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Boeser’s agent discussed trade, sitting out the season prior to signing team-friendly deal

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“This isn’t good, it’s gonna get ugly,” said Boeser’s agent shortly before putting pen to paper.

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Vancouver Canucks
Jan 18, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Brock Boeser (6) awaits the start of play against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Rogers Arena.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

When a contract discussion involves striking a deal worth millions, it’s easy to assume that things can get heated.

In Brock Boeser’s case however, his agent actually shed some insight on how tense the negotiations actually were.

Boeser’s agent Ben Hankinson was on TSN 1040 Tuesday morning following his client signing a three-year, $17.625 million deal with the Canucks. The deal carries an average annual cap hit of $5.875 million.

He notes that while he’s happy with Boeser’s final deal, that there were some heated moments prior to putting pen to paper.

Hankinson continued with the following comments:

“So we talked again that night, we talked again the next morning, and we finally got to the point where, let’s get to that uncomfortable decision because now we’re talking about missing the whole season, you know, do you trade him?”

“We weren’t really threatening that yet but i think with all the other RFA’s out there, we knew that this was either, you know, buckle up for a month or let’s both get to that uncomfortable spot and get a deal done, and that’s what we did yesterday afternoon.”

Big words from Hankinson’s mouth this morning. Although it’s really just a part of his job to play hardball, to hear him talk to Benning about Boeser sitting out the season or being traded, it’s something you don’t hear everyday.

He also touched on the impact that the media pressure had on a deal, and how he blamed Benning for leaking information to the media.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Vancouver Canucks
After some fiery chats and a little “he said, she said,” Brock Boeser is officially a Canuck for the next three seasons.
Dom Gagne-USA TODAY Sports

“Reports did come out that I saw, and I blamed Jim and Jim said it’s not coming from him, and that gets ugly when things are reported in the media because in my opinion, once those numbers come out and your an average fan and you see a 22-year-old player turning down $7 million a year, you know, it gets ugly and it seems like it’s greedy and everything else.

Hankinson went on to say that the Canucks did give him Boeser a long-term offer at the draft (and he didn’t deny that the reported $42 million over seven years was false). He then went on to mention that “our expectations weren’t the same on a long-term deal and predicting the future of it.”

“I talked to Jim this morning on the phone and he said the plan is to do a three-year deal and flip that over into an eight-year deal.”

That’s some additional tunage for the ears of Canucks fans to hear that Boeser and the Canucks are looking ahead to the next 11 years.

Benning signs Boeser to almost-perfect, team-friendly deal

It was hard to complain about the contract that the Canucks signed Brock Boeser to. With an impending cap crunch, it was easy to envision Boeser making $7 million per season on a new contract.

To think that the Canucks would get Boeser on a long-term deal at $7 million per however, was overly optimistic. This is a player who’s 1.1 goals per 60 at even-strength is 18th in the NHL over the past two seasons, notably ahead of Brad Marchand, Mark Stone, Brayden Point, Johnny Gaudreau, and the recently-signed Timo Meier.

Ideally, you’re locking up Boeser long-term to a contract in that $7 to $8 million range. In three years, we could be talking about a guy worth $9 to $10 million.

Boeser also hasn’t had a full season of good health, and he’s about to enter his prime riding shotgun with one reigning Calder Trophy winner. To get Boeser on a long-term contract, that Canucks really would have had to pony up, and rightfully so.

By taking this short-term deal, Boeser is betting on himself to hit career-highs over the next three seasons, while helping the Canucks get a taste of playoff hockey once again. For the Canucks, they get some cap relief in the sense that they didn’t break the bank to sign Boeser to a short-term deal.

Most of the team’s erroneous contracts will be off the books when Boeser’s deal is up. For now, they have their top-line winger locked up to a very team friendly deal, even if Boeser inevitably breaks the bank in three years.