Kings forward Quinton Byfield has been one of the top breakout performers of the early season, notching 16 points in his first 19 games, just six points shy of his career-high already. The timing is certainly good on his part as the 21-year-old is in the final year of his entry-level contract this season. However, despite the hot start, David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that there have been no discussions about a possible contract extension just yet. At this point, it might make sense for both sides to wait it out for a while yet to see if Byfield is able to sustain this type of production over a larger sample size since that would greatly influence any negotiations. With the number of big contracts Los Angeles has on the books, a bridge agreement might be the eventual outcome for Byfield’s next deal.
More from the Western Conference:
- It will be a while yet before the Coyotes get Jack McBain back in their lineup. PHNX Sports’ Craig Morgan reports (Twitter link) that the center is still several weeks away from returning from his lower-body injury that has kept him out for a couple of weeks already. The 23-year-old was off to a nice start to his season before the injury, collecting three goals and four assists in 13 games while chipping in with 33 hits.
- The Flames announced (Twitter link) that goaltender Jacob Markstrom will miss tonight’s game with the flu. However, as it was too late to recall a goalie from the minors (past the 5 PM local time deadline), the team has signed Dustin Nickel to an ATO agreement to serve as the emergency backup to Daniel Vladar tonight. Nickel spent four years at Mount Royal University, wrapping up that part of his career following the 2015-16 season.
- Sharks center Tomas Hertl will miss tonight’s game due to what’s being termed a mid-body injury, relays Max Miller of The Hockey News. While many of San Jose’s players have struggled mightily this season, the 30-year-old has put up reasonable numbers, notching four goals and a dozen assists through 20 games. His injury paves the way for the recently-signed Justin Bailey to make his San Jose debut.
- Canucks head coach Rick Tocchet provided an update to reporters including Sportsnet 650’s Brendan Batchelor (Twitter link) that center Pius Suter is dealing with a lower-body injury that is taking longer to recover from than originally expected. He had a setback a week ago and has yet to resume skating. Suter, who has four goals in 15 games this season, was placed on IR last week.