Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said today that he still has not made a decision on whether to pick up the $1.52 million option year on Sergei Brylin’s contract after a face-to-face meeting with the three-time Stanley Cup winner on Monday morning.
“Everything is status quo,” Lamoriello said.
When asked if he might hold off on his decision until Monday’s deadline, Lamoriello replied, “I don’t want to get into that.”
Brylin, 34, also has a player option for next season at $1.52 million for next season and has until Monday to pick it up or become an unrestricted free agent, but has said he would prefer to sign a multi-year extension. It is believed that the sides are now discussing a multi-year deal. Brylin flew home to Russia for the summer on Monday, though. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions about that meaning something about him signing to play in Russia next year, Brylin returns home every summer.
Brylin’s agent, Paul Theofanous, has not returned my telephone message today. I’ll update later if he does.
**As for Jay Pandolfo, it appears Lamoriello has finally gotten down to negotiating a new deal with Pandolfo’s agent, Bob Murray. Pandolfo is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, which is now only a week away. Word has it that the Tampa Bay Lightning, who introduced Barry Melrose as their new head coach today, are one of the teams interested in signing Pandolfo.
I’m waiting for a return call from Murray. Pandolfo has been laying low all off-season and has uncharacteristically not been returning phone messages.
**I just got off the phone with defenseman Bryce Salvador's Auburn, Wash.-based agent, Carlos Sosa, who said, "All is quiet on the Western front, so to speak."
In other words, there have been no recent contract talks with Lamoriello. Salvador is also eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
"That's not really surprising," Sosa said. "He's got Brylin coming up and Pandolfo and us. He's got a week to do it and he knows how to manage his time."
Sosa did not rule out Salvador re-signing with the team before or after July 1.
"If there's an opportunity to sign with them before July 1 or afrer July 1, that's something we'd look at," Sosa said.
**Lastly, teams have until 5 p.m. on Wednesday to make qualifying offers to their potential restricted free agents. When asked if he would definitely qualify all of the team’s restricted free agents – RW David Clarkson, C Rod Pelley, and D Olli Malmivaara (who signed May 1 to play in Finland next season)-- Lamoriello replied, “not necessarily.”
Lamoriello has already been working on a deal with Clarkson’s agent and it’s highly unlikely that Clarkson won’t be qualified (a one-year contract with a 10 percent raise on his $555,000 salary for last season). The same would go for Pelley, who would also be due a 10 percent raise on his 2007-08 salary of $522,500.