Hughes, Pettersson, Horvat & More
The Vancouver Canucks common season is coming to an in depth. With two video games remaining within the common season, the group is getting ready for an offseason through which the membership will try to make adjustments.
In this version of the Canucks News & Rumors, Quinn Hughes has emerged as a prime candidate because the franchise’s subsequent captain. Meanwhile, Elias Pettersson has one season remaining in his contract and extension talks ought to begin this offseason. Also, former Canuck Bo Horvat commented concerning the New York Islanders’ current playoff push, evaluating it to his time in Vancouver, which upset many of the fan base. Lastly, Brock Boeser is nominated for the Masterton Trophy.
Is Hughes the Next Canucks Captain?
The Canucks performed their ultimate residence recreation of the 2022-23 season and picked up a 3-2 shootout win over the Calgary Flames on Saturday. Hughes took the mic to address the group following the win.
“On behalf of my teammates and the organization, I just want to thank the fans for an incredible year,” Hughes mentioned. “It’s an honour to be a Canuck. Hopefully we can come out strong for you guys next year. It’s a treat playing for you guys, and we’re looking forward to it. Thank you.”
Hughes downplayed talks of him because the workforce’s subsequent captain when speaking to the media. He listed just a few of his teammates as nice candidates, together with Pettersson, J.T. Miller, Tyler Myers and even Thatcher Demko. Head coach Rick Tocchet praised Hughes for popping out of his shell over the previous few months, including he has the qualities to be the subsequent captain.
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“He’s a very competitive kid. He wants to win so bad. That’s impressed me,” mentioned Tocchet. “He’s a hockey nerd. He loves hockey. He’ll probably go hang with his brother, he might try to skate with the black aces for New Jersey, because he wants to play so bad… He’s been a pleasure to coach. [Adam Foote] loves him.”
The Canucks traded former captain Horvat to the New York Islanders in late January. As a end result, the group named Hughes and Pettersson as various captains when Tocchet took over. Hughes could be the third defenceman in franchise historical past following Kevin McCarthy (1979-1982) and Doug Lidster (alternated with Trevor Linden and Dan Quinn in 1990-91) to function a captain for the workforce.
The Athletic’s Thomas Drance mentioned the Canucks’ offseason to-do checklist. He lists extending Pettersson because the group’s prime precedence this offseason (from ‘Canucks’ offseason to-do checklist: It begins with extending Elias Pettersson,’ The Athletic, April 10, 2023). In the 2021 offseason, the Canucks prolonged the Swedish ahead to a three-year, $22.050 million bridge deal. As a end result, he’ll develop into a restricted free agent within the 2024-25 season. Therefore, the membership ought to take a look at beginning contract negotiation this offseason with one entire yr to speak.
Related: One-on-One With Former NHLer Brendan Morrison
Drance lists three explanation why locking up the star ahead is essential for the membership. He notes Pettersson is irreplaceable, because the entrance workplace’s plan to contend within the subsequent two to a few years hinges round extending him. Pettersson can be due for an enormous pay increase from his present $7.350 million cap hit, as among the many 20 highest cap hits for the 2023-24 season, solely 5 gamers have outproduced him this season. Connor McDavid ($12.5 million), Nathan MacKinnon ($12.6 million), David Pastrnak ($11.250 million), Matthew Tkachuk ($9.5 million) and Nikita Kucherov ($9.5 million) are these 5 gamers. Lastly, the Canucks have to keep away from paying Pettersson to some extent the place they’ll’t encompass him with different expertise to create a contending roster.
Therefore, the Canucks are higher off beginning their negotiations on July 1st, which provides them sufficient time to barter a good deal for either side. Pettersson has set the bar excessive after his profession season, as he’s on tempo to develop into the sixth ahead within the group’s historical past to hit the 100-point mark.
After the Islanders’ 4-0 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Horvat commented on the excitement within the constructing and assist from the workforce’s followers.
It’s been unbelievable,” Horvat mentioned. “It’s a lot better than Vancouver. I can tell you that for free.”
As a end result, the previous Canucks’ captain’s feedback drew a response from the workforce’s followers and different hockey followers on social media. However, Horvat apologized for his feedback on Monday.
“I wasn’t obviously expecting that,” Horvat mentioned. “It was kind of a heat of the moment thing. I didn’t mean any disrespect to the fans of Vancouver or my teammates or the city of Vancouver at all. It wasn’t directed at them at all. The (Islanders) fans were all excited, and I was excited to be in a playoff push. It was just kind of one of those things where my emotions got the best of me.
“I was just really happy to be there, to be honest with you. It might have come out the wrong way to a lot of people so I apologize for that. I’m just excited to be in the position right now, to be in a playoff push, to be right there. I really enjoyed my time in Vancouver. I’m not trying to disrespect them at all.”
Although Horvat apologized for his feedback, the previous Canuck isn’t fully improper. During his time with the group, the workforce struggled to make it to the postseason and keep within the race. The membership made the playoffs twice out of the eight full seasons he spent in Vancouver. Other than the 2021-22 season, the Canucks have been within the backside 10 within the league standings for the opposite six seasons.
Related: Canucks: Revisiting the Luongo Trade
This season, the Canucks are slated to complete between the twenty second and twenty fifth. Meanwhile, the Islanders are nonetheless within the hunt for a playoff spot with one recreation remaining as they maintain the second wild card spot within the Eastern Conference. Therefore, Horvat is in a greater place with the Islanders this season as he has an opportunity to play within the Stanley Cup playoffs late within the common season.
Boeser is Vancouver’s Masterton Trophy Nominee
The NHL introduced the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy nominees, and Brock Boeser is the Vancouver Canucks nominee. The trophy is awarded by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association to the participant who finest exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey. A participant from every NHL workforce is nominated by their native chapter.
Despite going through quite a few accidents and private household points, Boeser continues to push himself as a participant. Although he had a sluggish begin as a result of a hand harm, he’s on tempo to submit a career-high in factors. Boeser has 54 factors in 71 video games, two factors off of his career-high of 56. He has two video games to hit that mark.