Aleksander Barkov is entering the final year of his current contract and he could command a salary of $10 million/year. With the Florida Panthers already at $66 million in salary for next year and a salary cap not going up anytime soon, the team could be in a cap crunch like many other teams.
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski asked Panthers GM Bill Zito, if there was a date when he’d have to consider trading the star center. He said there isn’t one, because “I’m confident we’ll be able to work something out.”
Zito said an extension will “probably” come before the 2021-22 NHL season begins in October. Barkov’s agent Mark Gandler wouldn’t comment on the negotiations.
The Panthers may be able to sign Barkov to a $9 million/year deal since the state of Florida does not charge tax, but the Panthers will still have to find cap room to sign 10 other players that will be a UFA or RFA after the 2021-22 season. Newly signed Sam Bennett or Sam Reinhart might have to be traded next offseason to free up cap space as they do not have any no-trade clauses in their contracts.