As of last week, the Vancouver Canucks and Brock Boeser were still not close on a contract despite training camp starting and the season approaching. That may be changing. Both Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic and Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet have reported today that talks have “picked up” over the last 24 hours. While both insiders can’t guarantee a deal comes soon, it is a positive sign at the very least that the two sides are talking again.
Boeser, 22, isn’t in the same situation as some the other restricted free agents. He doesn’t have all the rights of the others and couldn’t sign an offer sheet even if one was presented, because he’s played only two full seasons in the league. The former University of North Dakota standout signed after his sophomore college season ended and has just 140 games under his belt. Like Charlie McAvoy however, who was in the same situation, that doesn’t mean he won’t be able to secure a huge raise over his entry-level earnings. Boeser has been one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the league since his debut, registering 59 in those 140 games along with 57 assists.
While McAvoy ended up signing for just three years at $4.9MM, reports earlier this summer had the Canucks offering Boeser a much bigger and longer deal. His camp was trying to keep the term shorter than the reported six-year offer, but at this point it’s not clear what is being discussed. If one side has conceded on the term or salary, perhaps there is something to be done in the coming days. Like most players, Boeser and the Canucks have expressed a desire to get a contract signed before the season begins in order to miss as little time as possible.
It won’t take long to get Boeser to training camp, but the preseason schedule kicks off tonight for the Canucks. Every day this stalemate continues is lost preparation time for the young forward, and we’re now just over two weeks from the start of the regular season. The Canucks open the year in Edmonton on October 2nd, and hopefully will have their sniper ready to go.