The question for Canucks management was simple: is this a team that needs a complete retool or is it a team that can compete in the next few seasons with the existing core and the anticipated additions from the system. The answer was the latter -- possibly in part because so much of the "core" is signed with no trade clauses (so what choice is there?), but mostly because across the NHL, this remains a top 10 team. Not one of the two or three best, like a couple years ago, but in the next tier. They aren't going to the cup finals with the walking wounded like a few years back, but they can get there if they stay healthy, get a hot run by Luongo, and have the opposite happen to the conference elites (this year, I think Chicago and San Jose (maybe St. Louis will creep into this group)) -- namely, they get the injury bug or the goalie that can't make the big save.
More than that, this team is way too far away (in terms of system attributes) to think that blowing up the core and rebuilding from within and the draft (you can't build a team on the open market, only accent it) is going to work out. Nearly ever "bad" team tries to build from the bottom up; few succeed or at least can sustain long term success. Look at Edmonton, who despite drafting excellent players, isn't really that close. At any rate, if you think the Canucks have a lack of depth now, take away their 2 best forwards (or 2 of their 3 best, for those that think Kesler is on their level).
There is no question that at least one Sedin -- Henrik -- took a big pay cut to stay. Henrik could get $7.5 to $8 on the open market and probably would have had a suitor willing to give him 6 or 7 years. While there is always a gamble extending forwards past their age 35 season, Henrik's style of play, health, and unquestionable commitment to conditioning make him as good of bet as any forward. I don't think the market would have been as hot for Daniel, but it wouldn't suprise me if someone was willing to throw in an extra year or two, if not another 500K over the same term. One of the great things about the twins from the Canucks management perspective is that the "hometown discount" isn't negotiated based on what the best player would get on the open market, but on what the slightly less valuable player would get on the open market.
On a personal note, I am thrilled that the Sedins are remaining because they are really a treat to watch play. The goals Daniel scored in the last two games are so rare to see in this league. Two games ago being the result of one of those marathon possession shifts the Sedins seem to do more than any other line; the last game resulting from a completely unconventional set up that is evidence of their still evolving creativity. More than the exceptional goals, though, are the little things they do which are simply a joy to watch. Blind passes, cross-ice backhand saucers, stickhandling in a booth. They make it look so easy, but few have these skills to do this so successfully so regularly, fewer to make it look easy while doing it.
I am a Canuck fan by a strange circumstance, a story I told on the other CC once. I won't retell it, but it basically all started when my North Stars left Minnesota (or possibly, when the announcement was made that they weren't going to return the next season). I've been a fan of the Vancouver Cancuks ever since. I expect I always will be. But part of me wonders whether I'd be watching the Canucks or the Sedins on NHL Center Ice if they moved together to a new team. Glad I won't be finding out.
Congratulations, Henrik and Daniel.