The Vancouver Canucks have yet to extend a contract offer to pending unrestricted free agent Tanner Pearson according to Rick Dhaliwal of The Athletic, though his colleague Thomas Drance expects things to get “more serious” this week between the two sides. Pearson, 28, carries a $3.75MM cap hit this season in the last year of a four-year, $15MM deal he signed with the Los Angeles Kings in 2017. That contract came after Pearson set a career-high in goals with 24, a total he would have exceeded last season with the Canucks had the season not been cut short.
Unfortunately, that outstanding 21-goal, 45-point player that the Canucks had last season hasn’t emerged this time around. Pearson has just five goals and 10 points in 31 games so far, likely costing himself money on his next contract by the day. Still, there’s no doubting how trusted he is by the Vancouver coaching staff, especially after playing at least 19:30 in three of his last four games (including a whopping 22:33 against the Montreal Canadiens last week).
- Jake Virtanen has been shopped around by the Canucks on several occasions, but Irfaan Gaffar of The Fourth Period tweets that the enigmatic forward now may not be moved by the trade deadline unless there is an offer GM Jim Benning “can’t refuse.” Virtanen, 24, has just three goals and hasn’t recorded a single assist in 26 games this season. Trading him now would certainly be selling at the lowest point, but the Canucks are going to need to move out salary somehow over the coming months. Virtanen’s $2.55MM cap hit through 2021-22 now looks like a massive overpay, despite the 18 goals and 36 points he put up last season.
- Travis Hamonic is a player who wants to stay with the Canucks if possible, but knows that he is a little further down the pecking line when it comes to extensions. The veteran defenseman told Ben Kuzma of The Province that he saw Vancouver as a potential long-term fit for his family when he decided to sign a one-year, $1.25MM deal and would love to stick around past this season if possible. The Manitoba native will hit unrestricted free agency again this summer and has been clear in the past that he wants to continue playing in Western Canada. Hamonic holds a full no-trade clause this season.