Vancouver Canucks young forward Elias Pettersson and defenseman Quinn Hughes have been back on the ice for the past weeks and they sure look excited to take on the Minnesota Wild in the best of five qualifying series to push their team into the postseason.
However, we are starting to wonder if part of their focus is now on their expected new deal, as both players will become restricted free agents in the summer of 2021.
With the salary cap for the upcoming seasons likely to be the same as it was this year — $81.5 million — that’s going to make things ever more difficult for general manager Jim Benning to make decisions with his pending free agents, both unrestricted and restricted.
On top of that, when it comes to EP, Benning might have to fight against all the speculations surrounding his talented young player, especially the one that came out today of the 31 Thoughts podcast with Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman.
During the episode, Friedman mentioned that some pundits might believe a bridge deal could be the best outcome for Pettersson, however, the insider disagrees… With Quinn Hughes’ entry-level contract coming to an end at the same thing, Friedman believes the Canucks should backload the deal, notes both Pettersson and Quinn are worth Mitch Marner money.
“I’m that guy to you, why should I take a short-term deal?”
Some fans thought the Toronto Maple Leafs may have overpaid when they signed Marner to a monster six-year, $65.4 million contract in September, but he’s quickly laid those concerns to rest as he averaged over a point per game while logging a whopping 21:33 of ice time per contest this season.
Fans in Vancouver only expect EP and Hughes to get better and better so those big deals could be on the table. But will the Canucks be able to afford it, or will they have to let one go or lose them to offer sheets?
Interesting times to come in Vancouver!