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Canucks Stuck Between Rock & Hard Place with Loui Eriksson’s Contract

Loui Eriksson’s contract has been a nightmare for the Vancouver Canucks. However, the team won’t buy it out this season. Here’s why.

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On the face of it, it might not seem like much, but the announcement by Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning that the organization was not going to use its opportunity to buy out Loui Eriksson’s contract this offseason is another reminder of just how bad that contract has been for the organization.

No Good Financial Reason for a Buyout this Season

It was obviously wise of Benning not to use the buyout this season because there’s simply not a good financial reason to do so. Still, the tweet by Elliotte Friedman that the Canucks would not be using that buyout option to rid themselves of that albatross contract is simply like acid reflux – it simply keeps coming back and each time it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Eriksson Simply Hasn’t Provided Value to the Team

As most Canucks fans know, Eriksson still has two years left on the $6 million contract. Given his lack of production since he’s joined the team, Eriksson not only hasn’t produced for the Canucks but his lack of production hasn’t made him desired by another team. Both he and the Canucks are stuck with each other.

Frankly, Benning’s only option would be to package Eriksson in a trade to a team with lots of salary-cap space left; and, then, only if the Canucks threw in a valuable prospect or a draft choice. Otherwise, no team is likely to take Eriksson off the Canucks’ hands. All offseason there were rumors the Canucks would divest themselves of Eriksson by buying him out, but the numbers never made sense for that move to happen during this offseason.

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Loui Eriksson, Vancouver Canucks

Benning had a space of two days after the team re-signed Jake Virtanen to make a move. However, Benning announced that the Canucks would allow the 48-hour time period in which they could have bought out another contract to go quietly.

Related: Josh Leivo Leaving to Join Flames Not a Good Look for Canucks

Buying Out Eriksson Is Purely a Financial Decision

The decision to keep Eriksson’s contract was purely financial. Specifically, Eriksson’s $3 million signing bonus payable at the beginning of the 2020-21 contract year would still have left the Canucks with a $5.667 million cap hit. They would have only saved about $333,000 and it’s obvious that – even in a very reduced role – Eriksson provides more value than that.

This year might not be that big an issue; however, the rock and the hard place start bumping into each other when the team’s young stars Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes need to be re-signed. And, that’s going to happen after this next 2020-21 season because both young stars will need new contracts.

Loui Eriksson, Vancouver Canucks

Although the savings don’t work out for this year for buying Eriksson out; however, next year the financial savings are larger. According to Capfriendly, if the Canucks bought out Eriksson this off-season, the savings – as I noted earlier – would have been negligible ($333,000). However, the savings prior to the 2021-22 season would be $2.33 million. Obviously, that won’t cover signing both Pettersson and Hughes, but it’s a start.

As it stands right now, Eriksson has two seasons left on his contract and the Canucks are going to eat his $6 million salary-cap hit for one more season.

Related: Canucks Sign Jake Virtanen to 2-Yr Contract Extension

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