In its Thursday summary NHL.com included a recent Sportsnet notebook on the Vancouver Canucks that summarized President of Hockey Operations Jim Rutherford’s position on restricted free agent (RFA) forward Brock Boeser. The summary focused on the obvious, that the club would at least meet the qualifying offer for the 25-year-old, as opposed to letting him walk as an unrestricted free agent.
This went without saying.
Rutherford told Vancouver Hockey Now the same thing back on May 25th, and emphatically pointed out that the team did have the budget to meet the $7.5-million qualifying offer. As Iain MacIntyre of Sportsnet reiterated, that does not necessarily mean the team will negotiate a long-term deal with the player. All options are open, other than the one that would have let Boeser walk away with nothing in return.
MacIntyre’s story included further thoughts from Rutherford on the player as a person, and Boeser’s close relationship with his father Duke, who passed away last month. Rutherford is aware of the distraction of Duke’s declining health that would have existed for Boeser during the season, as well as the winger’s two brief encounters with injury.
Boeser finished the 2021′-22 with 23 goals and 23 assists, his lowest point-per-game effort over his five full seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. He joined the club in the spring of 2017 for nine games after the conclusion of his college season at the University of North Dakota.
Boeser scored in his first NHL game against his hometown Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on March 25th and subsequently against the Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, and Edmonton Oilers over the following two weeks. That scoring prowess, with 29 goals his first full season, combined with his friendly demeanour and his charitable endeavours led Boeser to quickly becoming a fan favourite.
He does fit the bill as a potential core player as one ‘in his mid-twenties or younger’ as Rutherford has earlier alluded. Questions regarding his future revolve around affordability and the salary cap. The Vancouver Canucks have until July 11th to make Boeser his qualifying offer.