The big story surrounding the Vancouver Canucks these days is the status of their restricted free agents, some of whom the Canucks fear could be the targets of an eventual offer sheet.
Earlier this month National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that there was concern within the Canucks surrounding a potential offer sheet from a rival team, but thankfully for the Canucks no such offer sheet has materialized. That does not mean though that the Canucks are out of this difficult situation just yet, as another Canadian team may have caused them a massive headache.
This week Vancouver Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal discussed what a contract would look like for restricted free agent Elias Pettersson, and it was there that he revealed just how much this next contract could end up hurting the team. Dhaliwal suggested that another high profile player on a Canadian team was likely the closest comparable contract to Pettersson as this stage of his NHL career.
"I was told from day one that the number one comparison for Pettersson is Mitch Marner, and that is going back to his first agent," said Dhaliwal.
Marner of course counts for a whopping $10.9 million against the cap in each and every season of his current deal, and that would be a massive amount of money to be forced to pony up if you're the Canucks. Perhaps making matters even more difficult is that the rumored deal of 5 x $9 million for Minnesota Wild star forward Kirill Kaprizov could also drive up the price of Pettersson's new deal.
Dhaliwal points to the fact that in terms of regular season production Pettersson matches up very well with both Marner and Kaprizov as comparisons, and it seems clear that he believes the Canucks are gonna have to loosen their purse strings to get this deal done.
"He scored a ton of points in his entry level contract and now its time to buck up," said Dhaliwal when describing why he believes Pettersson is destined for a huge day.
In fairness Dhaliwal's co-host on the podcast absolutely hated the idea of this comparison, even going so far as to suggest that Marner is currently playing on one of the worst contracts in the league.
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