WDYTT: Negotiating Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes’ new contracts

Photo credit:© Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Stephan Roget
2 years ago
Hello, and welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet locked into a lifetime, Rick DiPietro-style commitment.
Today, we’re turning our gaze away from the Vancouver Canucks’ numerous on-ice issues to something that isn’t yet an off-ice issue, but will be soon without some serious proactivity from GM Jim Benning and Co.
It’s the thing is destined to become the dominant storyline in the Vancouver market as the team’s playoff hopes continue to dwindle.
We’re talking, of course, about the ongoing negotiations for contract extensions for both Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes.
Like the entire organization, both players have had a 2021 thus far that can best be described as “up and down.” Pettersson’s production has dipped slightly, but he’s also on pace to set a new NHL record for posts and crossbars. Hughes, on the other hand, leads the league in defensive scoring with a near point-per-game record, but his defensive metrics are an absolute mess.
Do the Canucks bet on continued progress hereafter and attempt to lock both in to long-term deals at a potentially discounted rate now? Or do they gamble on bridge deals and risk paying for it later?
And what if it were up to you?
That’s right, this week we’re asking you:

What sort of contract extensions would you try to negotiate for Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes?

Last week, we asked:

If you were made GM of the Vancouver Canucks today, what would be your first move?

Your responses are below!
I think the first move is to steady the D-core long-term. There is a dearth of prospects on the right side. At the same time, many teams can’t protect all their D for the upcoming expansion draft.
So, I would target someone like Tampa and trade for someone like Cernak to partner with Hughes. Maybe a Jurmo + 2nd gets him?
fv fan:
Before accepting the GM position, first establish with owners that we are going for a Cup here and there will be no shortcuts, even if that means missing the playoffs for the long-term betterment of the team. Build this thing right, no expensive rental players, make tough decisions on players the season before they leave so they do not walk for nothing, and maybe convince Benning to stay on board to head up their scouting.
Killer Marmot:
  1. Hire Jim Benning as Director of Amateur Scouting; in essence let him continue to run the draft.
It’s unlikely he would accept such a post, at least in Vancouver, so alternatively…
  1. Buy Fin 100 m of dental floss for his birthday. This would help him get the bits of salmon and kids out of his teeth.
As new GM, my first move is a double whammy to set the tone of complete and necessary change. First up, fire the entire coaching staff except for Ian Clarke with Green, Brown and Baumgartner front and centre. Then offload all Benning’s ridiculous veteran overpays any way possible.
My next astute move would be to appoint JT Miller as Captain – he’s the real leader of this team.
And that’s just the start… proper playoffs here we come. 👍
Holly Wood:
Try to acquire as many first, second, or third round picks as possible for my new Head Scout, Jim Benning.
16 forever:
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
My first move as GM is to begin the establishment of a long-term vision and a culture of inclusion for the management of the organization, including an alignment of interests across all key positions. Though rumblings around power struggles and a fractured front office have intensified in recent months (see the departure of Judd Brackett), divisions within the current regime can be seen as far back as Linden’s departure. The presence and power of John Weisbrod has also apparently created some tension among staff, as it has been reported that he is perhaps not the most likeable guy. It is clear that Jim Benning, intentionally or not, has created an unstable atmosphere within the front office, which has resulted some very capable people being pushed out the door.
At this point in time, I do not have any specifics with respect to the actual roster and asset maneuvering that I would undertake. What is more important is the creation of a truly aligned environment in which all voices are heard, though not necessarily followed. As GM, I am making the final decision, and ignoring the voices of very capable people around me would be folly. Though philosophical differences are of course going to be present, taking the time to fully assess the big decisions and gather input from all stakeholders would be the first thing I would put into practice.
I would look at hiring an assistant to the Vice-President of People.
speering major:
The scoville level of this take might burn your tongue.
JV and JT Miller to Boston for Jake DeBrusk, 2021 1st and 3rd round picks, and a 2022 1st round pick.
I had a way too long explanation about windows to win, contracts, age, and capitalizing on the expansion draft but it disappeared in to the moderation black hole.
Defenceman Factory:
A first step is to make sure there is a shared vision of the future with ownership. The two extremes here are going all-in for SC contention or a prolonged period of contending teams. Fans often have a different vision than what the team is trying to do and claim management incompetence. Unfortunately, with the Canucks, the vision hasn’t been consistent and seems to have changed a few times during Benning’s tenure. Implementing player personnel changes, trades etc. without taking the first two steps can result is some serious troubles.
The second move for every new GM should be the same; establish a solid management group. That means evaluation of all the key functions, amateur and pro scouting, analytics, training/medical, contracts, capology etc. Replace managers where performance is weak and fill existing vacancies. The vacancy of Director of Amateur Scouting has to get filled and I think upgrades in contract negotiations and cap management are needed. Benning’s management team isn’t big enough. Hard to know if that is because he is autocratic or there has been a push to save money on lesser management positions.
The next steps are to evaluate the players and assets and build a strategy to achieve the vision.
Eriksson to Utica, Lind to Vancouver.
While I haven’t heard about Frank replacing Mr. Benning as GM, the first move would be to establish the autonomy a manager needs to operate his club free from ownership interference. Let the hockey professionals run the show and let the guys who cut the big cheques enjoy the games at their mansions.
First thing I would do is go to the CanucksArmy comments section and take direction on the best path forward.
Probably would be prudent for the owners to hire a team president that can work with JB; hopefully, JB can win with his core and the early season struggles seems to had been mainly due to the lack of practice because of the schedule. Lots of work for the team to get into the playoffs, but I am enjoying the more balanced deployment (esp. in the d-core), the compete that is being shown on the ice by the players and the more structure they have in their game.
My first move as GM would be to drop the prices of beer to $5.
I agree with most of the comments about ownership/ management. There has to be a change. There has to be a president of hockey ops to over see the budget. JB’s strong point is scouting and he has said as much.
He would be more suited as an AGM/ head scout. As for Green, I am not sure. I would like to see what he could do with a proper team. He does not have one right now. He has a bunch of rookies and a bunch of aged veterans. And very little in tweeners that are producing. And no cap space. I think any coach would a hard time with that mix. Changing of assistant coaches might help. But like some suggested, may be just write this year off.
I would be not so quick to get rid of Pearson and Miller. If there is some assemblage of a regular season next year with some preseason games, and VPod shows some promise when he gets here, next year could be the start of the winning window. Keep the Lotto Line and VPod, Horvat, and Hoggy as the second line.
Make a plan. Simple as that. Look at the last seven years flip-flopping back and forth between retooling, building through the draft, going for it, taking a step back. There has not been any sense of consistency with what they are trying to accomplish and for the most part nothing has worked. A contention window needs to be established whereby all moves and resources are focused towards that.
Examples –
  • If you’re not in the ‘window’ and know you’re going to trade futures for Toffoli and not re-sign him, don’t make that move.
  • Don’t sign players that will be in their mid-30s on big contracts during the window.
  • Put yourself in a position to sign some difference-makers when the time is right (ie. Hamhuis, Samuelsson, Malhotra etc).
Stop treating the fans like we’re some simpletons who should be happy they’re competing for the playoffs with a mediocre roster we know is not going to actually compete for the cup. They need to stop acting like the playoffs is some grand achievement as over half the league gets there each year. Obviously from the team perspective, playoffs is the goal every year. From management perspective, a window whereby you can legitimately ice a contending and sustainable roster over a few years is needed. Plan when that window is and go from there.
Pearson, maybe Lind at centre, and Gaudette third line. You have three good lines. Use Motte on third and fourth as needed. Use Beagle for defensive zone face offs and PK for his final year. Trade Sutter at the TDL this year. He will be useful for a playoff team in a limited capacity.
LE to Utica for his final year. I believe the rest are off the books at year’s end. I also agree a deal should be worked out with Seattle to take Myers. Seattle will need to get to the cap floor. Then go shopping for a D-man.
Just my humble opinion on Canuck’s future.
Hire Jim Benning as director of scouting.

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