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Canucks GM Allvin dishes on Zadorov, Silovs, July 1st priorities, and plans for this weekend’s draft

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Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Paterson
13 days ago
It appears the love affair between Vancouver Canucks fans and Nikita Zadorov is over. Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin told the media via Zoom on Friday morning that weeks of negotiations with the pending unrestricted free agent have broken off, and Zadorov will be hitting the open market when it opens on Monday.
 
It marks the end of a whirlwind relationship between the big Russian defenceman and a fan base that wanted to see him stay. However, Allvin says the two sides simply couldn’t come together on a contract that made sense for both sides.
“As of today it appears we could not go any further with Nikita Zadorov and he will test the free agent market,” Allvin said matter of factly. “For us, it’s just not about each individual. It’s about getting a team that is competitive and fitting the puzzles in. So that’s the direction that Nikita has decided to go. We did our best but we couldn’t go any further.”
At 29 and with his profile of both size and mobility, Zadorov will be able to command both a significant salary and term as a free agent. Allvin said that when the club cleared cap space with the trade of Ilya Mikheyev to Chicago on Wednesday night, it provided a path to double back and attempt to re-sign Teddy Blueger, Dakota Joshua, Tyler Myers, and Zadorov. The club got deals done with three of the four players but couldn’t find enough common ground with Zadorov to get him to remain in the fold.
Allvin acknowledged the sizable role Zadorov played for the Canucks in the postseason but also said it was imperative to hold the line financially and not add contracts to the books that the hockey club simply can’t afford.
“We want players that are committed and want to be part of a winning team and a winning culture and last year I recognized that we’re starting to get the respect back and there are more players that want to come here,” Allvin added. “That being said, I can’t overpay one single player. Nikita was extremely good for us in the playoffs and a character guy. We did our best and he decided he wanted to go somewhere else.”
During the 10 media availability, Allvin also touched on his plans moving forward, the club’s view on Arturs Silovs spot on the depth chart and his plans for this week’s NHL Draft.
On plans for free agency on July 1st: “Creating that flexibility the other day gives us a chance to be in the market for some potential players out there with the cap space we now have. That being said, you never know what’s going to happen July 1st or even leading up to it. We’ve all seen lists of players that are potentially hitting the market but might just a phone call away from their clubs and they’re off that list. Definitely looking at options to improve our team and get better.”
Is Zadorov’s money now earmarked for help upfront?
“I hope this will give us a chance to be in the market for a potential top six (forward). We have more options with the flexibility we have. Regarding our back end, I believe talking to our coaches the preference of having the top four defencemen we have now was something they had as a preference coming after the season. So locking Tyler Myers up was something that really important for us.”
On Arturs Silovs and whether the team is shopping for veteran goaltending help: “We’re very pleased with Silovs and his progress, his play and performance in the playoffs. The discussion is what’s best for him and what’s best for the Vancouver Canucks? At this point we’re still talking internally. But Silovs is definitely a good candidate to be on the big team  next year.”
On approach to the draft without a first or second-round pick: “I’m very pleased with my amateur staff and how well Todd Harvey has worked this year with his staff and with Cammi Ganato putting the list together. At this point, it’s hard to predict if we’re going to move up. Sitting in the third round, it depends on whether some of the players we feel strong about are potentially being available and if there’s a chance to move up, I’m sure going to try. Listening to Todd and his staff, it sure appears that there are some intriguing players even further down the list. At this point, I’m very confident that my staff will find players outside the first and second round.”

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