Leafs not the only team struggling to sign top players; Canucks star cuts off contract talks entirely

Published August 23, 2023 at 11:33

The Leafs are admittedly in a concerning spot, approaching training camp and the preseason without having extended Auston Matthews and William Nylander. However, it could be a whole lot worse for the Leafs. The Vancouver Canucks recently received the unfortunate news that franchise center Elias Pettersson has now cut off contract talks so he can focus on preparing for training camp and getting ready for the upcoming season.

Per NHL.com's Dan Rosen, due to a lack of traction with the Canucks this summer on contract talks, he has decided to table those discussions until, presumably, after next season.

"I've just put that on hold. I still have one more year left. I've been wanting to focus on training this summer and the contract will sort itself out." - Pettersson on wanting to focus on the upcoming season without the distraction of contract discussions

At least the Matthews and Nylander camps are still in discussions with Leafs GM Brad Treliving as the summer wears on. Granted, it's not going to be an ideal situation having to answer questions about their contracts throughout camp and the season if neither is signed soon, but as we're seeing with the Pettersson situation right now in Vancouver, it could be a whole lot worse.

In terms of what the length of his next contract might be, Pettersson couldn't commit an answer, whether he favours a short-term deal or a long-term deal. Pettersson will still be a restricted free agent next summer and could bridge again. However, the Canucks may want to push for the longest-term deal possible with the soon-to-be 25-year-old to avoid having to pay him a great deal more in a few years, when the cap is a lot higher.

"It's a big topic obviously, and I don't have the answer myself. I just want to focus on the season." - Pettersson on whether or not he prefers a short-term deal or a long-term deal

Pettersson racked up a career-best 102 points last season and may prefer to wait until the Matthews and Nylander contracts are signed anyway, just so he knows what the market is and where to begin negotiating from, salary-wise and term-wise. Pettersson's rumoured as on a new deal is believed to be in the $10M-$11M range.
August 23   |   142 answers
Leafs not the only team struggling to sign top players; Canucks star cuts off contract talks entirely

Will Elias Pettersson's next contract carry an AAV over $11M?

Yes6445.1 %
No7854.9 %
Latest 10 stories