It appears that the Canucks and Brock Boeser are still a sizable distance apart in contract discussions. Postmedia’s Patrick Johnston reports that Vancouver has tabled a six-year, $36MM offer to the winger while Boeser’s camp is looking for a shorter-term around $7MM per year.
Unlike most of the prominent restricted free agents out there, Boeser isn’t eligible for an offer sheet nor was he eligible for salary arbitration so he doesn’t have a lot of leverage at his disposal. He also doesn’t have as lengthy of a track record as some of the others in this RFA class with only 140 career games under his belt.
Nonetheless, the 22-year-old has established himself as being a capable top line player already. Those players tend to get paid more than $6MM per year in this market so Vancouver’s offer seems a little low on the surface but again, Boeser has even less leverage than most RFAs coming off their entry-level deals so that’s likely part of the equation.
Earlier this offseason, Boeser indicated that he’s open to all types of offers, ranging from a one-year deal to a max-term eight-year pact. However, with a notable shift towards eschewing long-term contracts in an effort to get to unrestricted free agency sooner, it’s not surprising that Boeser appears to prefer a shorter deal at this time.
Vancouver also has to be mindful of their salary cap situation. As a result of their offseason additions, they will likely have to clear out some payroll room to sign Boeser to the deal they offered let alone what the winger’s asking price is. Earlier this week, GM Jim Benning indicated that they’re comfortable using LTIR to start the season and then they’d make room when winger Antoine Roussel is ready to return but freeing up space now would be an easier route to take. Accordingly, they may look to try to accomplish that before finalizing a new contract with Boeser which means it could be a while before this deal gets done.