NHL Rumors: On Vegas Golden Knights pending unrestricted free agent Ivan Barbashev

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – Barba$hev on the Vegas Golden Knights pending UFA forward Ivan Barbashev.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marek: “But first, let’s start with a Vegas issue, and a pretty big one cause he was a big part of the top line, Ivan Barbashev.

What is going to happen here? He’s a pending unrestricted free agent. It’s going to be tough to keep him if you’re Vegas but you know they probably want to.

Friedman: “They tried. You know, I didn’t really ask anybody specifics about it, but one of the things I heard at the Cup Final was that Vegas had some contract talks and tried to sign him before the playoffs began. And I don’t think it ever got close. It was too far apart.

Vegas has a lot of things that they have to juggle, but they tried. And I have no doubt they’re going to try again before this is over.

The thing with this is, I was talking to someone after the game and he said to me that Barbashev’s probably the number one guy on the market now. His AAV this year was $2.25 (million) and he actually made $2.6 (million) in salary.

Marek: “He’s getting paid. He’s getting paid.”

Friedman: “There was a time you looked at it and you said, ‘alright, he’s going to double it.’ Now I think he’s going to more than double it.

As a matter of fact, that same person said to me, they won’t be surprised if someone tries to do to him what the Avalanche did with (Valeri) Nichushkin. Like they didn’t think there was a chance Barbashev was going to get eight years, but now they think there’s a possibility. Nichushkin got $6.125 million when he signed after the Stanley Cup Final last year. I don’t know if Barbashev’s getting that high, but I do think now he could get eight years.

And I didn’t think that was going to be happening three weeks ago. So we’re in a position now where this guy’s the number one guy on the market and the offers are going to come pouring in. Once you’re legally allowed to do it.

Marek: “He can play up and down the lineup. He’s a skilled player with snarl and the performance in the playoffs, and even before that, right after trade deadline. Barbashev fit in with this Vegas group so well and the one thing I think grabbed everybody’s attention, even though we’ve seen him do this before, the hit on Gudas added how many 0’s to his contract do you think, Elliotte? Cause that got everybody’s attention. It was like, ‘the hit that got him paid.’

Friedman: “It’s not only that. He scored and he played with (Jonathan) Marchessault and (Jack) Eichel. Like I don’t know what everyone’s going to argue is Vegas’ top line. Some people say it’s the (Mark) Stone line, some people say it’s that line. Whatever the case is, he played on the, what do you want to call it, the quasi-number one line on the Stanley Cup champion. The pseudo number one line.”


“The whole Barbashev thing like I said Jeff, it’s really interesting cause I think they want to keep him and I think they’ve tried to keep him, but now he’s pushed himself into a stratosphere that I don’t think anyone expected.”