‘The thought was to always be here long term’: Recapping Canucks’ Elias Pettersson’s press conference after signing contract extension

Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Tyson Cole
4 months ago
Vancouver Canucks fans can let out a sigh of relief as the team silences the noise by extending their franchise centre, Elias Pettersson, to an eight-year 92.8 million dollar contract.
Multiple reports throughout the last few months have speculated about whether there would ever be a Pettersson extension.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman dropped a massive piece of information just one week ago today on Hockey Night in Canada that teams were calling the Canucks on Pettersson’s availability.
All this speculation was put to rest as Patrik Allvin, alongside Elias Pettersson, addressed the media at today’s press conference.
Patrik Allvin started off by giving a statement on the commitment from the Aquilini family and the organization to build a championship team here in Vancouver before the media started their questions for Pettersson. 


Q: How much has the performance of the team this year, how well you guys have played, and the position you’re in, how much did that inform your decision about wanting to commit here long term? 
EP: “I’ve always wanted to play for a good team, and I wanted to see where this team was heading. Ever since Jim [Rutherford] and Patrik [Allvin] have come in, getting to know them and seeing the direction we’re going in as an organization, I’ve liked everything I’ve seen.”
Throughout the press conference, Pettersson wasn’t shy to show his humour and personality with media members. 
Q: All year, you’ve wanted to wait until the off-season; why now?
EP: I always wanted to stay here, but, *smirks and chuckles to himself with a long pause* you don’t give up your cards in negotiations, right? The more talks with Jim & Patrik about the direction of the team, seeing the commitment from them, we wanted to get it done.”
Q: To go from where you [EP] weren’t addressing it (contract extension) to a max-term deal, what changed in your thinking over the last week?
EP: The thought was always to be here long term, and the more talks with Jim, Patrik and my family about where I want (to be) and see the future and the vision of the team made it clear what both parties wanted.”
Q: I know you try to focus on the ice; how aware are you of what’s going on around you, and how much, if at all, did that play into you sitting here today?
EP: “I didn’t hear anything *chuckles*. It’s been a long talk throughout the year. I was fine. There’s always going to be noise, but I felt comfortable because we continued having talks throughout the whole year. Yes, I said I wanted to wait until the end of the season, but continuing to talk with management and my agent, we wanted to get it done. 
Q: Staggering numbers that set you up for the rest of your life; these are big life decisions. Has this weighed on you the last few days?
EP40: Of course, I’m human. I put pressure on myself and what’s ahead. But I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew it was going to be a big decision for my life personally. I’m super happy and super excited to be here. 
Q: Tell us about Vancouver. What about the city itself is the reason you want to be here?
EP: “The city bleeds hockey, fans who are passionate. It’s very similar to Sweden. It’s always felt like home here, and I’ve always felt peaceful living here. Non-hockey-wise, I’ve always been happy living here. 
Q: Patrik, take us through the past week. How excited were you to finally get to this stage?
PA: I’m very excited here today, but this is something that started two years ago since I got in here. Building a relationship with Elias, showing him the vision and fully respected him and his agency for taking their time. (Let him) Get to know what Jim and I are all about, get a feel for the team we’re trying to build here and meeting with his agency several times throughout these two years. It was exciting when Elias hinted that he wanted to stay here, and there was never any doubt that he wanted to stay here. It was more about the trust and the vision that Elias wanted to see clear.
Q: How excited are you to put that (noise) behind you and focus on hockey?
EP: That’s all I’ve wanted, and hopefully, we can focus on winning games and the long-term goal to bring a Stanley Cup here. 
“I’m just excited to see what the management can do and what they’ve been doing so far. First off, building a culture, a winning culture, for us to succeed, doing renovations in the rink,” Pettersson explains about how he’s feeling today and about the team. 
It’s interesting to hear Pettersson comment on the rink renovations when explaining improvements he’s seen with the team and organization. 
Pettersson further says, “Everything is trending in the right direction; the more I saw it, the more it made it even more clear.”
Q: It seems like such a huge moment for you and your family; how much do you think of your parents and all the moments that led to this? 
EP: My parents have probably been nervous throughout this journey and contract talks. Talking to them yesterday and getting a little emotional with them about how big of a decision this is for you. Super happy.
While watching the press conference, it’s clear to see with some lengthy pauses during this final question that Pettersson was starting to relive those emotional talks he shared with his parents — what seemed to be a happy and proud moment for him. 
Some fascinating tidbits came from this press conference. Both Pettersson and Allvin confirm that they’ve been discussing a contract extension not only all of this season but dating back to two years ago when this management group arrived.
One thing is clear: Pettersson has always wanted to be in Vancouver and believes in this management group moving forward. He is happy with the team’s success this season and the direction they’re going in. The city of Vancouver feels like home to him. 
Get ready for eight more seasons of Elias Pettersson hockey, Canucks fans. 

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