There are several players around the league that have been involved in extension talks over the summer, including the likes of MacKenzie Weegar and Bo Horvat. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet touches on several of these situations in the latest 32 Thoughts podcast, giving his thoughts on whether in-season negotiation will be an option.
In Weegar’s case, Friedman notes that there is a feeling that once the season begins, extension talks will be shelved to the end of the year. The 28-year-old defenseman is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and is coming off a career-best 44 points last season. While Horvat’s situation is a bit murkier, Friedman believes that David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins is open to talking throughout the year.
- Another important member of the Calgary Flames is in the final year of his contract but he isn’t a player. Friedman believes that Darryl Sutter will likely be extended at some point, as his three-year deal approaches expiry. Sutter was hired in 2021, making the first year of his deal the end of the 2020-21 season, and has had a strong effect since returning to Calgary. Under his leadership, the team went from missing the playoffs with a sub .500 record in 2020-21 to winning the Pacific Division and reaching the second round.
- The Canadian government is dropping all vaccine requirements for non-citizens entering the country as of October 1, meaning that unvaccinated players in leagues like the NHL, NBA, and MLB should now be able to travel with their teams for games in Canada. Last season, for instance, the Detroit Red Wings were forced to leave Tyler Bertuzzi behind when they went on road trips north of the border, something that may well have cost him the team lead in scoring, given the pace he produced at through 68 games. Hopefully, the league will not need to deal with these limitations in the future, as health officials continue to reduce restrictions.