The Canucks say they need to get younger next year, for salary cap reasons, but it appears their top young player is not going to be re-signed cheaply.
With the NHL salary cap dropping by $5.9 million next season, a number of teams — the Canucks among them — will be scrambling to find ways to reduce their salary commitments under the new fiscal constraints.
So getting pending restricted free agent defenceman Chris Tanev, 23, locked up for a modest raise is unlikely.
It’s thought by some in the hockey world that, with this dramatic lowering of the cap, some NHL clubs may be more encouraged to tender offer sheets to unsigned RFAs, with the thinking that cap-crunched clubs will be less able to match.
Tanev, who just finished a three-year contract that paid him a $900,000 salary at the NHL level, would be an attractive target for clubs that decide to buck the trend and go after other teams’ RFAs.