The Canucks don’t look like they’re ready for another drama-filled negotiation process with one of their star players.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, extending Elias Pettersson is already on the Canucks’ radar, even though they can’t officially talk extension with him until July 1st.
In today’s 32 Thoughts column, Friedman said the following:
“Some other stuff about the Canucks: They’re determined to create cap room. That will take some creativity, but aren’t interested in moving first-rounders and would like to replace the second-rounder sent to Chicago in the Jason Dickinson-Riley Stillman deal. Elias Pettersson can be extended this summer, and even though he isn’t a UFA until July 2025, it’s already on their radar.”
Not to gloss over the report that the Canucks would like to regain the second-round pick they lost in the Dickinson-Stillman deal, but that’s arguably more obvious than “team wants to lock up young star as soon as possible.” With this team, the latter just edges out the former.
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Pettersson will become an RFA with arbitration rights after the 2023-24 season, and gains UFA status on July 1st, 2025. The Canucks would certainly be wise to lock up Pettersson sooner, rather than later, as we see more and more teams around the league waste little time before locking up their young stars.
Now, obviously, the Canucks missed the mark a little bit by not extending Pettersson long term as they did with Quinn Hughes, but that wasn’t this management regime’s fault. All they can do now is try to turn things around, and getting Pettersson’s contract extension done — presumably long term — is one way of doing that.
As for what Pettersson’s ask might be from the Canucks, you have to assume that with the cap projected to go up by the time Pettersson’s next deal kicks in — and somewhat dramatically during any long term extension — it’s hard to imagine a long-term Pettersson extension not featuring a double-digit cap hit.
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Consistency has always been the name of the game for Pettersson, but so far this season, Pettersson has been the Canucks’ best defensive player, and their best offensive player as well. If he’s able to do it over the course of a full season, then expect the Canucks to get serious about extending Pettersson sooner, rather than later.