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Zadorov likes Vancouver, but will explore free agency with an open mind

Vancouver Canucks fans are hoping defenseman Nikita Zadorov will stay on a long-term contract this summer, but his future with the team remains uncertain. Reflecting on his time in Vancouver, Zadorov praised the city’s passionate hockey market, especially during the playoffs. “Vancouver is another level. The fans were so hungry to see playoff hockey at home… It was incredible,” he said, emphasizing that his family is enjoying their time in the city, and his children love their school.

Zadorov’s candor is one of the things fans love about him. Even when he’s not trying to get a shot on a team he doesn’t play for, he often does. Zadorov compared Vancouver to Calgary, where he previously played, noting the larger and more fervent fan base. “I can compare it to Calgary, but Vancouver has a bigger fan base. I mean, Calgary isn’t even the No. 1 team in Alberta,” he noted, emphasizing his appreciation for Vancouver’s hockey culture. He then chuckled at the obvious fact that the Edmonton Oilers knocked out Vancouver and are clearly the top team in Alberta right now.

Zadorov and the Canucks begin contract talks

Pierre LeBrun noted that Zadorov’s agent, Dan Milstein, revealed plans to meet with Vancouver management soon to discuss the defenseman’s future. “He loved his time in Vancouver. He liked the group, the management and the coaching staff and really enjoyed it there. So we’re getting together with Vancouver, but I’m not sure what their plans are yet. We’ll go from there,” Milstein said. If an agreement cannot be reached, Zadorov will explore freedom of choice with an open mind.