Vancouver Canucks preparing for life after Filip Hronek

The Vancouver Canucks are reportedly seriously considering trading Filip Hronek prior to the draft, if a new deal cannot be agreed between the two sides.
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks
Calgary Flames v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

Filip Hronek is coming off his best season yet in the NHL -- one which he said he enjoyed -- and the Vancouver Canucks would like to sign him to a long-term contract extension. However, just because both sides ideally want to work something out, it doesn't necessarily mean it will actually come to fruition.

In fact, the Canucks are preparing for the very real possibility that Hronek will not be with the organisation for much longer. At least according to Sportsnet's Satir Shah.

During Tuesday's edition of Canucks Central on Sportsnet 650, Shah indicated the Canucks are seriously considering trading the gruff defenceman prior to this year's draft, which begins on June 28 in Las Vegas. Key to if the organisation proceeds down this path, is whether or not the two sides can agree to a contract extension.

Hronek is a pending restricted free agent, who is coming off a campaign which saw him make $5.5 million in the final season of a three-year, $13.2 million deal he signed while with the Detroit Red wings. He will be in demand around the NHL and it stands to reason that he will be able to command more with his next deal.

How important is Hronek to the Canucks?

This naturally leads to wondering whether the Canucks can afford to pay the 26-year-old enough, to convince him to remain in Vancouver? This will of course be determined by how much they value him, especially considering he is just one of nine unrestricted and two restricted pending free agents on the current roster.

It should be noted the Canucks gave up first and second round picks in the 2023 draft to acquire Hronek in the first place, so they clearly think a lot of him. Combine this with his age, talent and coming off his best statistical campaign yet in six NHL seasons, and there's a compelling case to bring him back regardless of the cost.

Of course this is easier said than done, even with a projected cap space of $24,078,333 for next season. The Canucks also have to consider whether to re-sign the likes of Nikita Zadorov, Elias Lindholm, Dakota Joshua and Tyler Myers.

As a result, it stands to reason that one or more of the Canucks' priorities will likely not be plying their trade in Vancouver next season. We'll have a better idea within the next couple of weeks, if Hronek is among those who won't be back.

One other thing to consider in all of this is, as we wrote back in March, the Canucks have previously offered a contract extension to Hronek. While figures were not reported at the time, it alludes to the blue-liner clearly valuing himself higher than whatever was offered.

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Now add in that the Canucks are seriously considering trading Hronek, and you have to wonder if this means the two sides are too far apart with their respective valuations. Fans will be hoping this is not the case, after he played such a key role with one of the best defensive teams in the NHL this season.

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