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Photo Credit: Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports

What Will Brock Boeser’s Next Contract Look Like?

It’s no secret that the Vancouver Canucks are extremely cap-strapped going into the 2019-20 season. In addition to lack of space, they have two forwards that still need new contracts before they even start training camp.

Both Nikolay Goldobin and Brock Boeser played up in the lineup last year and both are restricted free agents heading into August. One is obviously much more important to the team — Boeser is destined to be part of the core when this team is more successful than they have been in recent memory.

With the path laid out for the 22-year-old winger, he still needs a new contract and with all the restricted free agency drama around the league currently, Boeser’s situation seems to be quiet as of late.

Reports trickled out early this month that the two parties inching closer to a deal, but since then, there has been nothing of substance. But it’s essentially a problem with how much cap space is remaining for the all-star winger to be signed.

Currently, the Canucks are carrying 12 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goaltenders on their roster, with only a shade over $5.8-million remaining in cap space. The have signed other free agents like Ferland and Myers to significant contracts before re-signing Boeser, but as of right now, that appears to not be a problem.

They can of course limit the size of their roster two the bare minimum of 20 players and plausibly fit Boeser in under the cap, but  doing so would come with considerable risk.

There is certainly one Swedish winger-sized elephant in the room when it comes to the Canucks cap situation. Loui Eriksson and his three years remaining at a massive $6-million cap hit is causing problems for this team and there has been much speculation as to whether or not the winger can be moved before the start of next season. At this point, it looks as though either a trade or AHL demotion is the most likely course of action; but unfortunately, a demotion only takes $900,000 off the Canucks’ cap hit and doesn’t really solve any problems when it comes to re-signing Boeser.

Other players can certainly be moved to make room — Brandon Sutter, Tanner Pearson, Chris Tanev — but that would just involve some rough guessing and bad hypothetical trades that would send those players somewhere for nothing coming back on the cap. Listing all the possible transactions would be a fruitless exercise, but it is certain that the Canucks need to create some cap space to fit in at least Boeser under the limit.

Boeser’s going to get paid regardless of whether or not they’re able to create the space via trade or another transaction. Obviously, it’s impossible to know exactly what the number will be, but work being done in the public sphere can help give us a ballpark estimate. Looking at past contracts, applying the player’s age, past performance, pedigree, etc. — the EvolvingWild twins of evolving-hockey.com have their annual contract predictions this offseason and have been close in the past years.

Here is what the predictions say:

Length (Years) AAV ($) Probability (%)
1 4,032,854 0.8
2 4,658,017 12.8
3 5,760,399 15.0
4 5,782,868 1.4
5 6,421,065 4.6
6 7,295,955 19.6
7 6,877,966 39.4
8 7,374,713 6.4

Based on the rumours that have been out there regarding figures on a potential Boeser deal and what other players have recently signed for these predictions clearly pass the sniff test. The length peaking at seven years is likely what both the player and team would prefer — security and cost certainty, the two most valuable things for either side.

What’s interesting is the other high-probability years coming in at six, two and three. Those terms are clearly dependent on whether or not the Canucks will be able to clear the space that is needed for the winger’s extension.

It would be unfortunate if the team is forced into a corner and have to sign a player with a high-ceiling like Boeser to a short-term deal and will face another offseason with more restricted free agents than they can handle.

The ideal contract, that happens to be the most likely according to the predictions, would need some slight moves but not a massive overhaul to re-sign the player. A seven year contract that comes around $6.8-7.2-million would be something that everyone can agree with, especially in comparison to other deals around the league.

Player Length of Contract (Years) AAV (millions) GAR in Season before Contract
Brock Boeser  —  — 8.9
William Nylander 6 6.96 15.9
Johnny Gaudreau 6 6.75 15.2
Dylan Larkin 6 6.1 1.9
Leon Draisaitl 8 8.5 14.9

Essentially cherry-picking some players that could be comparable to Boeser when they were up for their first contracts post-entry level, it’s easy to tell where Boeser’s next deal will lie. The Draisaitl comparison might be a bit of stretch, but he did get two extra years for a bit of a bump in cap hit.

The three other players were in the realm of what Boeser is currently, coming out of some stellar rookie years and in need of contract post-ELC that could buy some unrestricted free agency years.

There is a clear history for this type of player, not the top-tier of young stars but the next level that has some crossover. This isn’t a Matthews or McDavid contract, but we’re still talking about someone that deserves getting a significant portion of their team’s cap.

If Benning and co. could get Boeser under control and purchase some UFA seasons for a solid price, that would be an important step forward to reacquiring some of that past success from the prior regime.

The true first step to regaining some prolonged contention would be this contract. So far they have just needed to draft the correct players and begin their development, now it comes the difficult part of a team in a hard-cap system — retaining their services by signing them to fair contracts that won’t ruin the team’s future.

Boeser can be a simple contract, while the upcoming Hughes and Pettersson deals will most likely be the most crucial to get right.

But that’s still looking a couple years in the future. What’s next for this team is to get Boeser signed and keep him in Vancouver for the long-term.

-stats via evolving-hockey-

  • “Currently, the Canucks are carrying 12 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goaltenders on their roster, with only a shade over $5.8-million remaining in cap space.”

    Why do you guys keep saying things like this when it’s clearly wrong?

    Let me put it this way. If you put together a roster that is Ferland, Pettersson, Miller, Horvat, Pearson, Virtanen, Baertschi, Sutter, Roussel, Leivo, Beagle, Motte, and Schaller at forward, with Edler, Myers, Hughes, Tanev, Benn, Stecher and Fantenberg on defense, and Markstrom and Demko in net, you have a 22 man roster – with one spot left for Brock Boeser.

    That 22 man roster has $6,958,461 in cap space.

    Obviously there are other ways to construct the roster (it could have Eriksson on it instead of being buried in the minors, for example), but it doesn’t make a significant difference to the total cap space; it’s always well over $6M left with 1 spot remaining. I do not know where this $5.8 million dollar thing comes from and it’s been in like ten articles this summer, and people consistently point out that it doesn’t make any sense. Yet Canucksarmy writers ignore those comments and keep pushing this nonsense.

    Explain yourselves.

    • ….it the FoxNews theory …. make false statements once …. you are lying. …… constantly prop up false statements to support a narrative ….. it is alternative news. #MAGA Thomas!

    • Guess where this misinformation started? People keep on pointing out his fake figuring, so often in fact that I’m starting to believe that he’s visually impaired

    • @JDMay: Your figures assume that the Canucks will either not incur performance bonuses this coming season or will defer them to the following season.

      Pettersson has max performance bonuses of $2.85 million and Hughes 850K. Pettersson maxed his out last season and no doubt the Canucks are counting on Hughes to collect a large share of his this season. There are others with performance bonuses in their contracts, though they are all unlikely to earn much of them. They include Gaudette, Juolevi, Lind, Jasek, MacEwen, Palmu, Gadjovich, Woo, Eliot, Brisebois, DiPietro and Kielly.

      If you figure on performance bonuses of, say, $3.5 million (a little under the max for Pettersson and Hughes by themselves) then your figure available to pay Boeser drops to under $3.5 million, which obviously isn’t enough.

      The Canucks are permitted to defer taking performance bonuses into account until the following season. I personally think it a poor move for a team that already has over $ 4 million dead space (Luongo and Spooner) and a number of greatly underperforming contracts (Eriksson and Sutter being the prime examples.) Even if they can manage to fit in raises for Markstrom, Stecher and Virtanen while finding money to pay (or replace) Tanev, Fantenberg, Biega, Leivo and Motte, there wouldn’t be flexibility to make any other moves to improve the team.

      I can’t imagine the Canucks wanting to keep deferring bonuses from the 2020-21 season (not this season but the next one) they’ll have Pettersson’s entry level contract, Hughes’ entry level contract and Demko’s bridge contract expiring.

      Unless Pettersson and Hughes (and Juolevi, Gaudette and the rest) fail to perform well enough to earn their performance bonuses, the cap situation is imo worse than what appears just by adding up the figures without regard to the bonuses.

      • @tyhee:

        You’re overlooking any LTIR relief we may receive, including 3 mil pro rated at the start of the season for Roussel, which gives us plenty of cushion to have AP 40 cash in on a great performance.

        The performance roll over, if there is any, is next years problem and shouldn’t have too much bearing on this season, because Schaller and Motte’s contracts are gone and it’s unlikely anyone is getting a big raise, other than maybe Troy Stecher.

        We have over 6.7 million to sign Boeser, without any anchor contracts getting in the way, period. CA’s reporting is wrong.

        • It’s not nearly that simple Tellmore. There are big problems coming two years from now when Pettersson and Hughes have to sign, and Benning has left little room to maneuver in the next two years. Entry level performance bonuses will only make things worse. I’ve done the math and something has to give.

          • All of this is perfectly true and worth discussing in an in-depth article – performance bonuses, likely LTIR candidates, the need to have extra bodies on road trips, etc. There are multiple roster permutations that could arise on opening night, and throughout the season, that would affect cap flexibility going forward . I’d be all in for that sort of analysis if someone wants to write it.

            The problem is that none of this affects what I posted, because the context of the statement made by the author of this piece is how much money they have to sign Brock Boeser. They have at least $6.8M to do that. Whether they have to clear cap space later in the season to deal with Pettersson / Hughes performance bonuses (which they probably will) is not the issue. The author of the piece cited a demonstrably incorrect figure as to how much cap space the team has to make the signing, and this has been happening for quite a while on this site.

            I am still awaiting an explanation.

          • Care to show your work?

            3 million LTIR for Roussel pretty much covers the rookie bonuses, plus the ability to defer them, especially considering Tanev, Boeser, Edler, Sutter and the default Canuck injury history. If you think we won’t carry 3 million of AAV in LTIR over the season, you’re pretty optimistic. With Schaller, Tanev and Motte off the books next season, I’m skeptical these bonuses are even a problem.

            Please show the math that makes it one,

        • Care to show the math?

          Because 12 forward, 7 defenders and 2 goalies can equal over 7 million dollars in cap space if Schaller and Eriksson are assigned to the AHL.

          While I doubt Eriksson gets sent down, Schaller is far from safe…, and if he’s the cut, EP40 or Hughes is likely to get papered for another 900k and then recalled when Roussel goes on IR.

          Makes the most sense for roster flexibility, though only Motte, Fantenberg and Biega please provide less than 1.075 million in relief otherwise.

          Is your math different?

      • With a roster of 24… so it’s illegal and lacks a spot for Boeser.

        Add 2 slots of relief at 1.075 and that cap hit is over 7 million.

        Pretty exact science. Don’t know why people can’t do simple roster slot counting, I agree.

  • it must be the dog days all right. this site is barely awake and canuck way is spouting ‘huh?’ from grade 12 classes. sure hope the lions play better. the kneecaps are a waste of everything and my beer is getting warmer. good grief!

    • The Lions have been appalling. So much hope but I expect they’ll clean house on the roster before labour day. And can someone tell Duron Carter to keep running and not stop, jump and try to one hand everything? The guy just can’t play this way, needs his head in the game along with a few others. And Hervey is a terrible GM.

  • I wonder if this will be the year of the holdout. Across the league Teams are tight up to the cap, a lockout is looming in two years and the PA may want to send message.
    At this stage Boeser will probably sign for something less than Edler and Myers…… eventually.
    The team internal cap is 6mill by my calculation. Probably term is the hold up and whether BB wants to be a UFA at the earliest possible time. If he does that takes money off the table cause he has to give up something to get his wish. If the Canucks want longer, they have to pay for it.
    Remember Boeser is only about 60% the player Marner is, at this stage, so to me that’s 6 tops, or less.
    The longer this goes across the league, the less money there will be for an individual player. The size of the pie is fixed.
    Bottom line, too much in action for me to believe it is coincidence. Feels coordinated.

    • The PA isn’t sending a message with having players hold out. What young player in their prime would do that? Skip a season or part of a season and not get paid to assist all the players that are getting paid?

      I think there is a lot of greed amongst the players and stupid contracts from some GM’s that are causing the holdouts. The younger players want their money now and don’t want to wait for the contract that will eat up free agency years. The younger players are the stars and deserve to get paid, but its coming at the expense of the older players.

      Boeser is a good player, but he has not passed the 60 point mark. He would have without injuries, but he has yet to play even close to a full season. His injury issues go back into his college career. I think a 3 year bridge/prove it contract at 5.5 (like Bo) to 6 mil is fair for what he has done so far. He would make 17-18 mil in the next three years and then still be able to cash in during his prime if he proves himself.

      • That salary range sounds right to me. Nylander showed a hold out can work, I would not be surprised if more do it. Will be interesting to see who shows up to camp.
        Of course these RFA hold ups affect UFAs like Gardiner because of cap uncertainty.

  • I wonder if this will be the year of the holdout. Across the league Teams are tight up to the cap, a lockout is looming in two years and the PA may want to send message.
    At this stage Boeser will probably sign for something less than Edler and Myers…… eventually.
    The team internal cap is 6mill by my calculation. Probably term is the hold up and whether BB wants to be a UFA at the earliest possible time. If he does that takes money off the table cause he has to give up something to get his wish. If the Canucks want longer, they have to pay for it.
    Remember Boeser is only about 60% the player Marner is, at this stage, so to me that’s 6 tops, or less.
    The longer this goes across the league, the less money there will be for an individual player. The size of the pie is fixed.
    Bottom line, too much inaction for me to believe it is coincidence. Feels coordinated.

  • I like BB but in reality, he hasn’t proven to be worthy of a huge contract. Pretty small sample size but I think we are all infatuated. He isn’t worth Larkin, Nylander, Gaudreau or Draisaitl money right now …. but here is the problem – he could be. So do you roll the dice now??? For all you weekend warrior GM’s out there, its a toughie.

  • It’d be bad karma for Brock to go the Nylander route IMO because it rarely turns out well for those that do. I know Laine and Rantenen, to name two, are not signed and I understand you’ d want to maximize the fullest of potential offers because that’s what your agent is suppose to do. Don’t want to see BB sitting to start the season. Hard for real world people to be empathetic to that kind of situation. Am I wrong?

    • You are correct. A hold out, which is a one-man “strike” splits the fan base but given the outrageous sums involved, compared to what we all make, the overall impact is negative and a player’s image suffers. That hurts future earning potential outside of hockey salary.

  • I believe the minute he’s eligible for free agency he’ll probably be out the door to Minny. I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again; the canucks need to sign him to as long a term as possible and try to keep it 6 to 7 range. Preferable 6. If that takes a bit of low balling and him holding out, so be it. Then when he gets to 2 years before FA they need to trade him and restock.

    • Yes – the multi account loser trolls like Locust, Goon, Bud Poile (banned) etc have made CA the only nation site to do away with the ‘trash’ button and frankly it’s a good thing. No more clicking onto their 20 plus email accounts to trash honest posters who tell it like it is… onwards and upwards.

  • just noticed the trash button gone, thats ok as long as the trolls are gone as well, sign Boeser for what his is worth. don’t cheap out, Brock was the only reason I kept watching the Canucks his rookie year, Brock and Petey made me want to watch all the Canuck games again.

  • Mr. Williams, you’ve made several errors:

    I’m assuming you used PuckPedia for your cap numbers. They quote 5.8, with a roster of 14 (not 12) forwards, 7 defenders and 2 goaltenders.

    This means one contract must go down or be traded to fit Brock.

    You then proceed to say an AHL demotion only takes 900k off the cap. This is also incorrect: demoting Fantenberg would give us 850k (and only 6 D, so unlikely), and the lowest forward contracts are EP40 at 925k and Motte at 975k.

    So im

  • Mr. Williams, you’ve made several errors:

    I’m assuming you used PuckPedia for your cap numbers. They quote 5.8, with a roster of 14 (not 12) forwards, 7 defenders and 2 goaltenders.

    This means one contract must go down or be traded to fit Brock.

    You then proceed to say an AHL demotion only takes 900k off the cap. This is also incorrect: demoting Fantenberg would give us 850k (and only 6 D, so unlikely), and the lowest forward contracts are EP40 at 925k and Motte at 975k.

    So I’m curious where 900k comes from.

    Any larger contract, like Tim Schaller, would provide league minimum (700k) plus 375k in cap relief. So demoting Eriksson, Schaller or Beagle would set our cap space at 6.875 million to sign Boeser.

    Finally, your comparables seem a bit off: Boeser’s GAR and his counting stats put him well below everyone but Larkin on that list. Teuvo Teravainen (5.4 cap, 9 GAR, 21g, 76pts), David Pasternak (6.67 cap, 17.7 GAR, 38g, 81pts) or Bo Horvat (5.5 cap hit, 8.1 GAR, 27g, 61pts) might be better benchmarks, and show he might not crack 6.5.

    All in all, this Chicken Little Smear campaign trying to blame the Eriksson contract on why Boeser isn’t signed yet is silly.

    More likely Boeser’s camp thinks he’s worth Johnny Gaudreau or Draisaitl money, but his stats, by pretty much every metric except maybe GPG

    • Cont.

      Every metric except maybe GPG (which is dubious as he hasn’t played a healthy season yet) puts him in a great top 6 player category, not a bonafide first liner one.

      I hope Benning and co play hard ball and make him actually earn his big contract.

    • Beat it creep. Stop clogging up the threads with your ‘new’ account and tell us who we really know you as? Then head on back to PITB and take the dweeb J-Casuck with ya. You both bore me.

  • If I’m GMJB, I’m looking at a longer term deal. Brock has two years under 30 goals because of injury and that won’t happen for the foreseeable future. Playing with EP and and improved PP will launch his goal totals in the mid-thirties health permitting. A shorter term deal leaves open the real option of a HUGE deal right after EP and Quinn’s probable HUGE deals.

  • What’s interesting to me is to see the Evolving Wild projections versus the actual resignings. They had Edler at $6.2 and Pouliot at $3.07 and Hutton at $3.75 — obviously getting Edler and Myers at $6 and Benn at $2 is a vast upgrade for almost the same money. Most of the Evolving Wild projections seem to come in a bit high — they had Motte at over a million and Leivo at $2.15 while Motte signed just under a million and Leivo at $1.5. So they’re not way off but always seem to trend a bit higher. With that in mind I think it’s likely that Boeser signs a shorter deal at the $6 million range; that seems to be internal cap and I still think it’s hard for Boeser to argue for higher because of his injury history and the relative value of a winger versus a center. I think he’s a terrific player but he probably needs to show a bit more to get into that upper tier of young player money.

  • when you actually look at players with similar point totals and similar ages you get a two year contract of under 4 million per and maybe as low as 3 million. or a 6 year at maybe 5.5
    So talk of really high contracts is a little ridiculous. Too early to pay him on potential.
    On performance at his age the comparable contracts from the TEAM’s perspective are Max Domi, Sam Reinhart,
    Andreas Athanasiou . That’s what I would be arguing.
    He is not elite. He has to prove it.