Maybe it's posturing, maybe it's reality, but at this juncture it doesn't appear Alex Burmistrov is prepared to extend his time with the Winnipeg Jets.
Two league sources have told the Free Press Burmistrov, due to become a restricted free agent on July 5, has no intention of re-signing with the Jets.
Burmistrov wished to be dealt at the trade deadline
and the Jets worked in vain to move him. It appears a trade is still the preferred course of action.
Burmistrov and head coach Claude Noel beefed on and off over the past two seasons and the relationship hit an all-time low when the player was a healthy scratch four straight games in March.
The Jets attempted to trade Burmistrov and reportedly had discussions with the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders at the deadline. The names Jakob Silfverberg, Drew Stafford and Kyle Okposo have all been attached to Burmistrov trade rumours
In 194 games over the past three seasons the 21-year-old Burmistrov has collected 23 goals and 58 points. Opinions vary on him -- from bust to ready to bust out. Burmistrov can skate, stickhandle and defend but has yet to define himself as a player.
Many young players such as Burmistrov have gone through early career growing pains only to break out a little further down the road of development.
Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff won't want to let Burmistrov walk at a discount rate but if the player is intent on not returning, market value gets muddy. It will be difficult for Cheveldayoff to have it both ways and solve a present problem while guarding against future regret.
The relationship between player and team is fractured. Cheveldayoff has a valuable and young asset on his hands but getting his signature on a contract is another story.
Contacted Tuesday, Burmistrov's agent Mark Gandler had little to say.
"The only question I'm going to answer is to say that Alex is not going to sign in the KHL," said the longtime NHL agent.
Asked a number of questions, including if Burmistrov wanted to be traded, Gandler stuck to his response, repeatedly offering a variety of Burmistrov-to-KHL denials.
The Jets did not immediately reply to an inquiry about the status of contract negotiations with Burmistrov.