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Report: Canucks make 'significant progress' on Pettersson contract extension

A report indicates that 'a new deal could be finalized in the coming days' with pending RFA Elias Pettersson.
Elias Pettersson is a pending restricted free agent for the Vancouver Canucks.

There has been a lot of noise surrounding Elias Pettersson and his contract in recent days, which seemed odd.

While Pettersson's next contract is a massive story — potentially one of the biggest in Canucks history — the timing seemed strange. After all, Pettersson had said that he wanted to wait until the offseason to discuss his next contract and, as much as the Canucks clearly wanted to get a deal done sooner, it seemed like Pettersson was going to stick to his guns and wait.

Apparently not.

According to Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli, the Canucks have made "significant process" on a contract extension with Pettersson.

The new deal is expected to be eight years, the maximum length for a contract extension. Many have speculated that his next contract is likely to have a cap hit north of $11 million and might even approach the cap hits of Nathan MacKinnon's $12.6 million and Connor McDavid's $12.5 million.

Back in January, Pettersson's countryman William Nylander signed an eight-year contract extension with a cap hit of $11.5 million, which could be used as a comparable. Nylander was in the midst of a 40-goal, 87-point season at the time, while Pettersson is currently on pace for his second straight 39-goal, 100+ point season and could potentially be the first Swede in NHL history to post back-to-back 100+ point seasons.

While all the noise surrounding Pettersson mostly involved histrionic questioning of whether the star forward even wanted to stay in Vancouver and speculation that the Canucks might have to trade him, that evidently isn't the case. Instead, it seems that Pettersson has changed his mind about waiting to negotiate his new deal.

Perhaps it's because Pettersson wanted to wait so that his contract negotiations wouldn't become a distraction but instead the lack of contract negotiations became a distraction. Or perhaps the Canucks, with their run to the top of the NHL standings, proved to Pettersson that he could win a Stanley Cup in Vancouver, something that wasn't at all clear in his first five seasons with the Canucks.

Whatever the case, Pettersson signing a contract extension should calm down the Canucks fans fretting over his future with the team and comfort the Canucks front office as they make plans for the following seasons. 

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