The clock is running out on Dwayne Roloson and the Edmonton Oilers.
Ales Kotalik isn't close to a contract, either.
The free agent deadline is fast approaching and the players have only had "brief discussions" with the hockey club, so the odds of reaching a deal before the free agent market opens in seven days are pretty slim. And they certainly don't go up after July 1.
"If you get to July 1 you never know what's going to happen," said GM Steve Tambellini. "I guess you never say never, but it's probably more difficult (to re-sign either of them). But it's their right, they've earned the right to be free agents as of July 1."
The Oilers need a goalie, but are hesitant to lock themselves into a multi-year contract with a netminder who'll be 40 next season. Roloson, meanwhile, had a great 2008-09 campaign and feels he's worth a two- or three-year pact.
Neither side is wrong, it's just that they might not be the right fit for each other at this point.
"I have to look at immediate needs but I also have to protect the organization going forward with what we think is going to happen in the next couple of years," said Tambellini, who has Jeff Deslauriers and Devan Dubnyk waiting in the wings.
"We've had discussions with Roli and his agent. There isn't anything in place at this time. I can't really give you an update from Roli's side, what they're thinking."
One way or another, the Oilers will need a veteran presence in the pipes this season. If it's not Roloson, Tambellini isn't going to panic. There are a number of experienced goalies up for grabs in the UFA and trade markets.
"I'm not worried about it, that we don't have something in place a week from now," he said. "We'll have time to make sure we have a strong goaltending team here by the time we start our season."
Kotalik fit in well late last season, but it's been lukewarm on that contract front, too.
"We've had brief discussions with Alex and his agent and will probably have a few more this week," said Tambellini. "I don't know what's going to happen."
DAUM CONFIRMED AS BOSS
The Oilers, confirming a story that broke last week, announced that Rob Daum will be back to coach the AHL Springfield Falcons next season.
"I'm looking forward to it," he said. "The 30 games I spent down there was a really positive experience.
"I had a chance to get a feel for the city and the division, and the players, obviously.
"It was a really positive experience and I'll be able to carry that over to this year, there won't be any learning curve at all."