NHL Rumor Mill – September 12, 2019
The latest on Mitch Marner, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Jesse Puljujarvi in today’s NHL rumor mill.
TSN: Darren Dreger tweeted the Toronto Maple Leafs were persistent in pushing for a seven- or eight-year contract for Mitch Marner. “The $11 mil per offer was made in June and included the $1.6 mil in B bonuses Toronto wouldn’t pay Marner in his entry-level contract. 3 yr ext remains the focus.”
Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie replied those numbers “help to illustrate why it is so difficult to see a path to a Mitch Marner contract settlement any time soon.” He adds those long-term offers by the Leafs were around $11 million annually. Because they were lower than Auston Matthews’ AAV, they weren’t palatable to the Marner camp.
McKenzie feels a three-year bridge deal is a logical solution. However, “because Marner wants an AAV in the $9M to $10M universe and the third year (base for QO) would be substantially higher, TOR has no incentive to do the bridge at those numbers.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: While a resolution is always possible it appears both sides have dug in their heels. This could drag on into the regular season just like William Nylander’s negotiations a year ago.
If social media is anything to go by, this isn’t sitting well with Leafs Nation. It seems to be costing Marner a lot of goodwill among Leafs fans, though all will be forgiven and forgotten if he re-signs soon. The longer this drags on, the uglier it could get.
MCAVOY AND CARLO
NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said contract talks are ongoing with defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. Haggerty believes the three-year, $15-million contract signed by Zach Werenski with the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this week will affect McAvoy’s negotiations. McAvoy could get a similar bridge deal if a long-term contract can’t be worked out, while Carlo could get $3-$4 million annually on a three-year deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The key to the Werenski deal is he gets a much higher actual salary in the final season of his new deal ($7 million) than the annual average value of $5 million. That means his next qualifying offer will be $7 million, regardless of his performance. If the Bruins pitch something similar, that could prove enticing to McAvoy and Carlo.
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Derek Van Diest reports Oilers GM Ken Holland hasn’t received any decent offers for Jesse Puljujarvi and is willing to let this situation play itself out. The 21-year-old winger is playing in Finland waiting for the Oilers to action his trade request. Holland believes there are teams interested in Puljujarvi but things have gone quiet in recent weeks.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Oilers don’t sign Puljujarvi or trade him to a club willing to sign him, he becomes ineligible for the remainder of this NHL season. However, Puljujarvi isn’t a core player so his absence won’t hurt the Oilers’ performance this season. It wouldn’t surprise me if he spends the entire season in Finland. The Oilers will still hold his NHL rights.