Defenseman Zach Werenski is having a week in the spotlight. After cracking the NHL Networks’s list at #20 in the top 20 defensemen in the league, a lot of eyes are still on him as the 22-year-old RFA keeps everyone in some degree of suspense as contracts are negotiated throughout the league.
Apparently though, we are all a lot more worried about it than he is.
“I haven’t really thought about it too much,” he told Brian Hedger at The Dispatch. “I have Pat (Brisson), who takes care of that for me, and he doesn’t tell me anything unless it’s important. That’s how I like it. I just want to focus on training, being in the gym and getting ready for next season.”
After rounding out a full season of 82 played games in 2019-2020, Z seems to be totally mended from his shoulder injury that plagued his previous season and bled into last summer, as he focused on rehab instead of development.
Now, he’s able to train for the upcoming season in the morning and still have time to golf 36 holes in the afternoon. What a life!
The general consensus in the Twitter rumor mill is that Werenski is seeking a three-year “bridge” deal as opposed to a longer-term contract worth more money. Apparently, this bridge deal will likely include a cap charge that “starts with a 5” — so likely between $5 and $6 million per season.
The league’s remaining unsigned RFAs and their agents are holding their breath as they wait for other defensemen to sign — notably Philadelphia’s Ivan Provorov, who is apparently looking for $10 million from the Flyer’s for a long-term deal. We’ll see about that one.
I know that the waiting and the negotiation and the rumors are supposed to be exciting and engaging or whatever, but I’ll feel loads better once this contract is signed, sealed and delivered and I can rest easy knowing that Z and Seth will be the pillars for the team’s defense this season.