Mats Sundin is giving the Vancouver Canucks a $1.4-million US discount, The Vancouver Sun has learned. The Swedish free agent agreed to a creative contract that, pro-rated over a full season, is worth $8.6 million.
The National Hockey League team had a long-standing $10-million-per-season offer on the table to the 37-year-old, but Sundin agreed this week to take less when Canucks general manager Mike Gillis asked for some salary flexibility that would allow him to add more players.
The one-year deal is structured so Sundin will receive a $4-million signing bonus in January. His salary, technically, is $1.6 million, which based on the days remaining during the regular season will pay him $1 million. In total, Sundin will earn $5 million, which is equivalent to $8.6 million over a full season.
The salary-cap hit of $5 million leaves Gillis about $2.5 million below the NHL’s $56.7 million pay limit as of today. The Canucks, however, are carrying extra players due to injuries. Vancouver’s cap number will decrease slightly as players return from injury and the roster count goes down, so Gillis could have more than $3 million to spend. And that gives the Canucks enough money to land another impact player before the trading deadline on March 3.
Sundin will join the Canucks on Dec. 27.