Nikita Zadorov was better than anyone within the Vancouver Canucks could have imagined when he was brought over from the Calgary Flames ahead of the 2024 NHL trade deadline. The hulking Russian was solid in the regular-season, but he turned into an absolute beast for Vancouver in the playoffs. Remarkably, he finished sixth on the team in scoring while playing tough minutes and making life extremely difficult for the other team.

There's no doubt that the veteran defenseman has earned a raise after making $3.75 million each of the last two seasons. He's also earned a longer-term contract after failing to get a deal longer than two years since his entry-level pact over a decade ago.

The 29-year-old is also reportedly willing to take a bit of a pay cut to remain in British Columbia, a place he reportedly really enjoyed playing in 2023-24. And although rumors have surfaced over the past week that the chances the front office brings Zadorov back are looking “bleak,” the saga received another important update on Friday.

The Canucks will make their final pitch to the Russian's camp this weekend to see if they can agree on a number that will keep him in Vancouver long-term, according to Canucks insider Rick Dhaliwal.

On the Donnie & Dhaliwal show, he made it clear that “the desire to get this done by Zadorov and his agent is massive. He doesn't want to go anywhere.”

Around the same time, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman confirmed that a decision on Zadorov's future was probably coming as soon as this weekend.

“I think we're going to know in the next few days if there's any hope with Zadorov,” reported the insider on the latest episode of the 32 Thoughts podcast. “Appears unlikely but someone reached out to me and said that one isn't over yet. Odds are less than 50 percent. They told me it might be over soon but it's not over yet.”

A 50 percent chance certainly isn't terrible, but as Zadorov wants to stay put, and considering he became a bit of a fan favorite across British Columbia, Canucks fans will be holding their breath for a final decision.

Nikita Zadorov had a great experience with Canucks

 Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes (43) and forward J.T. Miller (9) and defenseman Nikita Zadorov (91) and goalie Arturs Silvos (31) wave to the crowd after the Edmonton Oilers win in game seven of the second round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Arena.
Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

“I can compare it to Calgary, but Vancouver has a bigger fanbase,” Zadorov said about his time with the Canucks. “I mean, Calgary isn’t even the No. 1 team in Alberta. It was unbelievable. My family loves it here, and I enjoyed every second.”

According to both Dhaliwal and Friedman, Zadorov is asking for more than $5 million annually, although he was willing to take less money than what he could probably command on the free agent market to remain in Western Canada.

It's possible that the Russian could be looking for as much as a six-year, $36 million pact, which could be more than general manager Patrik Allvin and president of hockey operations Jim Rutherford are willing to pay.

It's certainly going to be intriguing to see whether the hulking blue liner — who seems to have found a home in Vancouver — will remain on the squad in 2024-25 and beyond.