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NHL Notebook: Canucks sign defenceman Filip Hronek to eight-year extension, could land Jake Guentzel in free agency

Vancouver Canucks Filip Hronek
Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks took care of a big piece of their offseason business Tuesday afternoon, inking defenceman Filip Hronek to an eight-year contract extension.
His new contract, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli, will pay him $7.25-million per year and features two different movement clauses.
Hronek, 26, was acquired by the Canucks on March 1st, 2023, playing in just four games at the end of that season.
This year, however, he played big minutes for the Canucks on their top pairing alongside Quinn Hughes, scoring five goals and 48 points in 81 games. He set career highs in assists, with 43, and in points. Come the playoffs, he added a goal and an assist in 13 games.
Most of his production came in the first half of the year, helped by a huge October and November, in which he scored two goals and 23 points in 24 games. Through the rest of the regular season he scored a still respectable 25 points in 57 games, leading some to question if he was hurt, when in reality his otherworldly offensive production was just coming back down to earth.

Canucks could land Guentzel

We’re just under two weeks away from the start of NHL free agency, and word is starting to creep out of who are going to be the big players for who.
Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli said on Tuesday’s edition of Oilersnation Everyday that the Oilers have Los Angeles Kings winger Viktor Arvidsson on their radar.
But there’s a team in Western Canada who could be players for one of the biggest free agents in Jake Guentzel: the Vancouver Canucks.
In Seravalli’s latest edition of his top free agents list, he had Guentzel as the No. 2 ranked player heading to the open market, saying if the money is right, the Canucks could look to land the winger.
When the clock strikes 12 noon ET on Canada Day, expect the Vancouver Canucks to make a strong play for pending free agent forward Jake Guentzel. They won’t be alone – as there are more than a handful of teams expected to be in the mix for the Stanley Cup winning winger. If the Toronto Maple Leafs trade Mitch Marner, they could be players, as well as the Florida Panthers if they are not re-signing Sam Reinhart.
Sources have been percolating that the Canucks might present the best mix of money and opportunity right out of the gate. There is a familiarity there, as Guentzel played for Rick Tocchet as an assistant coach in Pittsburgh, and under Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin in the Steel City – not to mention the strength and training staff.
There is also a need. The Canucks pushed the Edmonton Oilers to Game 7 in Round 2, but fell short in part because they couldn’t find a way to engage Elias Pettersson, and putting Guentzel on his wing might go a long way in solving for that problem.
Seravalli went on to say the deal could sit in the seven-year range, paying Guentzel $9.5-million, but that the Hurricanes have reportedly let teams know they could work out a sign-and-trade to get an eighth-year on the deal, lowering the cap hit. A mid-round pick in exchange would be expected, Seravalli addded.

Oilers free agents

Five Oilers players have worked their way onto Seravalli’s list: Adam Henrique, Warren Foegele, Mattias Janmark, Vincent Desharnais and Sam Carrick.
Here’s a look at where they landed and what their contract projections are, according to AFPAnalytics:
RankPlayerPosAgeTeamCap HitGPGPTSAFP Projection
37Adam HenriqueC34EDM$5.83M8224513 x $4.3M
38Warren FoegeleLW28EDM$2.75M8220413 x $3.9M
52Mattias JanmarkLW31EDM$1M714121 x $1M
56Vincent DesharnaisRD28EDM$763K781111 x $1.1M
66Sam CarrickC32EDM$850K7710162 x $1.47M
The Oilers will surely have interest in brining back some of these players. Henrique and Carrick both fit in well in Edmonton after being acquired ahead of the NHL’s trade deadline, filling holes and roles well in the lineup.
While Foegele had a great regular season scoring career highs in goals with 20, assists with 21 and points with 41, his production has dropped off in the playoffs scoring just two goals and five points in 19 games. Would that be enough to turn teams off of signing him to some moderate term and money?
He spoke during the cup finals ahead of Game 3 about how great it would be to come back in this series with a “band of brothers” who have been together for three-plus years. Would running it back in Edmonton on a one or two year deal at a lower cap hit be of interest to the 27-year-old?
Janmark, meanwhile, has been excellent in the playoffs scoring three goals — two shorthanded — and six points in 22 games. He struggled at times during the regular season, but has turned his game on in a big way in these playoffs.
What happens with Desharnais will be one of the more interesting storylines to follow around Edmonton. He’s worked his way up through the minor league ranks to be a solid NHL contributor, but his struggles with the puck on his stick have led to Philip Broberg taking his spot in the lineup, and looking like a much more effective defencemen.
Lastly, Carrick could be an option to re-sign, but the Oilers already have Derek Ryan under contract for another year, who has already been a fourth-line centre for the team.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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