It seems that unrestricted free agent forward Max Pacioretty is generating substantial interest on the open market after back-to-back instances of a ruptured Achilles tendon within months of each other. Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports Friday the Carolina Hurricanes, for whom Pacioretty played only five games in the 2022-23 season due to the ruptures, have granted him permission to explore early negotiations elsewhere before the market opens tomorrow.
The likelihood of re-injury has certainly diminished his chances of earning a lot of cash on his next deal, especially considering a much longer injury history that predates his Achilles issues. But when healthy, the 34-year-old left wing is still a threat for 25 to 30 goals in a season and can handle top-six minutes. He did light the lamp three times in his abbreviated stint with Carolina and has shot above 10% in every season since 2018. We predicted Pacioretty to receive a one-year, $2MM bonus-laden deal on our list of this summer’s top 50 UFAs, although it seems it won’t be with his former club.
More from the Metropolitan Division today:
- As the Saturday deadline looms, the New York Islanders are actively negotiating with defenseman Scott Mayfield’s representatives in an effort to secure a contract extension before he becomes a UFA, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic says. Mayfield, who recorded a career-high 24 points this season, is likely to earn a significant raise on his current $1.45MM cap hit. Now 30, the 6-foot-5 Mayfield is still a very effective two-way defender who doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game, also incurring a career-high 83 penalty minutes in 2022-23.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins and goaltender Tristan Jarry have shown mutual interest in reaching a new deal before 11 am CT tomorrow, but the term of the deal is a point of contention, The Athletic’s Rob Rossi says. Jarry carries his flaws as a long-term starter, especially when it comes to the injury department, but he’ll be the best goalie available if he does hit the market tomorrow. He’s posted 20 wins in four straight seasons and averaged a .915 save percentage over that timeframe, numbers certainly reflective of a starting-caliber netminder.
- In a related development, Rossi says there are strong indications that the Penguins are close to securing a contract extension with forward Jake Guentzel. Don’t expect it to be announced soon, though, as both Guentzel and interim general manager Kyle Dubas recognize the Penguins have much more pressing offseason matters to handle, such as Jarry’s potential extension. Guentzel, a bonafide top-line winger, has averaged over a point per game over the past five seasons and would have been one of the top wingers available on the UFA market in 2024.