Frank Seravalli says talks between Canucks and Filip Hronek are ‘very preliminary’: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
28 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal were joined by NHL insider Frank Seravalli to discuss the status of defenceman Filip Hronek’s contract negotiation status. Hronek will be an RFA at the end of this season and the Canucks hope to lock down the 26-year-old, who has played a major role in the Canucks’ defensive rejuvenation alongside captain Quinn Hughes. 
“I told you guys all along, and I’ve been super consistent in saying this: Filip Hronek’s next deal will start with an 8,” said Frank. “I don’t know if it’s going to be in Vancouver, but it’ll start with an 8. I don’t think there’s anything happening right now; I don’t think there’s been any negotiating. I’ve read some of the breathless reporting that’s taken place over the last 2 weeks – some of it is wildly inaccurate. I don’t think there’s been anything rejected. They haven’t done anything past preliminary conversations, which have been very cordial. Any speculation about Filip Hronek getting in line behind Quinn Hughes on the salary cap is also pure nonsense. That’s like comparing a Prius and a Corvette. We’re not comparing two similar things in the sense that Hughes’ deal chews up a whole bunch of RFA years. The next contract for Hronek — let’s pretend it’ll be 8 years — will chew up 7 UFA years and 1 RFA year. So, the deals are apples to oranges.”
Harm: “Is Rutherford the type of manager who would look at that and want to explore other options, or are they married to this player because of what they gave up for him?”
“One thing that stands out to me is a lot of the same pieces were already in place last year for this team,” answered Frank, noting the talk from the media that Hronek is being propped up by Quinn Hughes. “Pettersson was here, Demko was here, Hughes and Miller were here. There are only a few additional outliers. Hronek, to me, in terms of looking at their play… I think it’s been mutually beneficial for both Quinn Hughes and Filip Hronek, not just a one-sided thing. This has been the best partner Hughes has had by a wide margin. And if you look at Hronek’s numbers throughout his career, he’s almost always been a half-point-per-game defenseman. The fact that 35 of his 45 points this year are at even strength, and [he] is about to pass his career point totals… to me, where are you going to find another right-shot D that fits this well with your superstar defenseman?”
“In terms of the Canucks and from Hronek’s perspective, it’s an interesting spot because one key point to look at here is: what is Filip Hronek’s arbitration number if it were to get to that point?” Continued Frank. “That would be a really tough spot for the Canucks, not unlike the Pettersson situation. If he goes to arb, he’s looking at a 1-year deal that then walks him to free agency, and you have to keep in mind what they gave up to get him. The best I can tell from looking at his pure counting stats – minutes played, all those things – he’s looking at somewhere between 7.5 and 8 on a pure-arb case, a 1-year deal. Why would he take less than that on an 8-year deal when you know the cap is going up by leaps and bounds after that? Looking at it solely from Hronek’s perspective, as good as the fit has been in Vancouver – and by the way, I think he loves it here – he’s one year away from being able to call his own shot. He’s tantalizingly close to free agency at a time when he’s played really well. What’s the incentive to take a major discount on what would already be a pretty high arb number? That’s the part that people and fans get twisted about. They don’t like the idea that his number starts with an 8. That’s what the market bears, and what it’s going to bear moving forward. Let’s hypothetically say it’s 8×8. You’re going to say right now it’s probably fair for both player and team. But the longer that 8-year deal goes on as the cap climbs north of 100 million bucks, 8 suddenly begins to look team-friendly at year 3 when he’s 29 years old. I still think this is going to surprise people in terms of how it plays out.”
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