Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat will be eligible to sign a contract extension in July and indicated to reporters, including Ben Pope of the Chicago-Sun Times, that he’s open to having those discussions whenever the team is. The 24-year-old has been one of the few bright spots for Chicago this season, notching 40 goals and 36 assists in 79 games. DeBrincat will be owed a $9MM qualifying offer in the 2023 offseason so it stands to reason that any discussion of an early extension will have that number as a starting point. Pope adds that DeBrincat isn’t expected to suit up at the World Championships next month with him and his wife expecting their first child.
Elsewhere in the Central:
- Coyotes winger Liam O’Brien may be able to return to the lineup on Wednesday against Dallas, relays Jose M. Romero of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). The 27-year-old has missed the last two months with an upper-body injury. O’Brien has had a quiet year with three points and 106 penalty minutes in 37 games but was rewarded with a two-year contract extension last month, the first one-way deal of his career.
- Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon left last night’s game early in the first period. While some were hoping he was being held out as a precautionary measure, head coach Dean Evason told reporters postgame, including Michael Russo of The Athletic (Twitter link), that the blueliner suffered an upper-body injury and will undergo testing to learn how much time he’ll miss. The timing is hardly optimal for Minnesota as Spurgeon is one of their top defensemen (he leads their back end in points with 39 while sitting third in ATOI at just over 21 minutes a night) and their first-round series against St. Louis starting early next week.