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Friedman: New contract for Vancouver Canucks G Jacob Markstrom likely above $4.5-m AAV

As the Vancouver Canucks continue to engage in discussions with UFA G Jacob Markstrom, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman says $4.5-million likely won’t get a deal done.

The report came in his weekly 31 thoughts column where he referenced the contract for Edmonton Oilers G Mikko Koskinen.

Mikko Koskinen was months away from his 31st birthday when he signed a three-year, $4.5-million AAV extension with Edmonton. That contract filtered into Darcy Kuemper, who will be 30 when his two-year, $4.5-million AAV extension kicks in with Arizona. Markstrom just turned 30.

Chris Johnston reported on Headlines last week that the Canucks offered a two-year extension, and, based on those previous moves, it didn’t come as a surprise. That’s not going to do it for Markstrom, who has been phenomenal and is not afraid to bet on himself. But, like Nurse, it doesn’t mean the negotiation is over. Just means it is going to be challenging. It’s a tightrope, and you don’t want it to affect your room. GM Jim Benning isn’t saying much beyond the fact that they want to get it done, because, in such a rabid market, one wrong word throws gasoline on the fire.

At 30 years old, Markstrom isn’t getting any younger but has been playing out of his mind this season. He’s won 20 of his 37 starts all the while posting a .917 save percentage.

The Canucks are slated to have roughly $18-million in cap space this offseason, according to Puckpedia.

On Twitter: @zjlaing