The Vancouver Canucks ended a potential lingering distraction by signing forward Brock Boeser to a three-year, $17.6-million contract Monday.
“I’m relieved, Brock is more relieved, and the fans are most relieved,” Boeser’s agent Ben Hankinson told Sportsnet 650 on Tuesday.
As Hankinson explained, negotiations had been ongoing and both sides were left slightly disappointed — which often means a fair deal was reached.
“At the end of the day we compromised, both sides, and did a fair deal,” Hankinson said. “They were stuck on an offer that they hadn’t moved from in a long time and so were we. They thought their offer was fair. I obviously didn’t think so. I thought our deal was fair and Jim (Benning), on Sunday night, we kind of huddled with the owner and Chris Gear (the team’s vice president and general counsel) and his group.
“We kind of met in the middle, basically. (Benning) wasn’t happy, I certainly wasn’t happy with where he got to and that’s usually a good sign. We swore at each other a little bit and got the deal done.”
Boeser will be 25 and a restricted free agent when this deal expires in 2022. When asked why a long-term deal wasn’t reached, Hankinson said the two parties were initially headed down that road.
“We started over a year ago, in August, going through long-term options and we sat down and huddled and going into his last season (of his entry-level contract) last year we had seven-year deal options, six-year deal options,” Hankinson said. “It wasn’t where we thought it should be. The market obviously changed, so we’re happy we didn’t sign what the numbers were back then.”
Prior to this past June’s NHL Draft, the Canucks reportedly had a lucrative offer on the table but nothing came to fruition.
“There were some rumblings that there was a $7-million offer at the draft and that’s fairly accurate, and at that point we were really close to getting a long-term deal done,” Hankinson added. “We weren’t there yet and if I look back I’m still happy we didn’t do that deal, but it was getting in the ‘take it’ zone right about then.”
Around that same time, though, the Canucks traded for J.T. Miller ($5.25-million average annual value), re-signed Alex Edler ($6-million average annual value), signed Tyler Myers ($6-million average annual value), Roberto Luongo retired, adding an annual recapture penalty of $3,033,206 to the cap and all of a sudden the team had some cap issues to manage.
Negotiations were pushed back as the two sides regrouped before they ultimately settled on three years and a $5.875-million cap hit.
Boeser leads all Canucks players in goals and points over the past two seasons, despite some injury problems, and Hankinson said the Burnsville, Minn., native is coming into the 2019-20 season “fully healthy, fully ready to go.”