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Elias Pettersson says he isn’t in a rush to sign an extension with the Vancouver Canucks
6 months ago
Elias Pettersson says he’s not in a rush to sign a contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks. Pettersson, 24, will be a restricted free agent next offseason, meaning the Canucks will be the only team he can sign with next summer. He’s been eligible to sign an extension since July 1st of this summer, however, so some fans have wondered what’s taken so long.
Pettersson spoke about this with Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet during the NHL’s media tour in Europe.
“I’m not in a rush to sign. I mean I’ve got one more year left over there [in Vancouver], and I don’t want to rush into anything because I still don’t know myself if it’s going to be short term or long term, but it’s probably going to be my biggest contract so far so I don’t want to stress anything,” said Pettersson, who added that he just wants to focus on getting off to a good start.
“Yeah, that’s been the main goal. This summer I’m just trying to prepare myself as much as possible with training, trying to gain a little bit of weight, some muscle, and yeah, especially get off to a good start with the team.”
Obviously, after seeing what happened between RFA Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames last offseason, it’s normal for fans to worry a bit. At the expiry of his contract, Tkachuk informed the Flames that he didn’t plan on re-signing long-term in Calgary, essentially forcing the Flames’ hand on a trade. Shortly after, Tkachuk was dealt to the Florida Panthers along with a nice long contract extension, but we’re simply not there yet with Pettersson’s situation and likely (hopefully) never will be.
Pettersson has been steadfast in his love for Vancouver and Canucks fans, and there’s no reason to believe any of that’s changed. It would likely take another disaster of a season for Pettersson to even consider using his bargaining power as an RFA to force the Canucks to move him out. He’s said in the past that he wants to be in Vancouver long term, and this offseason hasn’t seemed to change that.
Instead, Pettersson’s quotes read like a player who struggled after he had a ton of pressure on him after signing his current big money contract. The negotiations for both he and Quinn Hughes’s second contracts bled into training camp, and with all the weight of being “the guy,” Pettersson struggled out of the gate. The Canucks can’t afford another slow start to the season. The fact that Pettersson doesn’t want to sign an extension because all of his focus is on the upcoming season tells you he means business.
It also tells you that Pettersson is extremely confident that he can play at the same level he did last year, when he was a two-way force and managed to net a career-high 102 points.
And if he does that again, you’ll find very few Canucks fans complaining about him.
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