Contract talks aren’t going well between Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks, so a bridge deal is probably the best answer for both parties.
After a strong 2017-18 season that saw him score 29 goals and 55 points, Boeser followed it up with a productive sophomore year — tallying 26 goals and 56 points. Simply put, the man has earned himself a generous raise.
However, Sportsnet’s Irfaan Gaffar reported Thursday morning that the Canucks and Boeser aren’t anywhere “close” on a new contract.
There’s no reason for Canucks fans to panic just yet. Sometimes, it takes several weeks after July 1st (when free agency opens), for teams to reach a new deal with an RFA. But if Boeser and the Canucks can’t work out a fair long-term deal, then Benning needs to see if the 22-year-old will sign a bridge contract.
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Boeser hasn’t played more than 69 games in a season yet, so it’s safe to assume we haven’t seen him reach his full potential. Maybe Boeser is a perennial 30-goal and 70-80 point guy.
Maybe he’ll be closer to a 20-25 goal and 60-70 point player. We don’t know yet what his full ceiling is. We need more time to figure that out.
And it’s why Boeser should be willing to sign a bridge deal, if the Canucks were to try and go that route. I wrote about this last August, and it’s time to revisit the topic.
Boeser could sign a short-term two to three-year deal with a fair salary, and thus put himself in position to earn an even bigger contract when this new one runs up.
Look at Nikita Kucherov with the Tampa Bay Lightning. In Oct. 2016, he inked a three-year extension worth $4.766 per year. Kucherov outplayed that contract and received a whopping eight-year contract worth $76 million last year. He gambled on himself, and it worked out to perfection.
The Canucks and Boeser should try to work on, say, a three-year deal worth around $5.5 to $7 million a season. And if he elevates his game the way Kucherov did in Tampa? Then we’re talking about a future six to eight-year extension worth around $10 million annually.
Boeser could end up signing a deal that turns out to be a bargain for the Canucks. For Boeser, he can put lots of money in his pocket now, while giving himself the chance to earn the superstar money later on. And in the meantime, he’d be seriously helping out Vancouver’s salary cap situation.
For all we know, Boeser and the Canucks will end up agreeing to a long-term contract anyway, and the bridge deal idea becomes a moot point. But if contract talks drag on well into mid-July, the two sides should focus entirely on a bridge deal.