After prolonged contract disputes that lasted well into training camp, the Vancouver Canucks finally re-signed restricted free-agents Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. The pair had been training together in Michigan while their agents and Canucks brass hammered out the deal. Getting the two re-signed is integral for Vancouver’s future, and GM Jim Benning’s top priority this off-season.
The deals are reported to be roughly the same cap hit, but for different periods of time. Defenseman Quinn Hughes is reported to have signed for 6 years at $7.85 million, while center Elias Pettersson signed for 3 years at $7.35 million. Pettersson’s deal takes him to age 25, where he will remain a restricted free agent. Hughes’ deal, however, takes him right up to unrestricted free agency. Once there, he is bound to make a load of money.
Tough Cap Situation
That it took so long to get two franchise cornerstones resigned is at first glance baffling. Teams spend years searching for elite puck-moving defensemen and an elite center like Hughes and Pettersson. But looking just slightly closer at Vancouver’s cap situation and it becomes clear why negotiations were harder than they needed to be. Vancouver GM Jim Benning has given out big contracts to questionable players. The 5 year, $30 million contract given to Tyler Myers a couple years ago comes to mind.
Adding to the cap strain is the fact that the Canucks have close to $4 million in dead cap hits. These hits include buyouts of Braden Holtby and Jake Virtanen, as well as the cap recapture penalty for Roberto Luongo.
Given all that, it’s imperative Benning get the pair signed. The fact that he did gets him some points. Not much, but some.