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Photo Credit: © Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

WWYDW: Loui Eriksson

When the Canucks added J.T. Miller, Micheal Ferland, and Tyler Myers this season, the assumption from most fans was that the team would find a way to jettison the Eriksson contract this summer, likely in the aftermath of his signing bonus being paid for the year.

Well, that moment has passed, and Loui Eriksson remains on the team. By all accounts, the relationship between the team and player has completely deteriorated, so it seems increasingly unlikely that he’ll start the season in Vancouver. What would you do with Loui Eriksson?

Last week I asked: How would you handle the Brock Boeser situation? 

Beer Can Boyd:

He’s a 22 year old winger who has played all of 2 years in the league. His defensive play is still suspect. Rumours are that the 2 sides are far apart. $7 million per should be the max they offer him. At that price, sign him for as many years as he will agree to. If he wants more, then its either a bridge contract or a trade.

J-Canuck:

Spotrac has estimated cap space a touch over 5mil. What is terrible is the 3+. Mill retained for Lou. I still don’t agree with punishment to this Canucks team because the last group found a loophole in the Cap rules!
That being said, Schaller can be put in Utica getting close to 7mil and a few minor tweaks will get it done. Or there might be a Tanev trade on the horizon then asking Quinn or Jordie Benn.
The best plan would be find trade for Sutter or pull an Oil and trade Loui for a similar, but buy out worthy contract.

Hockey Bunker:

Boeser’s only power is to hold out, Canucks have the hammer. However using that hammer can destroy a relationship. He’s probably worth about 5 million in the current market. 6 is the Canucks internal max. He knows it so it’s all about term. At least that’s how it appears to me. A probable lockout in two years is a complication, but likely just means a heavily front loaded contract.
Right now he’s a proven under 30 goal scorer with the potential to be a 40 goal scorer. Will he be paid for the proven or the potential?

Ragnarok Ouroboros:

At the end of the day the Canucks are running a business and should pay players like Brock a wage that is fair to the player, but also make financial sense to the team and their aspirations of winning a cup. You look at Edmonton and how so much of their cap space is allocated to two players (McDavid and Drasaitl) and it is no wonder they are not competitive even though they have the best player in the game. The player agent is only interested in maximizing the contract their player gets and they don’t care about winning a cup, and they will try to leverage any angle they can to maximize the dollars.
Canucks do not need to do anything with Brock other that insist on offering a fair contract. They should wait as long as it takes to get a fair contract even if it means he doesn’t play during the regular season. IE they should do what Toronto did with Nylander.
If the player is more concerned about dollars than winning a cup, then the team is better without that player. The Canucks have improved the team enough that they can start the season without Boeser, and Boeser can decide whether he wants to chase dollars or a cup.

j2daff:

He’s likely looking for 7+ on a bridge length deal and the team is likely looking for max length at around 6. For a max length Boeser would be looking for more than 7M at this point. Yes the team has leverage but if you want him to be part of your core going forward you simply have to pay him more than you payed guys like Myers and Edler or you risk damaging the relationship. His agent will be all over this team with comparative contracts this management has signed and others around the league as well. Depending on what you look at you could argue that 6 is the right number but you could also argue that 8.5M is the right number as well.

Odds are the deal comes in around 7M on a “Bridge deal” or between 7-7.5M on a 7-8 year deal. Both of which the team has to do some work to make the contract fit under the cap. First thing they have to do is paper down the players that don’t need to go through waivers to start the year dropping the roster to 21 players and staying under the 81.5M cap. Once they pass that hurdle of “opening day” they can put Rousell on LTIR for the relief, call back up the guys they papered down that made the roster and move anyone that did not make the roster but was kept up to stay under the cap for “opening day” cap compliance.

At that point they are running cap compliant until Rousell is back and longer if there is another significant injury in the mean time. They have to continue to try to move LE, Sutter, Schaller, etc. from now until the end of the season and hope that one/some of them build some value so they can be moved without paying a team to take them before all the LTIR relief is gone or they will have to move a player they don’t want too. I would imagine that moving Tanev will be explored this season as it’s the last year on his current contract and they may be able to get value back. We have to remember that they have to also move out enough salary to not face penalties if bonuses cause them to go over the cap at the end of the year.

This management has a lot to do this year and have to be on top of it and not sit on their hands. They will not have a lot of cap space next summer without moving money before then unless they let guys like Marky, Stecher walk without replacing them with anyone paid more than league min so avoiding cap penalties is a major priority. Hopefully they get lucky and can move Sutter and LE but I’m betting that one if not both are still here to start next season.

Hiatus:

Damn, I hate when my view appears to be the “odd man out” view; but when it comes to what Brock Boeser is worth in both dollars and term, I apparently disagree with most.

Brock’s played two seasons (on a bad team), he hasn’t scored 30 or more goals (yet), his back checking or two way game is mediocre, but was better last season than his first.

Yes I get he’s young, and I too believe he has all the potential, he needs time and better players to prove it (one down).

I wonder if there is a creative way to pay a player (via incentives/bonus) more money, but not like LE contract were it’s guaranteed.
For example if a player scores 30 goals he gets (for lack of a better term) a scoring bonus of say $1 M, if he scores 40 goals he get’s a second scoring bonus of an additional $1 M, this could be for assists or any stat i guess.

I checked the CBA tab on the NHLPA web site but got no hits when I searched for said type of bonuses or incentives, so I don’t know if they are allowed but it might be an option. Not sure how this would impact/affect the CAP issue.

Please don’t think I’m hating on Brock, I love guy, I believe that from his short stint in the NHL and that he’s not scored 30 goals a season yet, not to mention injuries, that his true value is somewhere between $5 M and $5.5 M with the bonuses (or something like them) as an incentive for Brock to take the money on the table if he’s able on a 5 year term.

The league, player agents, players and yes at times owners, not to mention the media and fan’s over inflate what a players market value is, which is evident with some of the monster contracts in the past few years, only to have the team trying to unload them years before they expires, because either the game has changed or the years of wear and tear on the player as lowered their value and usefulness, it’s a no win situation for anyone.

  • I would try and trade Loui to any team that would not demand a draft pick or young prospect to be added as part of the deal. The return would not matter as long as it would not be a contract worse than Eriksson’s.

    If no trading partner can be found over the summer I would try and build up his value. The best way to do this is to play him with Elias Pettersson or Bo Horvat in the top six. A rejuvenated Eriksson may be a fit with a playoff contender that has the cap space to take him.

  • I would tell him he either has to make the team as a top 6 forward, which is what he’s paid for, or he’ll be sent down to Utica. During he career, to date, he has banked 57,625,000 and the three years remaining has him owed 4 million in bonuses and five million in salary. I really don’t believe he would play out his contract if demoted, that remaining 9 million just won’t be enough to endure 3 years of riding the bus especially when he could retire from the NHL and play in Sweden and recoup some of that remaining balance. As far as other UFA not wanting to come here because we demoted an over paid ineffective forward I don’t believe it would dissuade future signing unless they believed they couldn’t live up to the contract, win – win if you ask me.

    • Agree and I said the same thing a month ago. He doesn’t need the money and he has obviously lost the will to compete for top 6. No one else wants him either. So the blah blah about he is a ‘useful’ player is nonsense. Dont know what his practice work ethic is – but if it isn’t in the top 10% (which I don’t think it is) he is more of a hinderance than a help. Unless he blows it up in camp and in preseason – off to Utica you go.

    • Technically he’s probably banked more along the lines of 30 to 35 million after taxes, agent fees etc…though you maybe correct in assuming that 30 million might be just enough incentive for him to retire if he does get demoted.
      I don’t know about you, but if I had made 30 million and knew the window for the bulk of the money I made in my entire life was closing permanently, and I had a shot to make an additional 5 million bucks (after tax) for only 3 years of inconvenience, I’d most certainly “suffer” and take that money.
      How much could he get in Sweden? 100 grand?

  • I think you try to trade him if you don’t have to give up anything that will hurt the team’s ability to contend for a cup in 3 years & beyond. IMO you could include Baertschi or Goldobin in that category, and a mid round draft pick, but not someone like Virtanen who still has playoffs potential & popularity among the fans.

  • He did move his family down to Dallas so he assumes he is done here. It is a buyers market with at least 5 teams over the cap but adding a pick will bring the wrath of fandom down on Benning so maybe keeping him around is the safest bet for Benning or a multi player trade with Eriksson as a throw in might be easier to swallow. Trading him in a one for one could cost a 2nd rounder.

  • In other news; A dozen RFAs are all thinking they deserve $8m per. Who signs first and sets the standard?

    Patrik Laine
    Zach Werenski
    Kyle Connor
    Matthew Tkachuk
    Mitch Marner
    Ivan Provorov
    Mikko Rantanen
    Kevin Fiala
    Charlie McAvoy
    Travis Konecny
    Brock Boeser
    Brayden Point

  • Posted what’s below a few days ago. Since then, the Sens took on the Callahan contract and now the hockey media has picked up on how badly the Sens are gaming the salary paid vs cap hit. This makes me believe there is a deal available. This is not the best case scenario but realistic and very beneficial for the Canucks roster/cap management

    I’ve pointed this out before but I believe there is a deal with Eriksson and the Senators to free up cap space if Benning needs it

    Eriksson owed 3 years $9M cash. Cap hit $6M
    Bobby Ryan. Owed 20.5M cash. Cap hit $7.25

    The wide gap in cash owed and cap hit between these two players who are very comparable in age and performance presents a clear trade opportunity. There is a wide of a gap with Ottawa having a budget with lots of cap space and the Canucks needing to free up space and the ability to spend, Those two players could be the core of a deal that gives Ottawa cash relief while Vancouver gets cap relief

    For example: Eriksson + Sutter for Ryan + Pageau

    Ottawa retains 500K on the Ryan contract. Ottawa spends $4 million less on Salary including having Sutter for 2 years while Pageau is only signed for 1. Vancouver saves $1 Million in cap space this season. Pageau’s contract expires at the end of the year to provide additional flexibility and cap space. And finally Ryan’s contract is structured so that you could even buy him out in the final year AFAIK. That’s just a sample with Ryan and Eriksson being the core pieces. You could substitute players like Baertschi, Beagle, etc and play around with salary retention. My point is that there definitely seems to be a fit and win-win for both teams given their current situation

    • I do not think Ottawa and the Canucks will be trading partners in the scenario you have listed above. The biggest difference between Louie and the two players Oilers and Flames swapped is Louie yes has a bad contract but has been a good player whereas the Alberta trade it was a swap of two players who were not contributing.
      Why would the owners want to end up spending more money to get rid of a mistake their GM made. I would make the GM have to live with it and manage under the situation they created. It is only three more years if he gets beat out at anytime in training camp so be it he gets replaced but that has not happened and do not see it happening this season. Louie kills penalties and keeps the other teams top line under check and has been pretty good at that. There have been no reports of him being a cancer in the room. He may not be contributing the goals the contract called for but neither will anyone else who may try and beat him out in training camp. The Canucks are going to have to live with the cap hit for three more years as well as the Luongo penalty. This coming season they will be fine lots of time to make moves for next years players who need to be resigned. Tanev likely won’t be back after this season unless he signs a contract that gives the team a discount. He may even be traded at the deadline which would be a good test for the defense depth that will tell us if someone in the system can fill in or does the team make moves to address the situation the next year.

  • Do anything possible to move him. Eat a little salary and throw in a prospect if need be. Give Goldobin some quality line mates at the start of the season to make him look good. Then use him as the sweetener for the deal. Throw in Virtanen if you have to. Ferland just made Virtanen expendable.

  • In a perfect world, we move him without hurting the team or the future, as Beefus said, especially the future. In reality, I can’t see this happening. Explore other options for the cap crunch, and play him. The team will have a much different look next year and maybe things will work out. Maybe he will find his groove having the second tallest D man in the league passing him the puck. Year after year since he arrived we have been cutting him a lot of slack and people are fed up, but you can’t make rash decisions based on that just to be done with it. In the end, if there is no deal to be had that is fair in the cost/benefit scale, I wouldn’t do it. Our bottom six should look much better this year, so no matter where he plays, he could hopefully get a bump. If he plays himself up the lineup, so much the better.

  • Trade Eriksson without any significant additional assets going with him is the best option. This seems unlikely. The next best option is to keep Eriksson in Vancouver for this season. He is the best option for a fourth line winger and penalty killer available. Sending him down does not loosen salary cap constraints and likely means an inferior player will take his place on the fourth line.

    That said if Loui fails to continue being the best player available for the 4th line due to further regression or lack of effort send him to Utica.

  • Don’t hate Loui. Don’t think he costs them out there. And don’t think he’s that bad a veteran player such as he is. It comes back to the worst contract Benning has ever issued. At the time most informed Canucks fans I know raised their eyebrows on this move with some justification. Said it before and will say it again. If #21 was a $2M per player no one would care about him. The cap money associated with this stupid contract of course could be best utilized elsewhere. Good on Loui, bad on Benning.

  • Do what the Oilers did. Hopefully find a team with a buyout friendly contract swap then see if the reclamation project works if not, buy out!
    His last two years are at a 6 mil cap hit but actual salary is 4 mil. That might be attractive to a team with room and a need for vet leadership. If dead contracts are getting swapped, a guy that plays solid bottom 9 mins and PK can get swapped…. Right?

  • Ply the other 30 NHL general managers with drinks until one of them take him off the Canucks’ hands.

    Hope that is less expensive than Loui’s contract.

  • From the situation at the end of last year when he was healthy scratched, to the comments he made in the off season, it’s pretty clear that the disconnect between Loui and Green is real. And Green is a hardass, as he proved with Goldobin and Jake. He simply is not going to tolerate that level of disrespect from one of his players, especially not an overpaid, underachieving one. Loui’s time here is thankfully done, however that plays out. If Benning has to give up Goldobin in a package to move him out, then so be it.

  • I would trade him for several players who are ineffective and have around a 6 million salary. For example, if a single team had three Tim Shaller (1.9m). The salary would be about 6 million, but you can get about 1 million in cap relief per player by sending them down.

  • I would trade him if possible, but not Throwing in a bunch of add ons.

    If he can’t be traded he should be given a chance. Some articles earlier this summer showed Eriksson was an elite penalty killer, which has huge value (I mean to a winning team, not a 6 mil contract). But if a bad attitude affects his play or his locker room presence, then off to Utica or even Kalamazoo. But Eriksson is a better NHL player and provides more value than others in the roster like Schaller or Motte and the Canucks only get the same cap relief for any of them being sent down. For me it comes down to his attitude and the value he provides in the lineup compared to other players as they all provide the same cap relief.