On Miles Wood and his next contract
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A few weeks ago I reported contract talks between the New Jersey Devils and Miles Wood's camp were not far along
. I was actually led to believe they hadn't even started.
Since that point, the two sides have at least engaged in preliminary discussions towards a new deal. They are talking – there just hasn't been any noteworthy traction yet. And there *might* not be for some time.
Players without arbitration rights have no leverage and almost always have to settle for less than they're worth. It's just a matter of how much less, which can take a while to sort out.
No player likes accepting a deal knowing they're underpaid. No GM likes handing out a sizable amount of coin when they have all the leverage. Thus, it turns into a bit of a waiting game before (usually) both sides come off their stance a bit and get something done.
We saw this from Ray Shero a year ago with Damon Severson. That was a more high profile player, but the premise is the same. It took until September before Severson's camp could prop up the price enough to a number they were comfortable with.
Miles Wood isn't going to get that kind of money or term but I think we're seeing the same thing here.
When all is said and done, I expect Wood to sign a two-year deal in the ~$2 million range or a three-year deal in the ~2.5 million range – like Ondrej Kase did with Anaheim.
Beyond the lack of arbitration rights, Wood isn't UFA eligible until 2023. There's just nothing to tilt the scales in his favor a little more and, ultimately, his next contract will reflect that.
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