Wood is just one of four remaining RFAs across the league and is coming off a much-improved sophomore campaign. He posted 19 goals (fourth-most on the team) and 13 assists in 76 games despite averaging just 12:38 per night, giving the team some nice secondary scoring for just $925K. However, his playing time was slashed in the playoffs as he logged less than ten minutes of ice time.
It wouldn’t be overly surprising if his minutes have played a significant factor in negotiations thus far. The team is likely looking to pay Wood like a role player given his usage both towards the end of last season and in his rookie campaign while the winger will be arguing that his production is worthy of more substantial money. Because of that, a bridge contract is the expected outcome.
New Jersey is beginning their season overseas which could actually help escalate discussions between the two sides. Their final preseason game is being played October 1st in Switzerland before they head to Sweden. Presumably, the team is going to want Wood on that trip which means they’ll need to get something worked out over the next few days if he’s going to have a realistic chance of suiting up in the season opener.