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Aho to resume contract talks with Hurricanes

Carolina wants to sign forward to extension before he becomes restricted free agent

by Tom Gulitti @TomGulittiNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Sebastian Aho and the Carolina Hurricanes plan to resume negotiating a long-term contract extension in the coming days.

The sides had discussions earlier this offseason but decided to put them on hold until after the forward returned to North Carolina for training camp, which starts Sept. 14.

"He's in town now and we'll pick up talks," Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said Friday. "We had some talks in the summertime, but just felt it wasn't the right time. So now that he's back, we'd like to put some time into [it], and I think they feel the same way. Hopefully we can come out of here with a resolution."

 

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Aho is entering the final season of his three-year, entry-level contract. The 21-year-old can become a restricted free agent after this season, but the Hurricanes hope to sign him to an extension before Carolina opens the regular season against the New York Islanders on Oct. 4.

"That would be the goal," Waddell said. "I'm not one to put these deadlines and all that right now, but the goal would be let's get it behind us so we all can move forward."

Aho expressed interest in staying with the Hurricanes long term at the NHL European Player Media Tour in Stockholm last month but said he wasn't sure if an extension, which can be as long as eight years, would be completed before the season opened.

Video: CAR@WSH: Aho whips home wrister from the slot

"It's tough to say," Aho said. "I'm sure they're working on it and we'll see what happens."

Aho, a second-round pick (No. 35) in the 2015 NHL Draft, led Carolina with 29 goals and 65 points last season and was second with 36 assists (behind forward Teuvo Teravainen, 41) in 78 games. Aho's totals were up from 24 goals, 25 assists and 49 points as a rookie in 2016-17.

"He's proven he's a good player," Waddell said. "We don't know what the ceiling is yet for him, but you get to know him as a player and a person and he's the kind of guy you continue to build players and pieces around."

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