Just the facts surrounding Elias Pettersson’s contract situation: Canucks Conversation

Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
4 months ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal looked into the latest rumours surrounding Pettersson’s contract. 
In short, we don’t know much. Pettersson said at the beginning of the season, before all the drama and rumours began circulating that he wanted to wait until the end of the season before signing a new deal. We also know he wants to play for a winning team – these things presumably haven’t changed.
What has changed in recent weeks, per Elliotte Friedman on Hockey Night in Canada, is that teams around the NHL have started calling the Canucks to see if he’s available. So far, the response the Canucks have given is, ‘We want to sign him,’ which is exactly what the Canucks have said about the situation all along. 
“At the start of the season, Pettersson was chatting with Friedman and said he didn’t want to negotiate in-season; he wanted to focus on having a good year,” said Quads. “He’s doing just that, and the team is doing well. He hasn’t changed his tune since then and has basically just stuck to his word. Nothing has changed there.”
“I don’t think now is the time to be panicking that he’s essentially sticking to his word. This is what he said he was going to do all along,” Harm added. “On the other hand, there is something to be said – it would be nice to get a clear message from him or his camp that says ‘this is where I want to be and sign long-term.’ Matthews and Nylander, for example, months before their actual contracts were signed, left zero doubt about the fact they wanted to stay in Toronto. You haven’t exactly had that type of endorsement from Pettersson yet, which is why some of the doubt and anxiety creeps in. But just because we haven’t had that yet doesn’t mean Canucks fans should be panicking or that he’s leaving for sure. I come back to this: it’s something you address when the season is over.”
A good anecdote to remember is back in the Sedin era, when the twins waited right up until July 1st to sign their deals, and they were UFAs at the time.
Quads: “Shortly after signing his contract extension for three years, Jim Rutherford went on Sportsnet and, after he was asked about Elias Pettersson, rather unprompted, Rutherford said they wouldn’t want to make a big trade in-season when the team is playing well. This tells me that in Rutherford’s mind, he knows trading Pettersson is a possibility if the player doesn’t want to sign in Vancouver. This doesn’t seem like a situation that’s going to catch the Canucks completely off guard. I’m sure the Canucks are doing their due diligence of, ‘If this worst-case scenario happens, how are we going to make the best of it?’ Similar to what they did with Bo Horvat, when they pivoted and made a trade they maybe didn’t think they were going to have to make.”
“The time to be thinking about this, from a fan’s perspective, is when qualifying offers will be due in late-June,” stated Harm. “By July 1st, as an RFA, Pettersson would at that point be freely able to discuss with all 31 teams. Even in that scenario, the Canucks will match any offer sheet they get. They’ll send a qualifying offer if a contract hasn’t been done yet, but it’s rare for a star player to just take the one-year deal that walks them straight to free agency. June is really the month where you’d start worrying if you hadn’t gotten any indication.”
You can watch the full segment in the video below:

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