The Canucks finally stopped their losing skid with a 5-3 win at home against the Predators on Tuesday night. The win snapped a four-game losing streak, which also represented the first time the team had any kind of losing streak since their back-to-back losses to open the season. With the team looking to get another winning streak rolling, here are some news and notes from around the team this week.
Elliotte Friedman had a great note about the Canucks in his weekly 31 Thoughts column on Wednesday in which he compared the team’s win over Nashville to watching a Canucks game from the early 2010s.
By the way, watching that game reminded me of going to Vancouver at the beginning of the decade, when the Canucks were at their peak. Alive building, fun team to watch, great energy, players who pull for each other. The excitement for Elias Pettersson scoring twice on his birthday, the happiness for Adam Gaudette’s multi-point game, and, most importantly, Thatcher Demko wearing a Hockey Fights Cancer hat in post-game interviews to honour Jakob Markstrom, whose father just died from the disease.
“We wanted to prove to him we’d play hard again for him. He might not have been playing, but guys were thinking about him and playing for him.”
The early part of the decade, of course, treated the Canucks much better than the second part did. Vancouver was the cream of the crop back at the beginning of the 2010s, putting up 117- and 111-point seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Things slowed down in the middle part of the decade and the Canucks have gone through a long, frustrating retool, but it seems the team is ready to move on the upswing yet again.
It’s important for the Canucks to find some success while their star players are still young and inexpensive. Right now, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are on entry-level deals, making it much easier to manage the salary cap. After next season, the Canucks will need to figure out a new deal for Pettersson, which will inevitably make things more challenging for Jim Benning. Of course, paying players isn’t a bad thing. It means they’re good. But, as we’ve seen in Toronto, having multiple massive contracts makes it more difficult to make additions elsewhere on the roster.
Over at The Athletic, Rick Dhaliwal did an analysis of what Pettersson’s post-ELC deal could look like. Since it’s behind a paywall, I won’t copy-paste a large quote in here, but I’ll give one key line that really puts into perspective what Jim Benning could be dealing with.
He could pass Connor McDavid’s salary.
McDavid signed a record-breaking deal worth $12.5 million annually with the Oilers back in 2016. Since then, young stars like Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner have signed post-ELC deals inching closer to McDavid’s league-leading cap hit, but nobody has matched it yet. Could Pettersson be the guy to do it? Matthews is the closest at $11,634,000 annually and Marner is right behind him at $10,893,000 annually.
Marner put up 224 points in 241 games in his first three seasons while Pettersson had 89 points in 90 games so far in his NHL career. I know it seems incredibly early to start thinking about, but Pettersson will be eligible for an extension on July 1, 2020. You have to think, given the way Pettersson has played early in his career and where post-ELC contracts are headed that he’ll command, at the very least, what Marner did. On the plus side, by the time Pettersson’s next deal would kick in, the contracts owed to Tanner Pearson, Sven Baertschi, Tim Schaller, Alex Edler, and Chris Tanev will be off the books.
Pivoting to former Canucks, Jason Garrison is in the news because he’s suing his financial advisers for negligence, according to CBC. After signing his multi-year deal with the Canucks, Garrison hired a Vancouver-based adviser to help him live off of his career earnings after he finished playing. Since then, though, Garrison has lost money due to his adviser’s recommendations.
In 2013, Jason Garrison was 28 years old and signed to a nearly $28 million US contract with the Vancouver Canucks. That year, he hired Richard Jones from RJ Financial Group, a Vancouver-based insurance and wealth management firm whose clients include professional athletes, dentists and doctors.
According to a statement of claim filed last month, the hockey player wanted Jones’s help to manage his money — at the time, Garrison had little experience with financial planning but did not want to take risks with his money and intended to live off his savings over the long term.
However, in the years that followed, the court documents allege Jones sold Garrison several large insurance policies and contracts, including three life insurance policies worth over $10 million each. The notice of civil claim maintains Jones told Garrison his recommendations would result in almost $44 million in capital after 10 years.
Instead, the lawsuit alleges Jones over sold investments, causing Garrison to lose money.
Garrison last played in the NHL in 2018-19 with the Oilers. He was traded mid-season to the Chicago Blackhawks, got released, and resumed his career overseas in Sweden. He’s still under contract with Djurgårdens IF but has yet to play a game this season.
Sticking with former Canucks, Roberto Luongo is reportedly joining the Florida Panthers’ front office as an adviser to Dale Tallon.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) November 13, 2019
“I’ve had the honour and privilege to work with Roberto during his time playing for the Panthers and am proud to welcome him to our franchise’s hockey operations staff,” said Tallon in a media release. “Roberto always approached every game with an unmatched work ethic and we are confident he will take to this new role with the same passion.
Luongo retired after the 2018-19 season, ending a career that spanned 19 seasons and 1044 games. He’ll cost the Canucks $3,033,206 against the cap for three more seasons.