NHL Rumors: Could Contract Talks Be Affecting the Play of Elias Pettersson

Elias Pettersson Did Not Want Contract Talks To Be A Distraction

TSN Hockey Insider Chris Johnston stopped by SportsCenter with Jay Onrait and was asked if the distractions surrounding his progress in contract talks or the speculation of a trade is affecting the play of Elias Pettersson in Vancouver.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

NHL Rumors: The Longer Elias Pettersson Remains Unsigned, The More Teams Will Call

Jay Onrait: “Here’s the guy we don’t get to talk to enough. It’s our hockey insider Chris Johnston, we’re going to change that. We’re gonna have CJ on a lot more. And Chris, we’re gonna get to the Flames and Chris Tanev in just a minute.

But let’s talk about Elias Pettersson. We just heard from his coach, Rick Tocchet, about how the rumors and Pettersson’s contract status might be affecting his play on the ice. What can you tell us about the latest, as far as Pettersson is concerned?”

Chris Johnston: “Well, this has been a strange one all year long, right, Jay? I mean, in this case, at least, Pettersson hasn’t wanted to engage in contract discussions, wanting to put it off until the offseason. Obviously, the Canucks have been a little bit more eager to get there.

NHL Rumors: Elias Pettersson doesn’t want the distraction of contract talks and the Canucks are okay with that

And there’s been a report out there this evening that they’ve gotten closer to a decision here. And if that is the case, I have to think that the pressure of the human element that Rick Tocchet is talking about plays a role in it, and at this hour, I can tell you there’s no confirmation from any of my sources that anything is yet imminent in this position.

But you know, the reason this hasn’t taken off earlier this season wasn’t about money. It wasn’t about a disagreement and what the player was; it really came back to Elias Pettersson himself not wanting to discuss a contract during the year and not wanting to deal with the distraction of that, well, perhaps the fact it’s maybe become a distraction in a different way, because there’s all this speculation about trades and what might happen.

There’s been a breakthrough here, but you know, I think all along, the Canucks knew kind of what it was going to cost to keep the player and Pettersson had a pretty good idea of his market, given that he’s been one of the best offensive players last few years.”