Training camp is quickly approaching and the New Jersey Devils have still not re-signed restricted free agent Miles Wood.
Wood's camp and the Devils really started negotiating fairly late in the summer. To this point, things haven't progressed the way either side would hope. I'm told there has not been any recent dialogue, suggesting an extension is not exactly imminent.
Both parties are in agreement that a bridge deal – likely two years – is the way to go. The difference of opinion comes down to dollars.
Wood brought a needed physical presence and scored at a 20-goal pace while averaging less than 12:30 per night. He didn't feature prominently on the power play, nor did he have optimal linemates for producing offense. Despite that, he was a very efficient scorer and I'm sure he wants to be paid accordingly.
Unfortunately for Wood, he doesn't have arbitration rights and is not UFA eligible until 2023. He is under team control for a long time, which means Ray Shero is wielding all the power here.
He obviously wants to get Wood signed but is not in a position where he has to cave and hand out more money than he is comfortable with. As a result, talks appear to be at somewhat of an impasse.
I still expect something to get done in the next few weeks but there's plenty of work to do before that happens.