Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Report: Term the main priority for Nikita Zadorov’s camp in extension talks with Canucks
By Mike Gould2 months ago
Nikita Zadorov is already well on his way toward establishing himself as a fan favourite with the Vancouver Canucks, but the question remains how the team will be able to keep the pending free agent around past this year.
The Canucks acquired Zadorov from the Calgary Flames back in November. The 28-year-old left-handed defender has now appeared in eight games with the Canucks since the trade, collecting one assist and 24 penalty minutes to go along with a plus-five rating.
On Monday’s episode of Donnie & Dhali – The Team on CHEK TV, Don Taylor and Rick Dhaliwal discussed how the Canucks will have to navigate the situation with the UFA-to-be Zadorov, whose current contract carries a $3.75 million cap hit.
“Here’s the thing, Donnie. Everybody likes, loves Zadorov. Here’s the problem, he’s a UFA, they’ve got to sign him,” Dhaliwal said. “He’s going to ask for, and he will get, term. He’s 28 years old. He’s one of the youngest defencemen that’s going to hit the free agent market on July 1. Most free agent defencemen are over 30: 32, 33, 34. This guy’s 28.
“Term is going to be big for his agent, Dan Milstein,” Dhaliwal continued. “Most D are over 30, this guy’s younger, he’s gonna do fine, Canucks have a lot of time to get him done, Donnie, but his agent, Dan Milstein, was tweeting the money sign last week after one of the Canucks’ home games.”
Zadorov is one of five Milstein clients in the Canucks organization and could be in line to command the biggest overall payday on a long-term deal. The Moscow product has now appeared in 596 career NHL games with the Canucks, Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, and Buffalo Sabres, collecting 42 goals and 133 points.
The Canucks currently have just two healthy defencemen signed beyond this season: Quinn Hughes and Noah Juulsen. Filip Hronek is a pending RFA and will surely join that group in time. Extending Zadorov makes all kinds of sense.
Zadorov and the Canucks will return to action at Bridgestone Arena on Tuesday night to take on the Nashville Predators at 5:00 p.m. PT.
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