After a long and tense offseason of the Vancouver Canucks, they finally came to terms with their two big RFAs Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes less than two weeks before the start of the NHL season. Both sides seemed distant in talks throughout the summer but some major progress in the last few days led both sides to an eventual agreement. Let’s examine both contracts and how they’ll impact the Vancouver Canucks in the next few years
Contract Extension: 3 years, $7.35M
Elias Pettersson was a big wildcard coming out of the draft, criticized for being undersized for the NHL. However, Pettersson proved the haters wrong by playing phenomenal in the SHL and translating that success to the NHL, soon becoming the face of the Canucks franchise.
Pettersson put up fantastic numbers in his first two seasons, with 60+ points in each season and almost at a point per game pace. Last year, Pettersson had shortened season due to injuries and Covid-19 but still put of solid numbers with 21 points in 61 games. But with only making the playoffs once in his three years, Pettersson went into the offseason looking for money and looking to win. Early in the offseason in an interview, Petterson said “I want to stay there (Vancouver), now but I also want to play for a team that’s winning and has a chance to go far into the playoffs every year, I feel like we’ve got a chance to do that next year If we have that chance when my next deal expires. I don’t know. I just want to play where there’s a chance of winning.”
This quote seemed very interesting because Pettersson believes he can go far in the playoffs in Vancouver, but if that doesn’t happen, he might leave in free agency. But to everyone’s surprise, Pettersson ended up signing a bridge deal for three years at $7.35 million, which keeps him in Vancouver after the deal expires. Overall, this was a fantastic deal for the Canucks, getting Pettersson at an amazing price and eventually keeping his RFA rights.
Contract Extension: 6 years, $7.85M
Another cornerstone for the Vancouver Canucks franchise is Quinn Hughes, a highly touted offensive defenseman with tremendous potential. However, many people are skeptical of the defensive aspects of his game. Regardless, Hughes is still one of the best young defensemen in the game and has been an offensive force ever since he stepped into the league. In his first full season, Hughes put up an impressive 53 points in 68 games, making him second in the Calder Trophy race. He followed that up with 41 points in 56 games while playing a massive defensive role in a weak Canucks defense. Going into the offseason, Hughes had a ton to think about whether he should go for a bridge deal similar to Pettersson or to get signed long-term. To make things even more dramatic, Quinn’s brother Luke Hughes was drafted to the New Jersey Devils to play alongside his other brother Jack Hughes. Would Quinn Hughes want to commit long-term with the Canucks or did he have other plans to join his brothers in New Jersey? Interestingly enough, Hughes opted for a 6-year contract which would send him right to UFA status and potentially a family reunion. Ultimately, the Quinn Hughes contract isn’t as big of success to the Canucks as the Pettersson contract which Hughes’ contract being a bit too much money and walking him right to a UFA.