Report: Gelinas’ deal “in Eric’s hands”

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According to Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record, New Jersey Devils defenseman Eric Gelinas’ may have to accept GM Lou Lamoriello’s latest offer if he plans on playing this season.

The Devils were required to make Gelinas a qualifying offer of $715,000 to retain his rights. Per Gulitti’s report, Gelinas’ agent Gilles Lupien used comparable defensemen who were making $1.5 million to $2 million in negotiations, but added “we’re not even asking for that”.

Gelinas is coming off his three-year entry level contract, which paid him $2.7 million.

In 2013-14, the 23-year-old had 29 points in 60 games with the Devils.

“Eric and his agent know the situation. They know what they have. It’s up to them to accept it,” Lamoriello told Gulitti. “In other words, they also know the opportunity that we’ve created for Eric with reference to the transactions over the (off-season) and my verbal – and endorsed by (head coach) Pete (DeBoer) – commitment we’ve made to these three young guys. So, it’s in Eric’s hands. We’ll see.”

Lupien said the only issue in negotiations has been the dollar value adding  his client is prepared to miss the start of camp if a deal isn’t reached. The agent also said Gelinas would not attend camp without a contract.

Considering how close the two sides are, it’s hard to imagine Gelinas missing much of camp, if any. Part of one season is hardly enough to show he deserves significant money. Gelinas doesn’t have leverage to demand much. He’ll need to sign what’s offered and continue to prove he’s an NHL regular.