Elias Pettersson wants to win (gasp)! Many Vancouver Canucks fans applauded his comments, as they too would like the Canucks to become a winning franchise again, and usher in a new glory age of the Canucks. On the other hand, some fans (and journalists) somehow interpreted his recent comments as negative. Subsequently, some of the aforementioned group had a meltdown on various social media platforms.
This article will take a look at why his comments are no cause for concern, and highlight that he has a winning attitude.
Pettersson recently was interviewed by the Swedish hockey publication Hockeysverige by Uffe Bodin.
They discussed a variety of topics, including Pettersson’s injury-riddled 2020-21 season, and how he’s been practicing throughout the summer in Stockholm, Sweden. However, the quotes from his interview that are getting a lot of attention are those about his contract negotiations and winning. Firstly, in regards to his contract negotiations, he said:
“My agents do all the talking (with the Canucks), and then they inform me about what’s going on… Right now, we’re not in an agreement, but I’m not worried that we’re not going to solve it eventually. Both parties need to be happy in order to find a solution, but I’m not worried about that”.TSN
What this indicates is Pettersson believes he and the Canucks will reach an agreement. He says he’s not worried, as he thinks they will resolve it eventually. However, he wants both parties (himself and the team) to be happy with the solution.
Some people have seized onto his quote, “my agents do all the talking (with the Canucks), and then they inform me about what’s going on,” as a sign of concern. Why is this be a concerning statement? Contract negotiation is what an agent (a trained legal professional) is for. When Nicklas Bäckström of the Washington Capitals opted to represent himself in contract negotiations, it made headlines. Subsequently, his longtime teammate Alex Ovechkin also choose to represent himself, thus creating more headlines.
It is an anomaly and a newsworthy event when a player opts to represent themselves in contract negotiations. Pettersson opting to negotiate via his agent is the traditional way of reaching a deal and isn’t at all controversial. Afterwards, he went onto say in the same interview:
“I want to stay there (Vancouver) now, but I also want to play for a team that’s winning and has the 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 wanna play where there’s a chance of winning.”TSN
Pettersson prefaced his comments about winning by saying “I want to stay there (Vancouver),” which is indicative of him planning on remaining with the Canucks. He followed up by saying he wants to play for a team that has the chance to make a deep playoff run every year. Why would this be considered a bad thing?
Every professional athlete wants to win. It would be more concerning if he came out and said “who cares about winning, I just want to get paid,” or “yeah, I love losing hockey games.” Former Canucks’ goaltender Eddie Lack took to Twitter with this remark in regards to the comments:
Lack’s rhetorical question hits the nail right on the head. The Canucks evidently desire to win, considering they’ve been busy adding players such as Conor Garland, defensive centre Jason Dickinson, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson throughout the offseason, all of whom were brought in to (hopefully) improve Vancouver’s fortunes on the ice. Canucks management clearly envisions boasting a winning team, and is actively attempting to assemble one, so why the faux outrage in regards to Pettersson (one of, if not the best active Canuck) also wanting to win?
Pettersson’s Comments are A Non-Controversy
Pettersson’s recent comments are a non-controversy. In fact, most Canucks fans seemed to agree with them. Some of the folks who were offended by the comments may not have read them in their entirety, and others may have read them and still been concerned. However, he didn’t say anything wrong. He says his agent is negotiating the terms of his contract with the Canucks (the standard procedure in hockey), and he wants to win games.
Overall, the discourse about Pettersson’s comments needs to chill out. Unless you’d prefer having a budding superstar who actively wants to lose games, there is zero reason to be alarmed that he wants to win.
I am a lifelong hockey fan who will be covering the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks here at The Hockey Writers. Before joining The Hockey Writers I spent two years blogging about hockey.
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