Contract talks between Nikita Zadorov and Canucks have reportedly stalled

As much as both sides claim they want to agree a contract extension, recent comments from Nikita Zadorov's agent indicate there are no talks currently ongoing.
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three
Vancouver Canucks v Edmonton Oilers - Game Three / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The Vancouver Canucks were delighted, when they completed the late November trade for Nikita Zadorov. In fact you can argue he was the steal of the season, with the organisation only having to give the Calgary Flames a 2024 fifth round and 2026 third-round draft pick in return.

Zadorov went on to become everything the Canucks hoped he would be and more, particularly during the playoffs. He gave the team a physical, no-nonsense presence, stability and leadership.

Following the untimely and frustrating conclusion to the Canucks' season at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, the 29-year-old made it clear he would like to return to Vancouver next season. As per Patrick Johnston of The Province, he said: "Obviously we love it here. Hopefully we can work something out."

Zadorov only further endeared himself to the area, by raving about how much better the fan base is in Vancouver compared to Edmonton and Calgary, while also discussing the positive impact it had on his family. He said: "... it’s been unbelievable, I feel like the whole city wrapped around the team during the playoffs. It was fun to see. My kid’s going to school here. My family loves it here. It’s been just an awesome time like just enjoying it every single day for sure."

No communication between the Canucks and Zadorov

Similarly, the Canucks organisation has indicated they would like to have the pending unrestricted free agent back next season, on a new deal. With all this in mind, the latest news is at least somewhat concerning, with the indication being that contract talks between the two sides have stalled.

As per Max Miller of The Hockey News, the Canucks and Zadorov's agent Dan Milstein apparently haven't yet started negotiations on a contract extension. There were previously discussions before the playoffs began, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement.

Miller goes on to report that the Canucks are already aware of what is being asked for, which doesn't exactly bode well if there are no talks taking place. While Milstein has indicated that his client wants to stay in Vancouver, they also know a lot of teams will be interested in the blue-liner.

Don't expect much of a financial compromise ... if any

Any talk about Zadorov taking the often quoted so-called hometown discount due to liking the team and the area, is just pie in the sky. Both he and his agent will be gunning for the best possible deal, especially as this could be the last long-term contract he signs in the NHL.

In respect of speculation about what the 2013 16th overall draft pick might receive, the majority seem to indicate a five-year deal with an annual value north of $5 million. And really, this is why there is concern when it comes to him returning to Vancouver for next season.

As per CapFriendly, the Canucks have the eight-highest projected cap space for the 2024-25 season, at $23,778,333. However, as we've previously written, they have nine unrestricted and two restricted pending free agents to consider overall, including the likes of Elias Lindholm, Tyler Myers, Dakota Joshua, Arturs Silovs and Filip Hronek.

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General manager Patrik Allvin should absolutely look to do whatever is feasible to bring Zadorov back on a long-term deal, because he is crucial to the ongoing success of the Canucks. However, they can only push it so far in respect of their financial commitment, leaving fans to wonder why they are currently being quiet, while also realising Milstein is working from a position of strength on behalf of his client.

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