Just shortly after the Canucks traded a couple draft picks for Steve Bernier, the St. Louis Blues signed him to an offer sheet that would pay the young power forward $2.5 million per year. Vancouver general manager Mike Gillis did the right thing when he quickly matched the offer.
Bernier was acquired to accompany the Sedin twins (Henrik and Daniel) on the first line next year in 2008-09. Because of his big body, willingness to stand in front of the net, and right-handed shot, Bernier is expected to pile up the numbers next year. He is predicted to play on the power play, as well, because of his shot. This has been Gillis' best move by far this offseason.
Why did the Blues offer the contract to Bernier? It could have been retaliation for the $2.5 million offer sheet the Canucks made to the Blues' young forward David Backes. Many people felt Gillis was out of line offering a $600,000 player that kind of raise following an unspectacular season producing 31 points in 72 games. Or, the offer could have been simply because Bernier is a very talented young forward who, if given enough quality ice time, could mold into a great winger.
Whatever the reasoning, Canucks fans have no need to worry because Gillis did what he was supposed to and matched the offer. A great young talent for a very low price was acquired Monday afternoon, and this could be the right fit for the Sedins...finally!