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Boeser, Canucks searching for 'common ground' in contract talks

Free agent forward remains unsigned with less than month before camp @NHLdotcom

Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks are looking to find "some common ground" in their contract negotiation, general manager Jim Benning said Tuesday.

The 22-year-old restricted free agent forward remains unsigned with Canucks training camp starting Sept. 13.

"I am continuing to talk with (Boeser's agent) Ben Hankinson," Benning said after his three-year contract extension through the 2022-23 season was announced. "We are trying to get to some common ground. None of the RFAs have signed yet, so we're going to continue to work with him, and I am hopeful we can get something done here before camp so he is there for the start of camp."

Restricted free agent forwards Mitchell Marner (Toronto Maple Leafs), Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine (Winnipeg Jets), Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning), Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche) and Matthew Tkachuk (Calgary Flames) also have not signed. Unlike those players, Boeser is not eligible for an offer sheet from another NHL team under the collective bargaining agreement because he played fewer than 10 games in 2016-17.

Marner is considering practicing with Zurich of the National League in Switzerland if he remains without a contract.

"We're not there yet," Benning said when asked about the possibility of Boeser heading overseas. "We have three more weeks to negotiate with Ben Hankinson about Brock and try to get it figured. I think the Bo Horvat (contract) happened like three days before camp (in 2017), so I still feel we have time to keep working on it and I'm hopeful it's going to get done."

Video: NYR@VAN: Boeser pots PPG to open the scoring

Boeser, who had 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 69 games last season, said July 10 he was optimistic he would sign.

"I feel confident we're going to get the deal done and everything's going to work out," he said. "I love Vancouver. The organization, the city, the fans, everything's great there, and I want to be there for a long time."

Boeser had 55 points (29 goals, 26 assists) in 62 games as an NHL rookie in 2017-18, when a back injury sustained March 5 ended his season. He finished second in Calder Trophy voting as NHL rookie of the year that season behind Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders.

Boeser missed 13 games last season with a groin injury. independent correspondent Kevin Woodley contributed to this report

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