Canucks deliver last restricted free agent offer and storybook-ending omission

The Vancouver Cancucks have effectively resolved their restricted free agent situation, which includes the decision not to make an offer to Aidan McDonough.
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven
Edmonton Oilers v Vancouver Canucks - Game Seven / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The Vancouver Canucks have been working swiftly through their restricted free agents since the conclusion of the 2023-24 campaign. Most notable of course, is the eight-year, $58 million deal they agreed with defenceman Filip Hronek.

However, as per, the Canucks also recently announced terms with forward Linus Karlsson and blue-liner Cole McWard, both for one-year, two-way deals for the league minimum of $775,000. And on Sunday, the organisation confirmed the signing of highly-touted prospect Jett Woo to a similar agreement.

Bigger things on the cards for Silovs

Sunday was pivotal, in that this represented the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers. Along these lines the Canucks extended one more offer, to goalie Arturs Silovs.

This is no surprise, given that Silovs is now in the running to be Thatcher Demko's main backup in 2024-25. The 23-year-old impressed during this season's playoffs, with it becoming clear Canucks coach Rick Tocchet preferred him to Casey DeSmith between the pipes.

The qualifying offer for Silovs works out to be $813,750. However, the reality is this is a placeholder so that Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin and company can continue negotiations towards a long-term contract extension.

An unfortunate conclusion for McDonough in Vancouver

In respect of the players the Canucks didn't make qualifying offers to, this list includes Aidan McDonough, Filip Johansson, and Nick Cicek. Of the three, McDonough's omission stands out.

This does not mean that McDonough receiving no offer is surprising as such. It's just more about the storybook aspect of his career appearing to now be closed, at least in Vancouver.

Selected in the seventh round of the 2019 draft at 195th overall, the 24-year-old had the odds stacked against him from the word go. And yet the Canucks were still intrigued enough by his talent, to take a gamble on him.

It seemed to be going so well ...

This turned out to be a good decision, in so much of the fact McDonough enjoyed success at college, with Northeastern University. He became a prolific goalscorer, proved his leadership skills by working his way up to become captain and was named a Hobey Baker finalist in 2022, as the top Division One player.

The storybook continued in 2022-23, when the Milton, Massachusetts native made his NHL debut with the Canucks. He would play six games in total, averaging 9:19 of ice time and even scoring his first ever NHL regular season goal.

However, this would prove to be the high point of McDonough's career, at least up to this point. This past season saw his first exposure to the AHL, but he struggled to adapt, highlighted by just 19 points in 58 games for the Abbotsford Canucks.

dark. Next. Grading the Canucks' five 2024 draft picks. Grading the Canucks' five 2024 draft picks

Ultimately, it appears the reasons behind why McDonough was drafted so low have finally caught up with him, including his skating abilities and defensive game. However, we have no doubt that Canucks fans everywhere will wish him the best of luck, hoping for him to continue carving out a playing career elsewhere.

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