Zadorov's agent sets the record straight on his client re-signing with the Canucks
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Zadorov's agent sets the record straight on his client re-signing with the Canucks

Not so fast!

Trevor Connors

UPDATE: Nikita Zadorov's agent Dan Milstein has responded to Ian MacIntyre's report on his client re-signing with the Vancouver Canucks with just two words: "Fake News."

MacIntyre reported earlier today (Read below for our earlier report) that both Zadorov and fellow pending UFA Elias Lindholm are making "significant progress" on a new contract with the team.

From Milstein:

Read below for full context of this report.

Sportsnet Vancouver Canucks insider Iain MacIntyre reported earlier today that the Canucks are making "significant traction" in contract negotiations with pending unrestricted free agents Nikita Zadorov and Elias Lindholm.

From MacIntyre:

The Canucks acquired both players from the Calgary Flames in separate trades this past season in an effort to beef up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Read below for our earlier report on the Canucks and their pursuit of these pending free agents, published after the Canucks' season ended last month.

The Vancouver Canucks offseason officially began today and it's shaping up to be a busy one for GM Patrik Allvin. 

The Canucks took tremendous steps this past season, but with the contracts coming off the books this offseason, especially on the blueline, they may be in tough to repeat as Pacific Division champions in 2024-25. Defensemen Filip Hronek, Nikita Zadorov, Tyler Myers and Ian Cole are all pending free agents. Ditto for forwards Elias Lindholm, Dakota Joshua, Teddy Blueger and Sam Lafferty. Hronek is the lone RFA in that group, while the rest are UFAs with the freedom to seek a contract elsewhere come July 1st. As such, and given his reported contract demands, it appears that the Canucks are prioritizing Hronek less than the others.

Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal reports that Hronek's contract demands have not come down since earlier this season and he's still seeking $8 million per season on a long-term deal. That's... steep. Sure, the 26 year old blueliner looked steady playing alongside superstar Quinn Hughes all season, but he's hardly the type of game-changing defenseman who is worth $8 million per season.

So... who's top priority?

From Dhali:

"I've got Lindholm and Joshua at #1 and #2... checking in with Lindholm's agent on what it's going to take and it's not going to be cheap. Could it be $7 million? I don't know. Whats he gonna ask for? Joshua led the NHL with hits in the playoffs... his stock did not go down. It's gonna cost over $3 million but I'm telling you with the playoffs he just had if they get closer to July 1st is it going to get to $4 million?"

- Rick Dhaliwal

Okay, so what about defense?

More from Dhali:

"I believe Zadorov may have priced himself out of Vancouver. The city, the fans are loving him. I believe he might have priced himself out... we'll see. He's looking for term, some say over $5 million, some say over $6 million. Myers, he wants to come back to the Canucks. Can the Canucks get him in the $3 million range? Or... can he get $4 million plus on the open market. The Canucks cannot lose both Zadorov and Myers." 

- Rick Dhaliwal

Dhaliwal would go on to say that Blueger should be resigned and that all indications are he'll come back in 2024-25.

As for Hronek... it remains to be seen. The Canucks can sign him. They can retain his rights and negotiate the entire offseason or they can trade him for other assets.

Dhali again:

"Filip Hronek... this guy's asking for $8 million. If that $8 million ask continues, the Canucks need to move on. The last I heard the ask by Hronek is not going down. It's strong at $8 million. I can't find anyone in hockey who thinks that guy is worth $8 million but that's what agents do. They ask, but they don't always get."

- Rick Dhaliwal

What's the right move, Canucks fans?

Source: Dan Milstein