NHL Rumors: Elliotte Friedman 'refuses to close the door' on Vancouver Canucks reaching agreement with $7.5 million D-man 

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Edmonton Oilers at Vancouver Canucks
Elliotte Friedman 'refuses to close the door' on Vancouver Canucks reaching agreement with Zadorov

On the "Donnie and Dhali" podcast, NHL insider Eliotte Friedman said that the door isn't closed for the possibility of the Vancouver Canucks striking a deal with defenseman Nikita Zadorov.

Friedman reckoned that it's doubtful the Canucks will be able to retain Zadorov, adding that the defenseman would prefer to remain in Vancouver in an ideal deal scenario:

"I think it's most likely that they won't be able to keep him. I think it's impossible. In a perfect world, Zadorov would like to stay in Vancouver. I think he really likes it. He's bounced around. He knows a good situation when he sees it. And he knows that Tocchet likes him and the organization likes him," Friedman said.

He also believes Zadorov is willing to accept a slightly lower offer to remain in Vancouver, but there is a limit to how much of a pay cut he would be willing to take:

"I also think that, he's willing to take a little bit less to stay in Vancouver, but there's a limit. And so I think that's where it is now. I had said last week, I thought it wasn't going to happen," he continued.

Despite uncertainties, there is still a possibility of ongoing discussions between Zadorov and the Canucks. Friedman is not completely ruling out the potential for an agreement to be reached between the two parties:

"Someone told me, 'Hold on. It's not over yet.' And I just don't know where that sounds right now. I was expecting the two sides to talk. I don't know how likely it is but I refuse to close the door at 100 percent," Friedman added.

Zadorov joined Vancouver after demanding a trade out of the Calgary Flames back in November. He is set to hit free agency next month unless the Canucks and him figure out a new contract. Zadorov made $3.75 million ($7.5 million contract) for the 2023–24 season.

If Zadorov becomes a free agent, he could get offers of around $5-$6 million per year for a five-year contract.

Maple Leafs interested in couple of Vancouver Canucks' players

According to Rick Dhaliwal, the Toronto Maple Leafs are keeping close tabs on Vancouver Canucks forward Dakota Joshua and defenseman Nikita Zadorov. Both players are set to hit the free agency.

He specifically praised Joshua's and Zadorov's strong and aggressive playing style which aligns well with the Leafs' playing style:

"I will not be surprised if the Maple Leafs are a team that takes a long look at Zadorov and Joshua if they make it to July 1," Dhaliwal said. "Joshua is a player that teams are looking at right now and saying ‘We need that kind of guy in the playoffs’. I can’t tell you enough that if Joshua hits July 1, he’s going to have very good interest."

Zadorov finished the regular season with 14 points (five goals and nine assists) in 54 games with a plus/minus (+6). In the playoffs, he picked up eight points through as many goals and assists with a plus-3 rating.

Quick Links

Edited by Veer Badani
App download animated image Get the free App now