BREAKING NEWS: Canucks sign four-time All-Star to a whooping deal worth $92.8M

There was a recent push in extension talks between the Canucks and center Elias Pettersson, and it appears that push helped get a deal completed. The team announced that they had signed Pettersson to an eight-year contract extension. The organization did not release the contract’s financial specifics, but Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli claims that the total value is $92.8 million, with an AAV of $11.6 million.

Pettersson is the best player in the NHL's all-Canadian Division -  Vancouver Is Awesome

Vancouver chose the 25-year-old in the first round (fifth overall) in 2017, and he has since progressed from a critical core piece to a true franchise player. Pettersson won the Calder Trophy in his debut season of 2018-19, with 66 points, and added another 66 points the following season. However, an injury-plagued 2020-21 season led to the two sides agreeing on a three-year bridge agreement that was slated to expire this summer, when he would have been a restricted free agent with salary arbitration eligibility and a year away from unrestricted free agency.

Pettersson showed a significant offensive improvement past season, hitting new career highs with 39 goals and 63 assists to finish ninth in NHL scoring. That fueled optimism that the two sides would reach a long-term agreement last summer, putting all speculation to bed. However, Pettersson and his camp have consistently stated that he prefers to wait until the offseason to negotiate his next contract.

Pettersson’s per-game numbers are down slightly this season, but he’s still on track for 38 goals and 61 assists, which are still top-tier league-wide given that he plays in all situations. That further fueled suspicion about his willingness to sign long-term with the Canucks, as he preferred to wait until the offseason to ink his next contract. That conjecture reached a point where Vancouver and Carolina reportedly engaged in serious negotiations about a potential trade before Vancouver and Pettersson took a step back and decided to make a real effort at hammering out a new deal, which proved productive.

The contract is by far the most lucrative in club history, which should not come as a surprise given Pettersson’s recent performance and the great demand for top-tier centers. The agreement will make him the NHL’s fifth-highest-paid player in terms of AAV next season, trailing only Auston Matthews, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, and Artemi Panarin.

According to CapFriendly, Vancouver has a little over $60 million in spending on the books for next season to just a dozen players, with Filip Hronek leading their crop of restricted free agents. Of note, only two full-time regular defensemen are under contract for 2024-25, so GM Patrik Allvin will need to allocate a lot of their remaining money to filling out the back end. Meanwhile, Pettersson is now one of only three Canucks under contract beyond the 2026-27 campaign, joining center

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