NHL Rumors: Are the Florida Panthers and Aleksander Barkov Close to an Extension?

George Richards of Florida Hockey Now: (a couple of days ago) The Panthers and Aleksander Barkov are believed to be close to a contract extension or that he’s agreed to an extension.

Barkov is expected to arrive in Florida next week and a deal could be announced before camp opens on September 22nd.

An eight-year deal is most likely but the money is unknown. He may take less to remain Florida than he’d get on the open market. If he hit free agency he could possibly get as much as $11 million a season.

David Dwork of Local 10: Several Florida Panthers are already in town getting ready for the start of training camp later this month. Some are training elsewhere before making the trip to Florida.

Panthers GM Bill Zito has said this offseason that he’s been speaking with Aleksander Barkov’s reps about a contract extension for the 26-year old forward. There had been some reports that a deal was close but that may not be the case just yet. He’s entering the final year of his deal that carries a $5.9 million salary cap hit.

Barkov is one of the best two-way centers in the league and will be getting a raise, but the big question will be, how much of a raise will he get?

A source close to the situation has said they are talking but significant progress hasn’t been made. The sides are planning to speak again before the start of camp and they may not meet until Barkov returns from Finland.