Between local Sportsnet lad Iain MacIntyre on one hand, and Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, national Sportsnet pals on the other, there was plenty of chirping about Canucks star centre Elias Pettersson on Wednesday.
That’s when “I-Mac” first reported that he’d chatted with Pat Brisson, “Petey’s” agent from C.A.A., about getting a new contract done well in advance of the current one’s expiration next summer. It appears there’s no rush.
“He told me, ‘I want to focus on my game, I want to focus on the Vancouver Canucks being better,” Brisson said to Sportsnet.
That statement will set off alarm bells in the heads of many Vancouver fans. There’s a chance he’s gonna walk!
As if that wasn’t enough.
Pettersson himself spoke up with the visiting media in Sweden, telling Friedman that “I’m not in a rush to sign. I mean, I got one more year left over there, and I don’t want to rush into anything, because I still don’t know myself if it’s going to be a short term or a long term, but it’s probably going to be my biggest contract so far. So, I don’t want to stress anything.”
Even with what would appear to be the powerful influence of the Canucks having a Swedish GM in Patrik Allvin and the presence of legends Daniel and Henrik Sedin in player development, it’s hard to say whether Vancouver’s ugly gong show over the last two years and what’s perceived in the outside world as a toxic environment has left irreversible sentiments in Pettersson.
Even so, maybe that could change with a hot start for the Canucks. We and others wrote last year at this time what a disaster it would be if the Canucks didn’t make the postseason. They obviously didn’t. Those statements are being repeated again now, apparently an annual tradition around a club that has made the playoffs just twice in the last ten seasons.
While Pettersson brought up the team topic, Brisson focused on his own client’s development to MacIntyre.
“I’m so impressed with his summer,” he said. “I’ve talked to him probably four or five times about the consistency of his off-ice program and his dedication … like his nutrition and all that, and I’m seeing growth and growth and growth.”
Should an even better season materialize personally for “Petey”, coming off a 39-goal, 102-point campaign in 2022-’23, it would mean bigger bucks for the agent and player regardless of what colour jersey he’s wearing. That number would likely be even bigger if it came from outside of Vancouver, directed toward an unrestricted free agent.
It would also mean a change of scenery.
The question Pettersson will surely be asked sooner than later: is that concept already lodged in his head.
— Canucks Daily: What Happened To The Russian Dilemma