The big news for the Vancouver Canucks this past week was the signing of the team’s two RFAs – Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. As well, a number of players were put on waivers and there’s the case of defenseman Travis Hamonic, who’s given the team word that he was not opting out of the 2021-22 regular season. In this post, I’ll review these news items and rumors.
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Item One: Quinn Hughes Sign for Six Years at $47.1 Million
Of the two key players for the Canucks, Quinn Hughes signed the longer contract. The specifics of his contract are that its length will move Hughes a year past his status as an unrestricted free agent. He won’t have a no-trade contract in his final season.
The deal suggests that Hughes is happy to stay in Vancouver with the Canucks. He’s one of the NHL’s best young defensemen and seems to be growing stronger not from season to season but from game to game. Last season he scored three goals and 38 assists (for 41 points) in 56 games.
Item Two: The Canucks Sign Elias Pettersson to Three-Year Deal
At the same time as re-signing Hughes, the Canucks announced that they had also re-signed Elias Pettersson to a three-year contract worth $22.05 million. It’s an interesting contract, which will pay Pettersson $2.6 million during the 2012-22 season, $7.8 million in 2022-23, and $10.25 in 2023-24. At the end of this contract, he’ll be within a season of free agency. Rumors are that Pettersson is less inclined to stay with the Canucks than Hughes.
Although Pettersson is likely the star of the team, he had a rough 2020-21 season. His wrist injury caused him to miss the final 30 games of the season; and, during the time he played with the team, he was only able to score 10 goals and 21 points in 26 games. Obviously, the team suffered from his absence. Both he and Hughes are keys to the team’s success.
Item Three: Brock Boeser Is Suffering from an Injury
There’s a chance that the Canucks’ Brock Boeser will miss the rest of the team’s training camp with an undisclosed injury. In fact, as of the last information I could find, Boeser’s status is up in the air for opening night.
Head coach Travis Green noted that Boeser was “going to be out for a little bit, probably I would say at least a week.” However, there’s still some hope that he would be able to return for the Canucks’ final preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers on October 9.
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In his 56 games last season, Boeser scored 23 goals and added 26 assists (for 49 points). He’s obviously an integral part of the team’s success.
Item Four: Canucks Place Four Players on Waivers
Yesterday, the Canucks placed four players – Spencer Martin, Sheldon Rempal, Devante Stephens, and John Stevens on waivers. Should those four clear waivers, they’ll be sent to the minors.
Item Five: Travis Hamonic Won’t Opt Out of the 2021-22 Season
Travis Hamonic (for personal reasons) won’t be opting out of the 2021-22 season. Instead, as Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning reported, “He remains at home, dealing with some personal matters. We continue to support him, and out of respect for the situation, we will have no further comment at this time.”
As it stands right now, it’s not clear when Hamonic will report to the Canucks. The Canucks signed Hamonic to a two-year, $6-million contract just this past July and hope he’ll become one of the team’s top-pairing defencemen, likely playing with Hughes – who’s one of the Canucks’ cornerstones.
What’s Next for the Canucks?
The Canucks have a preseason game against the Seattle Kraken tonight. The plans are to play Hughes and Pettersson in a couple of the team’s preseason games; however, neither is planned to be on the ice tonight.
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Instead, Green said the tentative plan is for Pettersson and Hughes to play in the final two preseason matches.