Nikita Zadorov rejects lucrative offer from Canucks.
George Walker IV/AP  

Nikita Zadorov rejects lucrative offer from Canucks.

Nikita Zadorov has reportedly rejected a significant offer from the Canucks just before free agency.

Jonathan Larivee

It now seems like a forgone conclusion that Vancouver Canucks defenseman Nikita Zadorov will be playing for a different team come next season.

There have been whispers for weeks now that the Canucks and Zadorov's camp have been unable to come to an agreement on the terms of a new contract, and now it would appear as though Zadorov has rejected a late offer from the Canucks just prior to the official opening of free agency on July 1st.

The latest comes to us courtesy of National Hockey League insider Darren Dreger, who revealed that the Canucks offered Zadorov a contract with a lucrative average annual value only to have that offer turned down.

"If we zero in on Zadorov for just a moment it's believed that the Vancouver Canucks tried to keep him," said Dreger as per TSN. "But they came in late and they went as high as a $5 million [average annual value]."

It seems as though Zadorov is either confident he can earn more on the open market as a free agent or at least earn something comparable from one of the teams that he may prefer to play for. It sounds like Zadorov will have his choice with Dreger reporting that a host of teams have interest in the Canucks defenseman, including a Canadian rival.

"It would make a lot of sense that Zadorov knows that he can get that," said Dreger. "I'm told that there are more than 10 teams with considerable interest in Zadorov. The Maple Leafs are among them, they like him for a lot of different reasons, obviously there's history with Zadorov and Brad Treliving but it comes down to a cap situation for the Leafs."

It would be one thing to lose Zadorov and another matter entirely to see him sign with a bitter rival.