The Vancouver Canucks begin training camp on Friday ahead of a big season with big expectations. Their young core led by Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser is hoping to turn things around push the Canucks into a playoff spot in the Pacific Division. There’s only one thing wrong with that picture—Boeser still doesn’t have a contract. The 22-year old won’t be with the club on Friday without one, and Rick Dhaliwal of Sportsnet reports that the two sides are still not close to a deal, with a big salary gap even on a short-term deal.
Boeser, who has scored 59 goals through the first 140 games of his career, is absolutely paramount to the Canucks’ chances this season. Though the team has added talent like J.T. Miller, Micheal Ferland and Tyler Myers, no one can match Boeser’s pure goal-scoring ability and perfect fit with Pettersson on the top line. His 39 even-strength goals over the last two seasons puts him ahead of other wingers like Patrik Laine, Mitch Marner and Phil Kessel and he ranks 25th in the entire league for goals (of any variety) per game over that time.