On Damon Severson contract negotiations
August 31, 2017, 11:09 AM ET [42 Comments]
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Training camp opens in just a couple weeks yet defenseman Damon Severson remains unsigned.
Naturally, many fans are concerned that's still the case given how much time the New Jersey Devils and Severson's camp have already had to work something out.
I see why this could cause some uneasiness -- the thought of the Devils, a team with few good defensemen, breaking camp without arguably their best blue liner is not a pleasant one -- but I don't think there is any reason to worry.
Severson is a restricted free agent without arbitration rights so there was never going to be a rush to get anything done.
Ray Shero has made it quite clear he values Severson and both sides want a long-term pact. Those negotiations tend to take time (just ask Hampus Lindholm).
My understanding is the two sides have made good progress and contract discussions are healthy.
If camp started tomorrow, I think they would meet in the middle to close any gap that remains. That's not the case, though. Camp is still 15 days away so, even if the two sides are close, which I think is the case, no harm can come from using the time at hand to try and get the best deal possible. And that goes for both sides.
If the Devils are offering X amount of dollars, there's no incentive for them to come off that price right now. On the other side, if Severson's camp wants Y amount of dollars, there's no reason to settle for less.
It's a matter of when -- not if -- a long-term agreement is reached, and I am confident saying that will happen before camp opens on the 14th of September.