WDYTT: Your Vancouver Canucks Expansion Draft protection list
Photo credit:© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
Hello, and welcome back to WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet that Seattle couldn’t poach if they tried.
Speaking of which, sometimes there are questions so obvious that we forget to ask them in our little weekly corner here. And that’s definitely the case when it comes to the 2021 Expansion Draft, now less than a month away.
In all the excitement, we never thought to ask you what you think, but that ends today.
When it comes to cobbling together a list of players to protect from the Seattle Kraken, one has to take a step-by-step approach with the Canucks.
Goaltending? Already locked in.
Defence? You’ll have a tough time just filling out the three slots.
But forward? Here, all of Tanner Pearson, Tyler Motte, Zack MacEwen, Kole Lind, and Jonah Gadjovich are competing for just three available slots, and that’s going to cause at least a little consternation.
At least two of those players are going to have to be exposed. But which two?
That’s more-or-less what we’re asking you today:
What is your Vancouver Canucks protected list for the 2021 Expansion Draft?
What contracts would you try to sign Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to?
Your final offers are below!
Beer Can Boyd:
I see these two players and their very astute agent holding all of the cards here. The contracts they will consider will reflect their feelings about the organization, management, and the team’s direction. I expect both to sign two-to-three-year bridge deals in the $6.5-8 million range. And I still think, given the Canucks’ cap situation, that a team (Rangers) may offer sheet EP.
Their agent sheds some light: short for Pettersson, meaning huge upside next time around, and long for Hughes, meaning cash in while the window`s open. 4×7, 6×6.
Also, JP Barry contradicts Benning: “They have a cap problem.”
Going off of what I deem to be comparable, I would say Elias equals Barzal, three years at $7 million, and Hughes’ closest comparable is Samuel Girard, who makes $5 million per season.
So needless to say the Canucks will sign Elias for $9.5 and Hughes for $8.
I see Pettersson at three X $7.25M and Hughes at three X $6M. Could see them go to four X $6.5M for Hughes.
I am more comfortable at this stage with a bigger contract for Petey.
$7 – $7.5 million on a bridge is fair, and we are protected from his biggest flaw: durability, via LTIR.
I have no doubt he performs if he is healthy. One of two untouchables for this org (Demko being the other).
Hughes is a giant talent and a giant risk after last season. He still has superstar written all over him, but his defensive liabilities were shockingly bad all year, including turning and mobility in the defensive zone. I would hold firm at $5 – $5.5M for two years.
Canucks need to be tough as nails here. Prepare to start the season with Hughes unsigned if need be, and also feel out the trade market for him now in case negotiations go south. Having Rathbone behind him makes this tactic much more palatable.
Pettersson for one or two years, preferably one. Anything under $7 million is great, but up to $7.5 million on a two-year deal.
Hughes is very different. He has more to prove before you posture for a long-term deal. If you can do a five-year deal under $6 million, fine, but that’s unlikely. Any deal should be under $6 million, so the longest term you can get that price, the better. GMing 101, second day of class: never have two of your most expensive players’ contracts expire the same year. The first day of class was don’t overpay for intangibles.
I think because Benning still has some dumb contracts on the books, it’d be crucial to keep costs down for the time being. Petey at $7M and QH at $6M MAX over three or four years could go a long way toward using that extra money to get a decent UFA, if and when the window opens up for this team. A couple of million here and a couple of million there could really make a difference, and as good as these young guys are, they don’t deserve Kane and Toews/ Sidney and Gino-type money. This last season was a wash anyways, and I’m sure 40 and 43 will get back on track for 21/22.
Agent says they are discussing longer term for Hughes. To me that means less AAV…so a 5×5 seems reasonable. Demko/Bo ballpark.
Petey is said to be shorter term which, coming off an injury, is prudent.
So a Boeser-like: 2 or 3×6
Petey is not a superstar. He is not a PPG player, he is a couple of steps down at this stage. Hughes needs to learn how to defend. He also is no superstar, but if he can defend he is the rarer talent. If not, then he is a bottom pair PP specialist.
$7.5 million / year for Pettersson for as long-term as he will agree to. I might be talked into $8 million. Pettersson could choose to go short-term on the theory that in a few years he’ll be able to command $10 million.
$6 million / year for Hughes, again for as long as he’ll agree to. Although he’s a substantial talent, he’s not yet a complete two-way player.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
I would sign them for the longest term you can sign them for at max $8.5 million AAV for Petey (who will act as our cap ceiling) and max $6 million AAV for QH; buying at least one of their UFA years. Also make sure that the deals are not backloaded. These are the numbers that will allow the team to retain maximum trade value and to pivot if necessary, with an eye to trade QH with one year remaining on his contract.
In the salary cap world, no one player is bigger than the team. It is best to realize that team payroll structure will determine how competitive a team is and that players will at some point demand more than what they are actually worth. With very few exceptions, the team needs to be prepared to move them a year before they hit UFA (let someone else pay for their golden parachute contract). As fan we should just enjoy them while we can.
In this shortened season, neither EP or QH had the type of season that warranted opening up the vault. A slight advantage shifting to club over player right now. Although they are promising players, they still need to show more in order for the big payday. Their agent will push for a bridge deal to attempt to get their numbers up to star level. The Canucks may attempt to go long-term, but are likely be concerned with both, so I see bridge for both, especially QH.
When their best player, Demko, is locked in at 5X5 it’s hard to justify paying EP and QH a ransom.
It makes no sense for the club to sign either of them to short-term deals. They both get six-to-eight years. Bridge deals for RFAs make sense when the team is ready to contend. They make no sense when the team is two years away. Then you only get the benefit of the lower hit for one year of the deal.
As for how much, that I have no idea about. Sebastian Aho got 5×8.5 the year after a 90+ point season in a non-flat-cap environment. Marner got $10.6 million, but that’s an idiotic deal that no one should be trying to use as a comparison. Rantanen got 9.25×5 after two seasons of PPG-plus, one of which he was in the Hart conversation for much of the year. Pettersson has never been close to those numbers and has missed substantial time all three years he’s been in the league and it’s a COVID year. So that would make him worth what at this point… 5×8, 7×9.5?
I have no idea what the rate is for a long-term deal for a high-end RFA defenseman coming off his first contract. I can’t think of anyone who’s been signed long term. Guys like McAvoy and Werenski all took bridge deals. Maybe you have to wait for Heiskanen and Makar to sign and see if they get long term deals to use as a measuring stick (I think Hughes should get clearly less than both those guys). D always get less than forwards, so maybe it’s something like seven years times $7.5m.
Whatever makes both parties happy.
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