The start of the NHL’s regular season is right around. In fact, we are a week away from puck drop. However, there were still a couple of pending restricted free agents still on the board. Now there is only one. The big news of the weekend as we head towards puck drop is the Vancouver Canucks signing Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes to new deals. Meanwhile, it appears the Ottawa Senators and Brady Tkachuk are at a stalemate. In addition to these signings, we will take a look at some other news in this edition of the NHL Notebook.
NHL News & Notes: Elias Pettersson & Quinn Hughes
The big news is the Vancouver Canucks finally got a deal done with their two top restricted free agents. Elias Pettersson signed a three-year bridge deal to stay with the Canucks. The deal is worth $22.05 million and carries a salary-cap hit of $7.35 million. Many wondered if he would get something similar to Kirill Kaprizov. However, he came just under that on a bridge deal. The former Calder Trophy is looking to build off his first two seasons in the league as being a core piece with the Canucks as they look to take the next step. Last season, was a down year for Pettersson as he fought the injury bug. Pettersson is an important piece to the Canucks lineup as he brings the offensive punch the team needs.
Quinn Hughes signed a six-year, $47.1 million deal to stay long-term. His contract carries a salary cap hit of $7.85 million a season. Quinn is the backbone of the Canucks defence. Ever since bursting on the scene, Hughes has been a Norris calibre defenceman in the NHL. Having Hughes in the lineup will help the Canucks give the Canucks depth on the back end and allow newcomer Oliver Ekman Larsson to adjust without having too much pressure since this is Hughes’s defence.
Give credit to general manager Jim Benning for getting these deals done while the team was still in training camp, so these players had a couple of preseason games before hitting the ice before the regular season starts. And he got both to sign contracts that carry team-friendly AAVs. Next up for the Canucks will be signing Brock Boeser to a new deal as he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.
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Other News and Notes:
- It appears the Montreal Canadiens will be without the services of Carey Price come the start of the regular season. Head coach Dominique Ducharme does not expect Price to be ready as he is recovering from knee surgery. Price was supposed to start skating this past Monday but did not due to an illness. The Canadiens stated it was not COVID-19. Montreal claimed Samuel Montembeault off waivers to backup Jake Allen.
- Over in Toronto, the Maple Leafs hope that Auston Matthews is ready to start the season. Recall, Matthews underwent wrist surgery and aims to be in the lineup when the puck drops on October 13th. However, if the team feels he is not ready, they will not put him in the lineup. They want Matthews to be 100 percent healthy when he returns to the lineup. Matthews has been at practice progressing through his recovery, but will not play in any preseason games. Head coach Sheldon Keefe stated when Auston and the medical team decide he is ready, that is when he will play.
- As training camp winds down it appears the Ottawa Senators will start the season without Brady Tkachuk in the lineup. Both parties are at a stalemate with just a week to go before the season starts. And neither party is in a rush to get something done. It will be interesting to see how long this drags out.