According to Adam Henrique, no new contract is no big problem.
The New Jersey forward, currently a restricted free agent, hasn’t seen any movement on the negotiation front, but insists the lack of progress isn’t a concern.
A Calder nominee in 2011-12, Henrique suffered through a bit of a sophomore slump in 2013.
His points-per-game average dipped to 0.38 (he posted 0.69 in his rookie year, when he scored 51 points in 74 games). He still managed to finished tied for third on the team in goals (11) and average a career-high 18:19 TOI per game, so it’s not as if he fell off a cliff production-wise.
If anything, the delay in reaching a new deal goes beyond his relationship with the Devils organization and GM Lou Lamoriello.
Across the NHL, clubs are dragging their feet in signing RFAs, preferring to take their time after a busy start to the offseason.
St. Louis still hasn’t reached an agreement with Alex Pietrangelo, nor has Buffalo with Cody Hodgson. The Coyotes still need to reach a deal with Mikkel Boedker, as do the Rangers with Derek Stepan. Other key unsigned RFAs include Kyle Clifford (Los Angeles), Marcus Johansson (Washington), Jared Cowen (Ottawa) and, as mentioned in our comments section, Nazem Kadri and Cody Franson (Toronto).
So it’s no surprise Henrique is relaxed about the situation — so much so that he hasn’t even checked in with his agent about the state of negotiations.
“There’s nothing really holding it up. It’s a matter of time,” he explained. “We want to make sure we get the best deal for both sides.”