Miles Wood – Restricted Free Agent
This one was going to be either Miles Wood or Tyce Thompson. They are both complicated in their own way because they both missed most of this season. Wood is a little more complicated because of his price point and the fact he’s a guarantee on this NHL roster.
Wood got hurt in the preseason with what ended up being a hip injury. He returned to the ice earlier this month, but he was shut down again after three games and we won’t see him for the rest of the season. It’s an unfortunate turn of events, especially for Fitzgerald who likely wanted to see something out of Wood before going into negotiations with him.
Maybe the Devils will take a big chance on Wood and get him to sign long term for less money than he could be worth. It’s also possible they sign him to a one-year deal to take less risk, but that also comes with the risk they could lose him next season.
If it gets to it, the Devils and Wood could go to arbitration this season. That’s usually a pretty messy step for players to take. Both sides usually have to have uncomfortable conversations in front of a neutral party. It would be best for both sides if they avoided this and found common ground beforehand.