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NHL 3 Big Restricted Free Agents Remain Unsigned

With the start of the NHL season just around the corner, the offseason drama might not be over yet. Training camps have started but three big name RFAs are yet to be signed, Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brady Tkachuk. All of them have had talks with their respective teams but they still have not signed on the dotted line.

Brady Tkachuk

Brady Tkachuk was drafted 4th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2018 and has been a massive part of the Senators rebuild. Tkachuk is known as a physical player that will stand up for his teammates, and also can produce offensively. Tkachuk’s playing style and character makes him the obvious front-runner for the Senators captaincy. However, Tkachuk may not be able to wear the ‘C’ in Ottawa with the struggles in contract negotiations. Elliotte Friedman recently reported that the issues with Tkachuk and Ottawa are structure & trade protection. He wants bonuses, but the Senators ownership is stingy about giving him that much money. If the Senators want to keep their franchise player, ownership would first need to open up their wallets and start spending.

Prediction: Brady Tkachuk will sign an 8 year, $8M contract with the Ottawa Senators before the start of the season.

Quinn Hughes

Drafted 6th overall in the 2018 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, Quinn Hughes has blossomed into one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL with his unbelievable skating and offensive abilities. Hughes plays a huge role on a weak Canucks defense, so the Canucks desperately need to keep him. TSN reported that Quinn Hughes’ contract situation is about the term of the contract, not the salary. This rumor creates a ton of speculation because initially, it looked like Hughes was going for a bridge deal with Vancouver. Now with his brothers, Jack and Luke Hughes both on the New Jersey Devils, will Quinn sign a contract that would lead him right to UFA status?

Prediction: Quinn Hughes signs a 6 year, $6.5M contract with the Vancouver Canucks a week after the season starts, with Elias Pettersson.

Elias Pettersson

After being drafted 5th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Vancouver Canucks, Elias Pettersson has become the cornerstone of the Vancouver Canucks franchise. Pettersson is a bonafide #1 center in the NHL and is a key part of the Canucks team. However with limited cap space, the Canucks have had a tough time being able to resign Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. Darren Drager reported “I don’t feel like the conversations that I had today are encouraging that either one of the RFAs (Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson) will be at training camp. This is a slow play by Jim Benning and Canucks ownership”. This is tough news for the Canucks since both RFAs are far from resigning. The slow play by Canucks ownership could lead to a holdout for both Canucks RFAs.

Prediction: Elias Pettersson signs a 6 year, $8M contract with the Vancouver Canucks a week after the season starts, with Quinn Hughes.

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