NHL Rumors: Elias Pettersson; Quinn Hughes still waiting for deals, cap relief for COVID suspensions, and more

What is going on with the Canucks RFAs?

canucks sign pettersson and hughes
Feb 16, 2020; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defensemman Quinn Hughes (43) and forward Brandon Sutter (20) and forward Bo Horvat (53) and forward Elias Pettersson (40) celebrate Pettersson’s goal against the Anaheim Ducks in the second period during a game at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Vancouver Canucks are still trying to figure out how to get both RFA’s Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes signed.

Per CapFriendly, they have $10.6M in space with 24 players signed. That puts them one over the 23 man limit, so if they move three players off to make room for Pettersson and Hughes, that numbers is around $12.5M.

That’s still likely not enough to get them both signed long-term.

NHL Rumors: Pettersson and Hughes unsigned

As Canucks camp is fast approaching, there has been little to no news out of Vancouver.

Over in Ottawa, the Senators and Brady Tkachuk could be finalizing a deal worth $8M per season for 8 years. Similar to what they gave Thomas Chabot. The Canucks don’t have $16 million in cap space to give to their two young stars.

Hughes, 21, scored 41 points in 56 games last season. Pettersson, 22, registered 21 points in 26 games after an early slump where he scored only 2 points in his first 8 contests. Both players are the cornerstone pieces to the Canucks future but at this rate, could at least miss the start of camp.

This offseason, there’s been very little information leaked out and Hughes has been silent. Pettersson gave an interview in Sweden and said he will let his agents handle it.

vancouver canucks rumors
Jan 25, 2020; St. Louis, Missouri, USA; Pacific Division defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) of the Vancouver Canucks and Pacific Division forward Elias Pettersson (40) of the Vancouver Canucks react during the semifinal against the Central Division in the 2020 NHL All Star Game at Enterprise Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

“I want to stay [in Vancouver], but I also want to play for a team that’s winning and has the chance to go far into the playoffs every year,” Pettersson said. The talks are still ongoing with his agent JP Barry thinking bridge deal for Elias.

“We’re going to look at everything, but I think anything for Pettersson will be five or under, and then we have to look at with Quinn whether or not we can do a little more or not,” Barry explained after the season. “We’ll probably explore some of that, but that’s where we are right now.”

Vancouver is going to need to move out a few million dollars in order to make this work. Even if they bridge deal Pettersson, I don’t see how he will take what’s left over if Hughes takes up $8M of the possible $12.5M.

Cap relief for COVID suspended players

The NHL released its new COVID protocols for the 2021-22 season which allows for the suspension of unvaccinated players with some exceptions.

Any players that are unable to participate in club activities due to COVID can be suspended, which would include travel preventing them from playing. Those players would “forfeit the equivalent of one day’s pay for each day”; as the protocol states.

Deputy Commissioner, Bill Daly was doing media this week and confirmed that those suspended players will not be charged against the cap during that time.

“There is no cap charge associated with players who are suspended without pay,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in an emailed response to a query about whether new COVID-19 protocols came with cap relief measures.

The Province

Additionally, Daly noted that 98% of the players are vaccinated and hopes the remaining will be also.

Brady Tkachuk update

TSN’s Shawn Simpson noted that something is indeed imminent between the Senators and Brady Tkachuk.

“Brady Tkachuk is leaving St Louis this weekend,” he tweeted. “Heading to Ann Arbour to skate with the USDP. Will stay there until Thursday, and then return to St Louis. A deal can happen at anytime, but this tells me nothing is imminent.”