Tomas Jurco (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Red Wings winger Tomas Jurco told a Slovak outlet he’s close to a new, two-year deal with Detroit, but a separate report denies that claim. Jurco, who suffered from a back injury in 2014-15, played in 63 games last season, scoring three goals and 18 points.
The Detroit Red Wings have only one big, outstanding free agent, and that’s restricted free agent Tomas Jurco. But when the 22-year-old told a Slovakian outlet he was on the verge of a two-year deal, that claim was disputed and it doesn’t appear a contract is as imminent as Jurco may believe.
According to MLive.com’s Brendan Savage, a source said that no two-year deal is close, partly because Jurco has just recently hired a new agent.
When asked by Hokejportal.net when he would be signing his new deal, a rough translation of Jurco’s answer said he believed he could wait until the end of the week for the new deal. He added that the new deal would be, “probably two years,” and that because of injury risk he was wary of signing a one-year contract.
“It’s simple,” Jurco told Hokejportal.net. “If I signed for a year and let’s say I have to miss three quarters of the season, the chances of another good signing are minimal. Therefore, the contract for two years.”
Jurco added that were he to get hurt in the first year of the deal, he would still have another year left to make his case as an impact player worthy of a longer-term deal. According to Savage, Jurco has been dealing with a nagging back injury that
Hokejportal.net reported Jurco’s next contract would likely be worth more than $800,000, which would be beneficial to the Red Wigns considering the team has little more than $100,000 to operate under the salary cap as of Friday.
The 2014-15 season was Jurco’s first full season in the NHL, and he racked up three goals and 18 points over 63 NHL contests. He also added another goal and assist in seven post-season games with Detroit. During the regular season, Jurco played primarily bottom-six minutes, logging an average of 11:30 in ice time.
The Slovak winger had spent most of the past two seasons with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, scoring 27 goals and 60 points in 106 games under new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill.
Detroit took Jurco in the second round, 35th overall, of the 2011 draft.