NHL Notebook: NHL seeks regular international schedule including Olympics, World Cup of Hockey; Vancouver Canucks forward Elias Pettersson not looking to ‘rush into’ contract extension

Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Aleena Aksenchuk
10 months ago
The NHL is looking to get its players back on the international stage in the form of regularly scheduled events, the league’s deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Wednesday.
The schedule, Daly expressed hope for, would be to have NHL players playing in a World Cup of Hockey as soon as February 2025, with players heading to the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy. Daly, however, admitted the formatting of the World Cup of Hockey could have a different look.
“I don’t know exactly what form it will take,” Daly told NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. “The goal is to make it an international competition of some sort. It’s going to obviously be heavily NHL-centric in terms of the player base, maybe entirely NHL. 
“We’ll see what form it takes, but that’s something we’re working on with the Players’ Association.”
The last time the league participated in a competitive international competition was the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Many of the game’s most promising young stars, including Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid, Vegas Golden Knights’ Jack Eichel, and Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews helped form Team North America, but their run in the tournament ended when they placed third in the standings in Group B and were ineligible to advance to the knockout round of play.
The World Cup of Hockey was scheduled to return in 2024, but complications involving Russia’s participation brought the decision to a halt. The NHL has also announced that if the tournament does return, team North America and Europe will not return as teams.
The NHL happily participated in Olympic competitions from 1998-2014 but elected to bypass the more recent events in 2018 and 2022.

Pettersson not looking to ‘rush into anything’

For Vancouver Canucks fans, the biggest off-season question has been whether or not Elias Pettersson will sign a long-term contract extension. Now, they may be left hanging on the edge a little longer.
The superstar forward had an outstanding performance in the past 2022-23 campaign, scoring a career-high 39 goals and 102 points. He continued to shine, leading the league in shorthanded goals at five, earning the trust of mid-season coaching replacement Rick Tocchet while averaging over 20 minutes of ice time a night.
According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, the Canucks star said he’d prefer to “wait into the season to consider an extension,” opting to focus on having a solid start to the 2023-24 season.
“I got one more year left over there. And I don’t want to rush into anything because I still don’t know myself if it’s going to be a short- or long-term (deal),” Pettersson told Friedman.
Pettersson will enter the final year of his current three-year deal this season, carrying an average of $7.35 million. If he produces anything similar to last season, he’s likely looking at an AAV in the ballpark of $10 million.
The forward was the Canucks fifth overall pick in the 2017 draft. He joined the team full-time a year later for the 2018-19 season, scoring 28 goals and 66 points, capturing himself the Calder Memorial Trophy as the league’s best rookie.
Here’s more from Daily Faceoff‘s Matt Larkin:
If he can produce anything close to what he accomplished last season, he’s likely looking at an AAV north of $10 million. Looking for a comparable? New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal signed an eight-year pact at a $9.15 million AAV last fall after completing his entry-level deal and a three-year bridge at $7 million. Pettersson’s point production has far exceeded Barzal’s, and Pettersson’s two-way game is rounding into form under Tocchet.
It would help Pettersson’s cause, of course, if he can lead the Canucks back into the playoffs this season. They’ve missed the big dance in three straight seasons and seven of their past eight.

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