While the Capitals have had preliminary discussions regarding a contract extension for winger Jakub Vrana, there isn’t any rush to get a deal done, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of The Washington Post. The pending RFA is in the midst of a career season with 21 goals and 22 assists through 71 games, numbers that have him in line for a big raise on his current $863K cap hit on his entry-level contract. GM Brian MacLellan has indicated in the past that he’s open to signing Vrana to a long-term extension but with a little over $70MM committed to just 14 players for next season, they may have to go with a shorter-term bridge deal to preserve some salary cap flexibility.
More from the Metropolitan Division:
- The Penguins got some good news and bad news on the injury front. Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that winger Bryan Rust participated in full practice for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury late last month and that he has been upgraded to day-to-day. Rust was supposed to be out longer-term than this so his expected availability over the next few days is certainly a positive though he isn’t playing today. However, head coach Mike Sullivan stated that winger Zach Aston-Reese, who was listed as day-to-day, is now out for the longer term and that he is merely hopeful that the 24-year-old will be able to return this season.
- The Islanders are set to get some help from the infirmary this weekend. Newsday’s Laura Albanese reports that goalie Robin Lehner is expected to play on Sunday while Johnny Boychuk is also likely to suit up then after missing the past week while being in concussion protocol.
- While there was some talk that Devils prospect Jesper Boqvist could make the jump to North America with his SHL season now complete, Corey Masisak of The Athletic reports (Twitter link) that the forward will remain in Sweden in the hopes of landing a spot on their entry into the upcoming World Championships. Boqvist was New Jersey’s second-round pick (36th overall) back in 2017 and finished tied for 14th in SHL scoring with 35 points (13-22-35) in 51 games.