Update October 1: Elias Pettersson has signed a three-year deal by $7.35 million with the Vancouver Canucks and Quinn Hughes has inked a six-year deal by $7.85M AAV.
According to a few reports circulating on social media, the Vancouver Canucks have put the final touches on deals for RFAs Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. While it was believed the Canucks wanted both players to sign long-term, GM Jim Benning was able to get a number of years secured with his defenseman, while going the shorter bridge deal route with his forward.
The deal with Hughes appears to be more in the bag than the deal with Pettersson, so we’ll start there.
As per Satiar Shah of Sportsnet 650: “Hearing Hughes nearing a 6-year deal worth slightly above $7.75M per year with the Canucks.” That was confirmed on Friday, with one exception. Hughes will make $100K more per season than originally reported.
Hughes is a talented puck-moving offensive defenceman who is absolutely pegged to be the backbone of the Canucks’ blue line for many years to come. He suffered through a tough sophomore slump after an elite rookie season but the team has absolute faith he is everything he showed in his rookie year. He’s not elite defensively, but one could argue he’s the best passing defenseman in the NHL.
This is good value for the Canucks, especially considering the prices a number of other elite defencemen were paid this summer. The six-year deal removes a couple of years of unrestricted free agency and sets Hughes up to hit a home run and make major money on another extension.
As for Pettersson, reports are that he’s signed a three-year deal at $7.35 million per season. He is one of the best centers in the NHL and also a backbone of the Canucks’ roster. He’s both a creative playmaker and a sniper who boasts decent underlying numbers while regularly producing. This deal ensures the Canucks have player control at the end of the deal because Pettersson will still be an RFA at the end of this new deal.
Benning has been working closely with agent Pat Brisson, whose Creative Artists Agency represents both Canucks players. The two sides have been in daily contact for weeks but Sportsnet reports talks had lacked traction due to a basic disagreement on annual salaries.
There was a lot of chatter surrounding the Canucks because the team hadn’t gotten either player signed and training camp was well underway. These deals will bring an end to that and the focus will shift to whether or not the players can live up to these respective deals. There will be a period of time before the players can join the rest of the team because they were skating in Michigan with Brady Tkachuk.
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