With the Carolina Hurricanes all but admitting they’re going to sell off unrestricted free agents prior to Monday’s trade deadline, one of their youngest UFAs is trying to play through the uncertainty.
“Obviously I know the deal and know what they expect to do,” Jiri Tlusty said, per the Raleigh News & Observer. “I’m trying to block it out of my mind and just play the game I know how to play. You need stay really focused on the game and that’s what I’m trying to do.
Tlusty is one of the more intriguing names available on the trade market. At 26, he’s pretty young for a pending UFA and could been seen as more than just a rental, assuming the acquiring team is open to extension talks.
He’s also got some serious offensive upside.
During the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign, Tlusty scored 23 goals in 48 games and tied Steve Stamkos, Jonathan Toews and John Tavares for the NHL lead in even-strength markers, with 19. This year, he’s shown his prowess on the power play, tying Eric Staal for the team lead in goals (six).
(Tlusty’s defensive play is solid enough to have garnered some Selke votes in ’13.)
In light of all this, the Czech forward sounds like someone that knows he’s probably on the move.
“It’s kind of hard but it is what it is,” he explained. “Other guys go through it in their careers and I’m going through it right now.
“It’s a part of the business and you have to understand as a player what’s the management plan.”