As negotiations continue on a new contract for restricted free agent Elias Pettersson, the Canucks star says he wants to stay in Vancouver, but also emphasized his desire to "play for a team that's winning," according to Uffe Bodin of Hockeysverige.
In an interview Wednesday, the two-time all-star and 2019 Calder Trophy winner told Bodin that he'd like to remain in B.C., but that his priority is also to be part of a team that is consistently a contender. The Canucks had a disastrous 2020-21 campaign, missing the playoffs after suffering a massive COVID-19 outbreak. A wrist injury forced Pettersson to the sidelines for the final 30 games.
"I want to stay (in Vancouver) now, but I also want to play for a team that's winning and has the chance to go far into the playoffs every year," Pettersson said in Swedish as translated by Bodin.
"I feel like we've got a chance to do that next year. If we have that chance when my next deal expires ... I don't know. I just want to play where there's a chance of winning."
When asked about how negotiations with the Canucks are going, Pettersson said, per Bodin, that he's letting his agents (Pat Brisson and J.P. Barry of CAA) handle the details, but that he's not concerned about the state of the discussions.
"Right now, we're not in an agreement, but I'm not worried that we're not going to solve it eventually," the Swedish sniper said
"Both parties need to be happy in order to find a solution, but I'm not worried about that."
Following the comments, Rick Dhaliwal of CHEK News reported that talks continue between Pettersson and the Canucks, but the two parties are not close to a deal right now.
Per Cap Friendly, the Canucks have roughly $13.3 million in cap space to get Pettersson and fellow RFA and Canucks star Quinn Hughes re-signed, as well as the recently acquired Jason Dickinson.
Barry, who is also Hughes's agent, previously told Dhaliwal that the plan is to work on both deals together, in the same vein as the monster deals signed by Chicago Blackhawks stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane in the summer of 2014.
“The Canucks have cap issues. I don’t think we can do long-term deals for Petey and Quinn. We have started the dance; we are engaged in talks,” Barry told Donnie and Dhali.
“We are exploring shorter term for Elias, five years and under. Quinn longer.”
Pettersson, unlike Hughes, remains vulnerable to an offer sheet, which Canucks general manager Jim Benning vowed to match last month.
Despite his injury, Pettersson put up 10 goals and 11 assists in 26 games last season. He garnered MVP consideration during his sophomore campaign when he recored 66 points in 68 games, helping lead the Canucks to a surprising run to the second round of the playoffs.