Now that the holiday break is over, teams will now shift their focus directly on the trade deadline and a push for the playoffs. Some clubs who find themselves on the bubble will have to determine whether an extension or a trade is the best option for some expiring contracts. With that in mind, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic examines several of the most intriguing contract negotiations, from David Pastrnak to Dylan Larkin.
While those two seem destined to eventually re-sign, that doesn’t seem quite as likely for the two big names in St. Louis: Ryan O’Reilly and Vladimir Tarasenko. Blues fans holding out hope that the former will be kept won’t love the comments from agent Pat Morris, who explained that there have not been any contract negotiations for O’Reilly this season and there is “nothing new to report” on that front.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins could be without Kris Letang again, as head coach Mike Sullivan told reporters including Rob Rossi of The Athletic that the veteran defenseman is being evaluated for a lower-body injury. Letang played over 27 minutes last night and nearly 26 the night before that in consecutive losses.
- The Carolina Hurricanes won’t have Max Pacioretty in the lineup tomorrow, but head coach Rod Brind’Amour said today that it is possible he returns within the next ten games. The veteran forward tore his Achilles in August and was given a six-month recovery timeline – one that he appears well ahead of. Pacioretty scored 19 goals and 37 points in 39 games for the Vegas Golden Knights last season.