Are the Canucks in danger of Elias Pettersson signing an offer sheet?

Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Vancouver Canucks (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images) /

The Vancouver Canucks‘ general manager, Jim Benning, recently signed Thatcher Demko and Tanner Pearson to new multi-year contracts. The combination of the two signings eats up $8.25 million of the team’s spending money this summer. According to CapFriendly, that leaves roughly $16 million in the bank for the Canucks to lockdown superstar forward Elias Pettersson and elite defenceman Quinn Hughes.

Judging by their incredible play and impressive statistics, the two core pieces will demand the remainder of Vancouver’s wallet. Not to mention, the Canucks still have four roster spots to fill out on the blueline, as well as a couple of other positions inside the team’s bottom-six forward group.

There is definitely a lot at stake in the upcoming offseason, and with contract talks between Hughes, Pettersson and Benning set to get underway after the NHL Trade Deadline, it would be wise for the Canucks’ GM to tie up his loose ends before another NHL team catches wind of Vancouver’s cap situation and decides to send Pettersson an offer sheet.

Take the Detroit Red Wings for example. Steve Yzerman has done an excellent job with his cap management, and now he’s put the Red Wings into a position where they can dominate the free agent market. Going into the 2021 offseason, Detroit has over $46 million in cap space. This gives them the ability to offer large dollars to free agents and it gives them the flexibility to go after desirable restricted free agents via an offer sheet.

Demko was in need of a new contract and it was well-deserved, but with the Canucks deciding to extend a secondary player like Pearson ahead of important core pieces, the team is left in a somewhat vulnerable position. It really wouldn’t take much for another team — like Detroit — to present Pettersson with an offer sheet that the Canucks simply can’t match.

Benning recently stated in a news conference that he doesn’t foresee any cap problems when it comes to getting his big RFA’s signed to new deals, but unless he knows about something ahead of time that will free up some extra cap space, this could get messy in a real hurry.

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What do you think Canucks Nation? Did Benning make a mistake in managing his money ahead of the biggest offseason of his tenure in Vancouver? Will the Canucks be in danger of an unmatchable offer sheet being extended to their star forward? Let us know your thoughts!