hard to keep Henrik and Daniel in Vancouver. I think it would be unfair to comment.
Gillis was also asked about the status of Mats Sundin, whose playing future once again appears to be in doubt. The Canucks general manager said he would like to re-sign Sundin for another season in 2009-10.
“Mats was great for us. Everything he brought to our team, we were extremely pleased with. We would be thrilled if Mats indicated that he wanted to return. We certainly haven’t closed any doors in respect to him.”
Another significant story making the rounds in Vancouver involves pending free agent Marian Gaborik purchasing a home in West Vancouver. The Wild sniper would be a natural fit for the Canucks, but Gillis is certainly not part of the conspiracy theory making the rounds that Gaborik has already decided to play in Vancouver next season.
“I have no reaction. It was complete news to me,” replied Gillis, when asked about Gaborik’s house purchase. “He’s a player on another team and we can’t comment on players on other teams. I was as surprised and shocked as anyone to hear that.”
But Gillis was forthcoming when asked about Mattias Ohlund, who is set to hit the free agency market on July 1st. The lifelong Canucks defenseman appears to have played his last game in Vancouver.
“The way that was left, I think Mattias was going to explore free agency and see what’s out there for him. We hope he does really well and accomplishes his goals,” added Gillis.