The last couple days have been very kind to restricted free agent defensemen. The Winnipeg Jets signed Josh Morrissey to a two-year, $6.3 million contract on Sunday and Darnell Nurse was inked to a similar deal on Monday by the Edmonton Oilers. Certainly this must be a good sign in regard to Shea Theodore’s contract discussions with the Golden Knights, right?
According to a report from Sportsnet’s John Shannon, Theodore and the Golden Knights are not close to an agreement on a new deal. The 23-year-old blueliner has already missed the start of training camp, and it’s likely he could end up missing even more time as the 2018-19 season quickly approaches.
Theodore, originally selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft by the Anaheim Ducks, is coming off an impressive 29-point campaign that saw the Langley, British Columbia native post six goals and 23 assists while serving as a key contributor both at even strength and on the man advantage. Theodore also scored the first postseason goal in franchise history in a 1-0 victory against the Los Angeles Kings in the first round of the playoffs.
If Theodore remains unsigned by the start of the regular season, the Golden Knights will only have six defensemen with NHL experience available for the season opener against the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 4 (Nate Schmidt is suspended for the first 20 games of the season for violating the NHL’s substance abuse policy).
Theodore is destined to play a huge role for Vegas this coming season, but he’ll obviously need to be under contract before that can happen.