Devils winger Jesper Bratt is one of eight remaining restricted free agents around the league. GM Tom Fitzgerald spoke with reporters today; Catherine Bogart of New Jersey’s team website provided Fitzgerald’s update on the status of negotiations with the 22-year-old:
Jesper’s agent and I have been in constant communication. We’re trying to find a common ground on their thoughts on how a deal should be structured versus how we think a deal should be structured. I see a lot of parallels with Jesper’s situation with the Mackenzie Blackwood situation, and you know the contract negotiations.
Blackwood recently inked a three-year, $8.4MM deal coming off of his entry-level contract, the same situation that Bratt finds himself in. He has had between 32 and 36 points in each of his three NHL seasons and had a career-high 16 tallies in 2019-20. Even if they can come to terms in the next day or two, it’s unlikely that the Devils will have Bratt in the lineup on opening night as he will have to get his work visa, fly over from Sweden, and go through mandatory quarantine protocols before being cleared to suit up.
More from the East Division:
- Sabres winger Victor Olofsson left practice early after crashing into the net, relays NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti (Twitter link). While Olofsson was able to briefly return, he was not on the ice for their final session of the day. He is currently being evaluated, per head coach Ralph Krueger.
- Included in the Flyers’ announcement of their training camp roster was a note that winger Isaac Ratcliffe will be out for at least four weeks after sustaining a fractured rib in training. The 21-year-old made his pro debut last season, notching six goals and nine assists in 53 games with Lehigh Valley of the AHL.
- The Rangers announced (Twitter link) that centers Mika Zibanejad and Justin Richards plus goaltender Keith Kinkaid are all listed as day-to-day and will not be available when on-ice workouts begin early next week. No further explanations were given for their absences. Meanwhile, GM Jeff Gorton confirmed that the team will not recall winger Vitali Kravtsov from his loan to Chelyabinsk of the KHL until that season is complete, relays Vince Z. Mercogliano of USA Today (via Twitter). The 21-year-old has a dozen goals and five assists in 34 games so far this season.