Positive update regarding Nikita Zadorov and his contractual status

Felip Gosselin
June 1, 2024  (8:49 PM)

Nikita Zadorov celebrating a goal
Photo credit: The Hockey News

The Canucks will need to find a way to get a deal done with Nikita Zadorov. It's common knowledge that he rejected the team's first offer, but according to a recent interview, Zadorov isn't planning on leaving.

The big man loves the city, the city, and the team loves the big man. After the Canucks acquired his services, everybody was well aware that there was a possibility he might be headed to free agency. The latest reports confirmed that the two parties hadn't been in communications, but Zadorov and his party laid it all on the Canucks' table. They intend on remaining with the Canucks, as long as they can meet their terms.
Zadorov gave an interview to Sportsnet's Iain MacIntyre and addressed his current contractual situation:
"For me, the main focus is the term, for sure," Zadorov told Sportsnet in a one-on-one interview after last week's year-end press conferences. "I feel like I can play until 35 or 36 easily, on a high level. I think my body can do that. It's not like I'm injury prone. I feel like I can get to another level of leadership and hockey as well when I know I'm in this team (long-term). It's just going to be easier mentally and physically as well, so I don't have to move my family around."

Zadorov has been moving with his wife and two girls for the last few years, but according to him, his wife and kids loved their time in Van City. Knowing that families often play a very prominent role in the player's decision-making processes, there's a strong possibility that Big Z pushes harder to make Vancouver his permanent home.
"Obviously, there's a lot of interest in the family stuff. But the main interest is to win the Stanley Cup. (This was) my fifth playoff... and I haven't been past the second round. I think for me, it's just to find a team or home where I have a chance to win a Stanley Cup. That's the main focus, for sure. And I believe Vancouver is one of them."
The Canucks currently have three defensemen under contract for the upcoming campaign, Quinn Hughes, Carson Soucy, Noah Juulsen and the rights to Filip Hronek. Adding Nikita Zadorov would most certainly contribute to helping the team get back to their 2023-2024 glory.