Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
All I want for Christmas is for the Canucks to sign Elias Pettersson to a contract extension
By Michael Liu1 month ago
It’s hard to believe it’s been 5 years since this moment.
Snagging Elias Pettersson in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft was another sparkling light glimmering in the decade of darkness. Seeing the Swede tear it up in the SHL in his draft +1 year and then coming over to win the Calder felt like the start of something special. Pettersson has emerged since as an offensive leader on this team, sitting at 362 points through 357 career NHL games. This season, EP40 sits on 13 goals and 30 assists through 35 games played.
There’s no questioning the significance Pettersson has for this team. It’s hard to stop him when he’s on, healthy and confident. From a wicked wrister to dynamic playmaking, a cannon of a one-timer and two-way smarts, Pettersson brings a complete package fitting for a top 6 centerman on any team in the league.
So for this holiday season, all I wish for is for Patrik Allvin and company to get an EP40 extension done. It makes too much sense to lock up one of their core talents long-term from a purely hockey perspective, and on top of that, there might not be a better time than now to get a deal done.
Coming off a career-high 102-point campaign, Pettersson’s value this past summer might have never been higher. With just one year left on his $7.35 million contract, all eyes were on the Canucks front office to see what the number would be on his next deal. However, nothing happened. Noise and rumours floated all around about the negotiations, but when the season kicked off, everything was put on hold.
That hold might’ve played in the Canucks’ favour. The points have been there for Pettersson, but he’s been noticeably not himself this year. Following up a career year is never easy, especially when trying to prove it’s not an anomaly, but thus far into the contract season, Pettersson hasn’t played like a player who deserves over $10 million AAV. His advanced stats have been a rocky ride and haven’t nearly been the consistent good-to-excellent range that denoted past seasons. The eye test has shown him vanishing for stretches of games, not doing much of the game-breaking that he’s capable of.
Sure, there are rumours of nagging injuries bugging him, but when you’re negotiating a deal, you use everything to help make the terms as friendly as possible for your side. And unfortunately for Pettersson, he’s given a lot of ammunition for Allvin to drive down the cost. That isn’t ruling out Pettersson’s camp taking a team-friendly contract – but the point is that EP40 might not be signing for as much as we first thought.
Keeping Pettersson around is paramount for this team’s future success. He’s the type of player that this franchise has been missing since the Sedin’s peak powers tapered off. EP40 represents a key core figure that would be nearly impossible to replace, and having him inked to a long-term commitment would help this team solidify exactly what window they’re trying to contend for. Vancouver has done a pretty darn good job of convincing him to stay with their performance thus far in the season, and Allvin has shown that he isn’t afraid to make moves to make this team better. There might not be a better opportunity to lock Pettersson in with an extension than with a winning group around him.
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