NBC Sports: Darren Dreger on NHL on NBC when asked how serious should we be taking the Aleksander Barkov trade speculation.
“It’s hard to say at this point. What I know is that Bill Zito and the Florida Panthers believe they have time. That this isn’t a bridge they have to cross now. I know that Bill Zito spoke to the representative of Sasha Barkov and said, ‘look, we’re not interested in trading him.’
In fact, Barkov has a no-move clause for this season, then he got a 12-team no-trade list for next season. But the reality of this situation is, Barkov wants to win, and he wants to make sure that the Florida Panthers are on that road to get to that point of being a contending team. Who doesn’t want that? Zito wants that. Joel Quenneville wants that. The players in Florida want that.
So if that is the direction that the Florida Panthers are headed, when it comes time to negotiate a contract extension, then Barkov most definitely is willing to listen. But in the meantime, amid all the speculation Liam, you know that there are lots of NHL general managers who are eager to pick up the phone to make sure that Zito knows that they’re interested if he ever gets to that place where Barkov is seriously in play.”