Sep 4, 2013, 12:03 PM EDT
Phoenix’s training camp starts in seven days, yet one of the team’s key young players remains unsigned.
Not that both sides aren’t trying to get a deal done.
On Wednesday, ‘Yotes assistant GM Brad Treliving said he’s plugging away on negotiations with RFA forward Mikkel Boedker, the 23-year-old speedster that shined in 2013 with career highs in assists (19) and average TOI per game (18:29).
“There’s still time before camp starts,” Treliving told the Arizona Republic. “There’s still time before we play games that count for points. We’d like to get it done.
“It’s not done, but we’ll continue to sort of grind away at it here.”
Boedker made $1.1 million annually on his last deal (a sort of “bridge” contract) and is likely in line for a raise.
Of course, unsigned RFAs are a bit of a touchy subject in Phoenix, stemming from the Kyle Turris holdout saga of 2011.
Turris, then 22, sat out until late November — souring his relationship with the team — before signing a two-year deal and quickly getting dealt to Ottawa.
According to the Republic’s Sarah McLellan, the Coyotes don’t expect a similar situation to unfold with Boedker.
Boedker did not file for arbitration, and [agent Jarrett] Bousquet and Titan Sports Management have a good rapport with Coyotes brass. The agency also represents defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
And it wasn’t until eight days before camp in 2010 that the Coyotes were able to lock up then-RFA center Martin Hanzal to a new deal. So it’s not necessarily unusual to wait the entire off-season for a resolution.
Of course, the club is feeling the pressure of signing Boedker before camp.
It’s expected he’ll challenge for top-line winger minutes next to new center Mike Ribeiro, and the Coyotes would like to see the pair develop as much chemistry as possible.
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