NHL Rumor Mill – June 26, 2019

by | Jun 26, 2019 | Rumors | 169 comments

Latest on Mitch Marner, Sebastian Aho, Wayne Simmonds, Brett Connolly and more in today’s NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner will use the restricted free agent window to meet with other teams. Only one other player (Shea Weber in 2012) has done so publicly. He noted the Marner camp “want to get the lay of the land through phone conversations.” It remains to be seen, however, if a rival club will sign him to an offer sheet.


Speculation persists suggesting Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner could sign an offer sheet (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Paying over $13 million annually for four years plus giving up four first-round picks as compensation is a hefty price for Marner. He’s a terrific young player and I have no issue with him using his rights as a restricted free agent to explore his options. However, he’s not a generational talent like Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. Any team ponying up that much will be overpaying for his services.

However, Marner’s also worth much more than those who believe he should get slightly more than William Nylander’s $6.96 million per season. He’s led the Leafs in scoring twice in his short career, becoming the first Leaf since Mats Sundin to reach 90 points. His camp can make a good case that he’s worth $11 million per season. 


NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Chip Alexander reports Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell continues talks with Petr Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney. Both goaltenders are slated to become unrestricted free agents on July 1. Waddell’s had daily discussions with Mrazek but less so with McElhinney. He also indicated Scott Darling could be bought out, though the club is exploring other options.

Waddell believes there’s no rush to get a decision from captain Justin Williams about his plans. He added he had a good talk with Justin Faulk’s agent. Faulk has a year remaining on his contract. Waddell claims he feels no sense of urgency to re-sign or trade Faulk.

The Hurricanes GM also said discussions are ongoing with Sebastian Aho, expressing confidence the RFA center will be re-signed before training camp. Waddell also dismissed talk of Aho or other RFAs getting offer sheets, claiming it’s being overblown by the media.


SPECTOR’S NOTE: If I were a Hurricanes fan I wouldn’t be too concerned about that eight-year offer for Aho. That could merely be their opening pitch.

Aho is definitely worth more than that. He was their leading scorer in each of the last two seasons and their top scorer in this year’s playoffs. The 21-year-old center is steadily improving, going from 49 points as a rookie in 2016-17 to 65 points in 2017-18 to 83 points this season. He’s getting much more than $6 million annually. 


LE JOURNAL DE MONTREAL: The Montreal Canadiens are among what’s believed to be a dozen teams to contract Wayne Simmonds. The 30-year-old right winger is slated to become a UFA on July 1.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Buyer beware with Simmonds. In his prime, he was a skilled, physical two-way winger. Pelvic surgery last spring, however, took a toll on his performance this season. For the first time since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season, he didn’t reach 20 goals or 45 points. He might be worthwhile on a one- or two-year deal but I’d be reluctant to invest too much for too long. 


THE SCORE: Josh Gold-Smith cites an interview with UFA winger Brett Connolly’s agent Gerry Johansson with 630 CHED’s “Oilers Now”, indicating he’d had a good conversation with the Edmonton Oilers about his client. “There’s not a much better opportunity in the NHL than the right side in Edmonton,” he said. “That’s a pretty big opportunity for someone like Brett. And obviously he’s a (Prince George, British Columbia) guy, so he’s a western Canadian.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers lack skilled scoring depth at right wing. Connolly’s completing a two-year, $3-million contract with the Washington Capitals.

Cap Friendly indicates the Oilers have over $8.33 million in salary-cap space. If Connolly’s seeking a reasonable raise (around $4 million annually), the Oilers can afford him. However, they might have to part ways with Alex Chiasson or shed some salary to sign him or other players. 



  1. Marner is exercising his rights to explore all possibilities. Remember, phone and internet chats and actually putting pen to paper is quite another thing.

    The Leafs have a price point to which they will then decide to either match or take the 4 first round pics.

    The Leaf fan base has its own price point before they start siding with team needs over his individual wants.

    Marner,should he reach that point in time, will then have to decide whether his needs should be bigger than the collective body of the teams success.

    • Another scenario Joey, is that no one files an offer sheet but Marner and his agent, after seeing what other teams might have been willing to pay him, dig in their heels and don’t report for training camp. Then the pressure really builds on Dubas. Not only would he have his top points producer sitting out as the season opens, and perhaps dragging on as long (or longer) than Nylander but, knowing what he’d likely have to pay him to get him back in the line-up, realizing he really can’t make other moves which, if and when Marner does return, could shoot him well over the cap.

      At that point Dubas will have two gifts to open … his eyes.

      • @ George: The Leafs have a team to think about and a price point for Marner to which they will not exceed.

        I think Dubas learned a lot from that Nylander mess and I also think he learned enough that don’t be surprised if over the course of the summer, he trades him for defensive help.

        In the end, if they can’t sign him, they will trade him and move on from him and should that happen, you can expect upon Marner’s return to Toronto to be similar to JT’s return to Long Island.

      • Yep, Joey, the past is where you learned the lesson … the future is where you apply the lesson … but never give up the middle

      • Impossible to go longer than Nylander. Willy literally waited until the last possible moment. If Marner holds out longer than Nylander, he’s sitting out the year….

      • That’s why I put (or longer) in brackets – it could happen – improbable certainly but certainly not “impossible”

      • Probably need to hold out at least until Horton goes on ltir

      • I still dont see how the Nylander signing is a mess. Yes it is troubleskme at this moment. But once the ouck drops this up coming season. Nylander will have received over half his total contracts monetary value. At this point he’d be an easy trade to a team with cap.

      • Or maybe George they see that no team is willing to pay what he wants.

      • That’s certainly yet another scenario – although would other teams talking to him reveal what amount they offered and for how long for all to see? Somehow I doubt that.

      • this is not bryan murray bud nor the earlier years of the crazy gm’s of ottawa and yashin were nobody wants to go

    • Marner is not a “generational talent” because TOR might lose him. If he were on the Flyers and exploring options, with TOR as a suitor, he’d be a “generational talent”. Hilarious.

      • And future hall of famer too….

        lol, so true.

      • ….or you know… he just isn’t a generational talent. Period.

    • What is MMs worth as a local playing for TML in endorsement deals? (See Michael Jordan) Certainly gotta be worth taking a few million less for pay?? Is his father considering that?

      Any player with class (which MM camp is borderline at best) can reap a lot more in local business deals, especially if he is a local…

      Have hockey players not figured this out?

      • Think they may not be looking at the big picture here. He leaves TOR for a few million, he ain’t gonna be warmly received when he retires…

      • As per Forbes Tavares only got $1.4 million in endorsements this past NHL season. Ovei received the most with $4.5 million followed by McDavid at $4 million. NHL players get peanuts in endorsements compared to NBA, MLB, and NFL players.

      • If Paul Marner goes to lets say to offer sheet, will he have the same success. I think not. He does have a lot of talent around him. See you later Mitch you can watch the Leafs in the playoffs from the golf course.

    • Marner and nylander to Calgary for tkachuk , Bennett and a 2nd round pick.

      • Geez the Flames are soft enough, if you take away Tkachuk and Bennett and replace them with Marner and Nylander there would be no hope of ever winning a playoff round.

      • In what world would the Leafs do this? They wouldn’t do that for Marner straight up

  2. “SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston wonders if Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner will use the restricted free agent window to meet with other teams. Only one other player (Shea Weber in 2012) has done so publicly. He noted the Marner camp “want to get the lay of the land through phone conversations.” It remains to be seen, however, if a rival club will sign him to an offer sheet.”

    Ummmm, didn’t Steven Stamkos do this 2 years ago or so? When he met with the Leafs and a few other teams, then re-signed with Tampa.

    • Great point re Stamkos LeafsAdvocate. In Marner’s case, by at least listening to what other teams would pay him per season, he and his agent can then gauge those offers against what Dubas is offering. If they are separated by several million with Dubas on the low side I suppose Leafs fans can expect a long hold-out … err, withholding of services, not signing a contract, or however you want to term it.

    • Stamkos was a UFA while Marner is an RFA, so what Stamkos did was quite normal for an UFA vs the rarity of RFA’s meeting with teams

      • To add to 75’s comment, and Marner is the only RFA out of all the great and fairly equal in quality other RFAs such as Rats in Denver and Point in Tampa.

        Is Marner really going to be the only one we hear about listening to offers because he is even though his numbers are pretty identical to Rats are we to assume he will too or not because a Leafs player and in this case a star, generates 100x more page views than a player from a smaller market?

        Also his turd of an agent has the same MO when it comes to negotiations and his method i said one of intimidation and vail threats.

      • Colorado has a lot of cap space and can match any reasonable offer.
        The Leafs and the Bolts don’t even have/had the cap space to sign the player.
        And in addition comes the Toronto media.
        Imo the offer sheet debate is overblown and i don’t believe we’ll see one.
        And if any team offers 13 for mitch and he signs…. bye bye 😀

      • Ferris is also Taylor Hall’s agent – among others

      • Weber was a RFA, that is why Nashville was able to match the Philly offer.

    • @LeafsAdvocate: as a pending UFA Stamkos did and then decided to resign.

    • Stamkos was a pending UFA at the time. Johnston was referring to pending RFAs.

      • And he said “has done so publicly”

    • Stamkos was a UFA not RFA

    • Was stsmkos s restrictrd free shent 2 years ago?

  3. That 6mil for Aho is an insult. Ofcourse it’s probably just an opening bid, but still.
    Kevin Hayes got 7,1 coming out of career year with 55 points in 71 as a 2nd line center, Aho as a 1st line center scoring 83 in 82 games should make about 9,2.
    Just some math.

    • As if the $6 mil alone wasn’t ludicrous, that amount for an 8 year term is beyond ludicrous! Shannon’s source must have been the aunt of the wife of a janitor’s assistant at the Carolina arena.

    • Flyers overpaid to get Hayes. I agree with you that Aho should come in between 9 and 10.

      • Agree don’t think you can use Hayes as a comparable. Philly knew they had to over pay and they did.

      • Wayne simmons is rumored to be sought by 12 teams…rumors Pittsburgh waa in don’t see it..while he would fit style wise and would live to steal him from the suckee rival flyers…He is too expensive ! He didn’t do well in Nashville but still a quality player.

  4. I’ll probably get a little bit of flack with this, but why not trade Matthews? Having two $11M+ Centermen is ridiculous!

    • Interesting thought. In there somewhere is the old saying “you can take the boy out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the boy.” Now replace “the country” with “Arizona.” Of all the principals involved in this Dubas headache, the one with the least ties to Toronto is certainly Matthews. Whether that ever becomes a factor or not is, however, wide open to conjecture.

    • Have to think center more value able than wingers. Crosby/Malkin worked out well. IMO Marner shouldn’t get same money as AM. No knock on Marner. I feel same about Panarin. Skinner got 9m per and he put up 40 goals last year. No way I’m giving Marner 11-13 mil. Could he put up same numbers elsewhere?

      • Yeah, especially in Colorado with Landeskog and MacKinnon as his linemates. They also have the cap space to offer him a big offer sheet. With Marner that would solve their lack of top 6 and would be a contender for the next bunch of years. So those 4 first round pick would be high picks.
        The Avs actually just came to mind.

      • Kev Jam.
        So if you offer sheet Marner at 11-13 million, what do you sign Raantenan to? Stats almost as good. Av’s have over 30 mil in cap space but, currently have 5 forwards under contract. Rat and Marner could eat 20-25. Would still need to sign 6 -7 more forwards

      • One reason why, perhaps, Rantanen and his camp aren’t in any hurry to settle – see what (if anything) Marner winds up with before negotiating in earnest.

    • To handle the cap and future of those that’ll get raises, would this work?

      To TOR: Dvorak + Chychrun + Hayton + 2020 1st
      To ARZ: Matthews

      Arizona gets their hometown Superstar, they’d free up $10M. It’ll be a small trade to take on Matthews’ contract.

      To TOR: Barrie
      To COL: Zaitsev + Brown + Timashov

      To TOR: Virtanen
      To VAN: Gauthier + Borgman + Kaskisuo

      Extra: Petan
      Extra: Sandin

    • *Ennis was meant to be inserted into the 4th line roster spot…pretty hard to trade Gauthier and also have him listed on our 4th.

    • Well, it helps Wingers like Marner feel they can ask for the moon because they played with an 11 million dollar centre. Would Marner have that many points on a team without an elite number 1 or 1A Centre?

      • Marner and matthews tend to go ahainst the grain in my view. Marner can carry the play where a centre normally would and feed matthews who plays the winger roll here and pots goals.

        So yes i think Marner can still produce with a lesser centre. He will make that centre better.

    • How about trade Marner and Matthew’s to Oilers for McDavid?

      • The Oilers are up tight against the cap now with McDavid alone. Taking on a potential $22-24 mil cap hit isn’t going to help resolve that. Maybe if the Leafs took Lucic as well 🙂

    • I’ve thought the same thing about Matthews for quite a while. If Dubas didn’t trade him he should at least or should have explored what he would get for him. It would probably be a decent package that could fill in some holes in Toronto’s lineup plus a few picks. It could also make signing MM easier depending on the incoming salaries.

  5. Dreger appears to becoming a real shill for agents in the past couple years. I tend to not take too many of his insider takes seriously anymore. He’s good at breaking trades and signings but he seems to be way off when he speculates.

    ….and CJ was referring to RFAs talking to teams not UFAs….

  6. I still have to see an offer sheet to believe it!….the nhl “good old boys” network is still alive and kicking. It’s time to end that

  7. As a Habs fan, I see some logic in signing Simmonds, but for no more than two years at reasonable coin. The thinking is that a forward, most likely Andrew Shaw, may have to go in a trade for an LD. Someone like Simmonds would make sense for a couple of years until the Habs’ crop of young forwards is ready to step up. Coming off a poor season, he’d probably be open to a short-term “prove it” deal, whereas the top wingers available would want, and get, a lot more term and money.

    • Also as a Habs fan, I completely disagree.

      There is zero reason to sign Simmonds when we already have Shaw in the 2nd line RW spot at a decent price and they’ll certainly resign Armia. This team badly needs help at LD. Don’t waste money on Simmonds. If anything, spend that on Gardiner (although I’d prefer to see a trade or two to help the LD issues).

      • kinda comes down to can the Habs sign a LD UFA or sign a winger and trade someone on the current roster for a LD. More options via trade IMO. Now that Edler is locked up Gardiner is the best option , after that there is a considerable drop off. They may even have to go back to the well and ink Benn !

      • You obviously missed the part of my comment where I wrote that Shaw may have to be moved in a trade for an LD. If the Habs manage to pick up a good LD without trading a roster forward then I fully agree. There would be no need for Simmonds or any UFA forward for that matter.

    • my comment was directed to Wally not Howard

      • Howard, I didn’t miss it, I just think we’re better off with Shaw over Simmonds personally.

        I know there was the speculation Shaw may be a main piece in a trade for Gostibehere, but I think that’s dreaming on our part.

  8. I don’t see why any team would offer sheet Marner for only 5 years. You lose your 1st rounder for 4 years, only to lose Marner after the 5th? Maybe offer sheet him for 7 years.

    That Aho rumor needs to die. Shannon has continues to spread rumors about the Canes that aren’t true. He is the same guy that said the Canes would be playing in Quebec this season. Shannon wasn’t even the one who started either. Two other tabloid level insiders started it.

  9. Forget Panarin. NYR send an offer sheet to Aho. 7×11.

    • Please no!!!!! We need to rebuild with good drafting, not paying RFA’s and UFA’s the inflated prices in the market. Plyers don’t win championships, teams do !!! Take the kids , let them grow together and all will be well in 2-3 years for the Rangers

      • Aho is 21! Zib+Aho would be an amazing 1-2 punch for the next 5+ years. It is not like signing a 27+ year old

      • DS. Carolina will likely match any offer. I thought the same for Pointe, but now that Tampa moves Miller and likelihood of Callahan done, guessing there’s no way Tampa lets him go either. Would be nice if Zuc signs in Dallas would give us an extra 1st.

      • @Slick
        would Carolina match that ? Not sure with this owner

      • ds, Yes Carolina would match any offer sheet given to Aho according to GM Don Waddell.

  10. What a mess…well, maybe not. Maybe trade Marner for Aho, or make it a package deal for Aho and Pesce? I am not sold on Marner-great assist guy, not good in his own zone, disappeared against bullying Bruins team. Given his so-called love affair with TML, how does he explain his “me first” approach? Nylander got killed for holding out, will Marner suffer same fate? If he does hold out, he will be traded and, I would trade him sooner rather than later, get the mess over with and start anew. Trade AM? How dos that help in the long run? Then you have to pay Marner, what would AM fetch on the market? Is he still a “generational talent” or has the shine worn off?

    • Jon,
      There is a huge difference between WN and Marner. Marner plays with heart and soul and is always moving while Willie appears to float a bit at time. Marner bleeds blue so we will have to see if he is playing chicken or if he is done in Toronto. My bet is that his agent is just trying to maximize $$$$ but we will soon find out. Would Marner soon play in Florida or Carolina then at home?

    • people keep saying stuff like this. why would carolina even consider trading for marner? if he’s playing tough with toronto, what would he be like with carolina? carolina is a cheap ass team that has no interest in paying players so the likelihood of marner being willing to sign with carolina seems unlikely. for a team to trade for marner, they’d have to 1) believe they could sign him 2) be willing to pay him what toronto is not willing to pay him

    • If I am the the Carolina GM I’m not trading Aho for Marner.

  11. The reason teams don’t use offer sheets for high end RFAs is because it is stupid.

    To get a player to sign and have a team not match you have to pay more than a player is worth. In a cap world this is already a bad idea.

    To make it worse you now have to pay up to 4 first round picks for the privilege of paying a player more than they are worth.

    With no first round picks and an over paid player, how do you build a winning team?

    • How do you build a winning team with 4 forwards making half the cap space? Dubas has to be thinking trade doesn’t he?

      • Agree, someone at some point has to be moved.

      • BBB – Hard to argue with that.
        Marner and Zaitsev for Doughty + whatever filler is necessary to match salaries?

      • I’d ask Pittsburg or the Blackhawks. I guess the answer is very prudently.

    • Well i get yah for a team like my sens who are building. But a team like Colorado who is looking for that last piece. The picks mean little.

    • Love it Chris. Bang on. Rielly only gets 5 mill per year. Is Marner worth twice as much as Rielly? AM is a pure #1 center. Marner is a very good winger. Is Marner worth more than Ovie? No way…

  12. Imagine if the Leafs had only offered Marleau a two year deal. Imagine if they had traded Nylander for the RHD they need instead of wasting months on his hold out. Imagine if they had used that time and money to get Marner under contract instead.

    None of this is hindsight. Many (most?) people said these things in real time.

    Beginning a few years back, there were 3 assets that clearly were not going to be part of the Leaf’s core going forward…JVR, Gardiner and Nylander…

    One was lost for nothing. Another will be lost for nothing. A third is stubbornly being kept despite the obvious presence of a cheaper alternative in Kapanen.

    Not sure what they are doing.

    • MG, I don’t think those 3 players were clearly not going to be with the Leafs. JVR, sure give you that one. Gardiner became clear when they signed Tavares last summer. Now they need to replace him. With? Nylander wasn’t going anywhere, still might not, until they signed Tavares.
      Not sure how happy Leaf fans would have been if they moved out these guys prior to the playoffs at the TDL or at the start of the year for … I don’t know picks or prospects?
      If you finish 5th in the league during the regular season you generally don’t sell off pending UFA’s at the dead line. At least I haven’t seen it.

      • I thought (correctly) that Tavares (unlike Stamkos and others) actually would got to UFA and then sign with TOR for years, so that is a given already “priced” into my above statements.

        Matthews, Tavares, Marner, Reilly, Anderson. That’s the Leaf’s real core. Kadri is right there (trading him would be a mistake) while Kapanen and Muzzin are nice supporting pieces.

        Nylander is a good enough player to be a core player…on a different team…that doesn’t already have too many other core players AND a credible replacement in Kapanen.

        They should have traded JVR since they weren’t going to win that year. I don’t mind them keeping Gardiner as a self rental since they had a legit chance to win this year. And one day, Nylander will be traded.

        Evidently, it’s just a question of how many playoff runs go by empty handed before that happens.

        Then again, I hope they keep being stubborn since my Pens only have 3 years of contention (one good chance, one decent chance and one longshot chance) left in the 87/71 era. One less obstacle.

  13. I think it’s pretty straight forward. P Kane is the highest paid winger in the league at 10.5 M per, and he deserves it. Perennial all star and 3 time Stanley Cup champ. What has Marner won…ZERO! Not even an all star game vote. So until you get to Kanes level, you pay your dues and take a reasonable deal at 6 years 10 M per.

    • I really think he might take 5 at $10 mil per.

    • did you say the same about matthews?

    • CB, you’re basing a contract on past achievements – all GMs have to make their best guess on future achievements. Chicago sure got it right with Toews and Kane but that doesn’t mean you can compare Kane’s current contract to Marner’s future one. Apples and oranges in a sense.

  14. We are in silly season when someone can write of maybe the 15 the best forward in the league ( Marner) he will get an offer of 13 million under a hard cap….it is late June the season is over the hockey addicts ( me included ) are reading a rumor site….so what happens…

    People in the media feed us rumors…..we read and repeat ….Dreger has Paul Marner on speed dial and the Kyper whose has made a fortune post hockey has the players association on speed dial…..

    This Leaf fan says to Dubas….don’t buy high on Marner…..if he wants to go where the money is better let him go now….don’t do with him what you did with Nylander….you will get valuable assets back and compared to where you were before signing Tavares you will have those assets and Tavares and Matthews….turn Marner and Kadri into major D assets….sign a quality back up those are the 2 things you cannot win without…. then go to training camp

    You run the Maple Leafs not the Paul Marner self fulfillment society

    • i agree with moving on from Marner if this continues. But there is nothing wrong with him exploring his options. However I would not trade Kadri . They wanted strength down the centre , they have it. Don’t trade and screw that up. Try to fix the next problem which is defence. trade some wingers to address that. They need defence that play defence. Not a Doughty or another star. Somebody like a Jordie Benn.

  15. George an aside….I have thought for a while one of the most under rated men in hockey is Pierre Dorian….

    Moved up to get Karlson….got Chabot late middle of 1 st round…he looked like the cat that got the mouse after he moved up in the 2 nd riund to pick that 6 ft 8 inch goalie….have an intuition that 5 yrs out that may look like a steal

    Do you remember the circumstances of the pick….I saw the video of that kids foot speed in the crease….he was impressive….are the Ottawa media saying anything about the choice?

    • People in Ottawa mostly think the opposite Pierre from Orleans.

      All of the people he picked would have been there later in the draft. Including that goalie.

      On another note. Would the Sens entertain offer sheeting Marner? They have their own picks AND they have a whole bunch more which softens that blow. They get a Marian Hossa clone (in my opinion) and they get his best years. And stick it to the Leafs. It also fast tracks the rebuild, gets you to the cap floor, leaves you room to resign the kids when they come do.

      • I guess they could and the leafs would have the cap space next year to target Chabot. That’s a good idea.

    • Not a lot – yet. They’ll get a good look at him this week at the development camp now under way.

  16. Why is Kane not a comparable ? You want to make more than him ? That would be my position Mitch.

    Draisaitl at 8.5 not so ugly looking right now and will look a lot better in a couple of weeks

    • The oilers were smart getting draisital locked up earlier than this year, he would be over 10 for sure

      • funny how the financial landscape changes year over year….LD’s deal looks like a steal now and 3-4 years from now it will look even better.

      • That’s the bet the GM made at the time and Draisital agreed. Every contract is like that. In this case, the Oilers seem to have won the bet.

      • Yes, but he was willing to talk then, and Marners camp was not. Teams cannot overcome that little detail. Matthews negotiated through season. He has been more loyal to the team and he was not even born in this country.

      • Looks like marner and his agent are pretty smart than eh! Marner now will make 2.5-3 million dollars more than he might have last year, players are definitely getting smarter and good for them

  17. A lot of people saying take the 4 picks, there is a good chance you don’t get a player even close to marners skill back! If I’m dubas and think an offer sheet is coming I seriously think about trading him before July 1st. Wow this is just crazy good for marner though you have to think of yourself first, no one writing on here would take less money than they’re worth

    • First off I would like to see Marner sign at a reasonable cap hit & make some $ through endorsements being a TO kid. A trade is definitely worth more than 4 picks, especially if they could A good package back for him. I wonder if it would set a negative example about dealing with TO in the future though. If it did it could make it harder to sign free agents I would think.

      • Get a good package for him

  18. Some goofy GM will give simmons a 6-7 year deal. GMs love old forwards.

    • Yes, and I hope it isn’t Don Sweeney. For some reason I see Sweeney going after Simmonds on a 3yr contract. Hopefully someone else gives Simmonds a 5yr deal.

      • Backes for 2 more seasons, 6 mill cap hit! What were they thinking?

    • Jim Benning on line 1.

  19. Just as interesting as the names of those made qualifying offers is the list of those NOT offered contracts, which includes these 1st & 2nd round picks – an indication of not only just how hard it is to crack an NHL line-up despite where you were drafted, but perhaps scouting mistakes as well:

    1st Round picks & slot picked
    Derrick Pouliot – 1st 8th 2012 Pit
    Ryan Murphy – 12th 2011 Car
    Curtis Lazar – 13th 2013 Ott
    Nathan Beaulieu – 17th 2011 Mtl
    Kerby Rychel – 19th 2013 Clb
    Stefan Nosen – 21st 2011 Ott
    Joseph Morrow – 23rd 2011 Pit
    Connor Vleackley – 23rd 2014 Col
    Hunter Shinkaruk – 24th 2013 Van
    Grendan Gaunce – 26th 2012 Van
    Marko Dano – 27th 2013 Clb
    Ryan Hartman – 30th 2013 Chic

    2nd Round picks & slot picked
    Ty Rattie – 32nd 2011 St. L
    Chris Bigras – 32nd 2013 Col
    Gabriel Gagne – 36th 2015 Ott
    Pontus Aberg – 37th 2012 Nash
    Dmitrij Jaskin – 41st 2011 St. L
    Markus Granlund – 45th 2011 Cgy
    Martin Frk – 49th 2012 Det
    Justin Bailey – 52nd 2013 Pha
    Brandon Halberson – 59th 2014 – NYR

    There are also a bunch of 3rd round picks in the list as well. A lot of the above were described as “can’t miss studs” by some – Curtis Lazar jumps to mind.

    • George, your list may show why big money offer sheets are so difficult. If I’m a GM whose good young player has signed an offer sheet that has four first round picks as compensation, I might take the picks if the other team is really bad and likely to stay that way. Otherwise I match the offer sheet and keep a top talent – bird in the hand.

    • By the way that should be Stefan Noesen, Connor Beakley and Brendan Gaunce

  20. A year ago GM’s and fans were talking about Tom Dundon’s lack of NHL experience and continue to talk about how cheap he is. If the GM’s keep spending like drunken sailors on leave he will be eventually eat their lunch. Owners and players frequently use the phrase “its a business” and he is the one that knows what that means.

    • Dundon is currently suing the AAF as a creditor in their bankruptcy…despite being the owner of that league…who should be paying the actual creditors…that he’s stiffing.

      If the phrase “it’s a business” means not paying your bills and attempting to game the system for your own benefit regardless of facts and/or ethics, then yes, he knows that means.

      No need to credit Dundon with the seeds that Ron Francis sowed finally blossoming. He had already jettisoned their goaltending. Now he’s insulting their lone star. Just give him time…

      • I’ve been saying for so long how good of a job Ron Francis did with Carolina yet he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Hell, last time I checked he still was unemployed in the league…..what a joke compared to some of these other goofs.

      • Leafsfan39

        I agree Ron Francis built the best depth the Carolina organization has ever had. His only problem was that he kept bringing in the wrong goalie. How ironic is it that Waddell is talking about moving forward with Nedeljkovic, the AHL goalie of the year, and a 2014 second round pick in Ron Francis first draft.

        Francis is a good GM, I was surprised he was not considered for the Edmonton job.

  21. ‘It’s A Privilege, Not A Right” a motto from legendary Johnny Bowers and is scribed on the wall of the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room for all players and personnel to see and be reminded on. “It’s A Privilege, Not A Right”.

    Powerful message..

    Kyle Dubas should look at that wall and know that Mitchell Marner and representation does not see the Toronto Maple Leafs organization – who scouted him, drafted, trained to be a pro, even signed a very expensive mentor in Patrick Marleau who himself made a sacrifice to get traded to make CAP space available so that the club can afford to attempt and re-sign him and other deserving RFA’s to a lucrative contracts is not applicable to him and can only be a message of scorned towards the club.

    The optics of his representatives towards this contractual process is one of Entitlement, Jealousy, Greed and even resentment perhaps deeper going back to childhood. He is being portrayed as a sacrificial lamb for other current RFA to set precedent in the ways of future contract negotiations.

    He can never be that innocent happy go lucky guy going forward but now be portrayed as a person of ” Show me the Money ” guy and forever be a target of angst and hatred in the City.

    It should have just been a quiet negotiation like Auston Matthews camp and announce nonchalant for Leaf fans to root for. Instead, it’s becoming a continual news cycle for rabid fans to digest daily!

    With that being said, the genie has been let out of the bottle and I just don’t see a “happy” scenario other than the inevitable.

    Too bad, he could have been a true legend. ‘It’s A Privilege, Not A Right”

    TML fan

    • Wow….”Be a target of angst and hatred in the city” doesn’t when Marner resigns with Toronto (there is no offer sheet coming to anyone on any team) and when he setup the first goal and scores his first goal, all will be forgotten and Leaf fans Nation wide will cheer his name.

    • Why talk like this about Marner? Don’t you think that Marner is just as deserving of the same money as Tavares and Matthews? Why should Marner take less?
      I know a lot of Leafs fans have been saying “would Marner have as many points this season if he didn’t have Tavares?” Couldn’t an argument be made that, would Tavares gotten a career high in goals (10 more than his previous high) if Marner wasn’t feeding him those sweet passes? Or would Tavares have gotten a career high in points if Marner wasn’t on his line?
      It goes both ways. Tavares and Matthews got their payday, and Marner should take less? At your job, two people on your team who did less than you got huge pay raises but, then you found out you are expected to take less. How would that make you feel?

      • That is exactly the point…in many Leaf fan’s eyes…..including mine ….he does not merit the same money as Tavares…..because Tavrares was a UFA and not as much as Matthews as in my opinion he is not and will not be as valuable as Matthews….

        He has the right to search out other offers….let him do so without rancor from management….if the offer is in the stratosphere, let him go….he is a lot easier to replace than Tavares & Matthews….

        The team has far more fundamental problems than a very good right winger ….put a time limit on the circus atmosphere and phony media anxiety….if he goes use the space & money created to fill real needs….God knows the Leafs have some…

        The time has come for the organization to establish some principled internal boundaries…once was enough in the Nylander fiasco of last year….

      • I don’t understand. Seeing that Tavares is just coming off of career highs in goals (by 10 goals and the first time he has gotten over 40 goals) and points in the first year he has played with Marner, that makes Marner less valuable? It’s clear that Marner is a player who make this linemates better! With Marner the Leafs know what they have. In Kapanen and Johnsson with only 1 full year under their belts they are still an anomaly. The Leafs let Marner go the next thing you know one or both of Kapanen and Johnsson don’t live up to expectations and the Leafs are in the same position as the Oilers. 3 top 6 forwards Tavares, Matthews, and Nylander) and no wingers for them to play with. As an Oilers fan I know first hand that top end wingers are not as easy to find as most think, and I’m not talking about Hall. Chia trading Eberle is the trade that really hurt the Oilers.

    • Antoni, could I respectfully say, “What a crock!” Watch some games, will you, please?

      • well put, lol.

    • Well said Antoni. And perhaps it has not dawned on Mitch, his Daddy and his Agent that Mitch would likely make boatloads more money in endorsements as a Leaf than he would with any other team. Just look at what he is already doing with sponsorship and endorsement as an RFA? If I am one of those companies I tell the Agent, if he forces himself out of Toronto we are pulling our endorsement deals. He can try flogging sunscreen and air conditioners in Arizona or Carolina.

    • Johnny The Snake Tavares …….on line 2.

      You might want to ask him about privilege and rights.
      Kinda sucks when it’s your own home grown talent eh T.O?

      I hope Marner tells leafs management up until the last second that he fully embraces staying a leaf, can’t see himself anywhere else…and then accepts an offer sheet to Minnesota. Then you might see where Islander fans were coming from. And why they were burning jerseys.
      (sorry about this can of worms again)

      • Seems to me the Islanders lasted longer than the Leafs without Tavares this season. Leafs cannot get out of the first round, with or without Tavares and Marner.

      • Well said dark! How can any one be upset that a player is trying to financial better themselves or just doing what they want to do!? Players are people just like us, I’d want to make as much money as quickly as I could so I could relax when my playing career is over and my body is beat to hell

      • I live on the Island and I find it awfully sad. He left the door open and they have 2 years to plan and build a team around him that can seriously compete for a cup. They failed to do that. He was generously cordial and respectful in giving them a chance to prove to him up until he signed with TML to prove (besides $$) why he needs to sign.

        Lehner had a career year yet was acquired AFTER JT.

        Trotz brought in AFTER JT. Not a year prior to him leaving in order to build chemistry and see how he would be utilized.

        The entire team had an “over achiever” season. AFTER JT

        So what, during the last 3 season off JT, showed him they were serious about contending and improving?

        Was it the Andrew Ladd signing for 6 years?

        Not upgrading over Halak and Greiss in the off season or at the deadline for 2 yrs?

        Not upgrading their D the last year he was there for a chance to make the playoffs?

        Letting DeHaan walk before inking JT?

        It was not JT’s fault. I think people need to be happy for people that do what is bet for their families and thank GOD we have the chance to do the same in our lives.

        Do not be fooled by the optics.

    • Marner camp would have been better suited to just keep quiet with the negotiation like Auston Matthews camp and announce nonchalantly for Leaf fans to root and holler for when it gets pen to paper and reported, Instead, it is becoming vitriol with continual news cycle for rabid fans to digest daily and almost hourly.

      People It’s simple mathematics; Kyle Dubas simply cannot ice a competitive team composed of 3 players potentially being paid 41-44 percent of Hard Cap space!

      Marner’s camp must know this and is instrumental in using the MSM to conflate the market.

      For those that mentions repeatedly almost goading that The Toronto Maple Leafs cannot win a first round and that’s true , however, the same has happened to the Toronto Raptors!

      Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors had to make a very difficult calculated risk in trading fan favourite DeMar DeRosan (Equivalent of Mitchell Marner) and they are now World Champions. The Parade was a momentous spectacle.

      It sucked when it happened – “for me” and Millions of other fans, but Masai Ujiri had a vision as to how he could mould and change the pieces to achieve a different outcome.

      The same blueprint could be available for Kyle Dubas to replicate.

      Mitchell Marner is a very good to even great player, however he and his handlers cannot dictate and hold hostage a club and especially the very organization that developed him.

      I apologize if I seem bitter.. How’d you feel if you are Morgan Rielly , Nazem Kadri with their first contract? Less than 10 million between the both currently added together and they are veterans.

      Based on current situation, I truly feel bad for the Club and fans like myself looking forward to a harmonious team that can grow and play together so we can experience what the Toronto Raptors was able to achieve and have a party/parade of mass proportion but I digress.

      Two step forward and five back and before you know it we will be a 7/11 (standing) Team again and time for wishing what could have been.

    • Marner is a winger – should be paid like a winger. Matthews is a center – was paid like a center. No one is saying Marner shouldn’t get paid but no one made him wait til now to strike a deal either. Didn’t have to be like this.

  22. If someone gives Marner 13 million. Wow . There will be alot of rfa’s rubbing their hands. What would Brandon Point and Thomas Chabot be worth.

    • I would actually like to see someone offer him that much money and watch the world burn lol. At this point anything is possible and there have been a lot of stupid free agent deals over the years.

    • Gulp. Shudder. Shaddap about Chabot!

      • Don’t worry George O, he’ll be traded for future assets.

      • Dark G suggested Ottawa to target Marner and stick it to the leafs. I thought that would be good then the leafs could go after Chabot next year. What do you think George

      • Heh. No WAY Dorion gets involved in offer sheets for anybody – let alone Marner – probably for that very reason Vinnie – not to mention running the risk of giving Melnyk a stroke! – which will come soon enough with Chabot.

  23. as soon as dubas signed nylander the team won/loss record took a nose dive. he backed himself into a corner by having to convince his leading scorer that he isn’t worth more than a guy that only had 7 goals and 20 assists in 54 games. to top that all off he allegedly told nylander that he would not trade him and now he will look foolish if he does trade him.dubas should give marner everything he wants and trade nylander to get cap relief.

  24. Perhaps he already has or perhaps he never would, but…random thought…maybe the one way to get Phil Kessel to be a little less picky about his NTC would be for Rutherford to explain that Sullivan is fully authorized to make Phil a healthy scratch at any point.

    Phil’s iron man streak means a lot to him. A healthy scratch or a mid season trade where he can’t report to the other team in time ends that streak.

    The Pens have to move one of their 4 right shot RW’s.

    Even the failed deal with Minny would look good right now, adding a top LW in Zucker and a 3rd C project in Rask…then signing one of the many non-qualified young D men (Morrow, Pouliot, etc.) to replace Johnson, would make them a better, more balanced team.

    Not saying they should threaten to hold Phil’s streak hostage, but…they should make clear that (unlike in the past) no special considerations will be given to him for purpose of continuing the streak. Let him decide it’s value to him.

    • That would play out less favorably forPittsburgh than for Phil. It would also send a the wrong type of message to the rest of the players on the team that the head coach and GM are vindictive. Would you give your best effort for that type of person? Not the type of motto you want hanging all over your organization.

      GM Ruth can figure something more amicable that meets both sides needs. Honor the terms of the contract yet still get back what Pitts needs to rebuild.

      In due time.

      • Again, not saying to bring Phil into a room and say “sign off on this trade or we’ll banish you to the press box.” More like “your streak is the only reason we let you play hurt down the stretch last year instead of resting for the playoffs and that won’t happen again. And if Sully doesn’t like your effort, you will sit, as well.”

        It’s not vindictive to give a guy up front warning that his personal interest will no longer be catered to at the expense of the team.

        If that honesty causes him to be open to a situation that he thinks might cater to him, so be it.

        And if he comes back, fine, great player. I don’t think they have to trade Phil. I think they have to trade one of the 4 right shot RW’s that each make $3.5 million or more. If it’s Phil, so be it.

      • MG I disagree still. Kessel, even “injured” is still more dynamic and more of a threat than 3/4 of their forwards. So it is better to do it amicably.

    • Sully already has full go to bench him whenever. He also apparently likes his job. Benching a ppg player out of spite is a sure fire way to lose your room and the first step to unemployment

      • So, Phil can float the rest of his career and because he’s popular in the room, he gets a free pass?

        If so, then trade him to any of the 8 teams for whatever broken sticks they have laying around.

  25. Marner is pretty much on a par with Point in TB, statistically a little behind and not a Center. I can’t imagine Tampa being able to spend over $10 M on Point, and more likely it is closer to $9M. They don’t have the cap space and DO have other stars who have given big hometown discounts.
    I would not be shocked if Dubas waits to see what Point gets before sending a final offer….or would like to, problem is that he needs to be active on adding 2 Dmen as well. If you figure that the tax situation is worth about $2M in Tampa, you also need to consider what the endorsement market is worth in Toronto. So I figure in the end, Marner likely gets no more than an extra 1 Million over Point.

  26. Think I solved both Pengy’s dilemma and this whole Marner debate

    to TML: Kessel, Letang, JJ and 4 1st rd picks
    to Pitts: Marner & Zaitsev ( and whatever other scapegoat you guys think of)

    Meet’s everyone’s needs.

    Pengy gets rid of JJ

    TML gets rid of scapegoat Zaitsev and gets a RD they desperately need.

    THey get their 1st rd picks for the ungrateful Marner for just wanting to earn his worth

    GM Ruth gets a young winger for Kessel, the bad guy who dares to stop a trade to where he does not want to work.

    TML gets 4 1sts and Pitts wont need them with the super center duo….

    Did I miss anything here?? Everyone wins right? Debate over? Let the season begin. =)

    • Yes you missed that Pengy is a Pens and a Leafs fan… 🤣 so the dilemma would continue

      • You can also get Dion at a discount!

    • LOL Kessell going back to Toronto that is awesome!

    • Hi IHC

      Ya Juss76 is right

      JJ as a Leaf or Pen hurts me to the core …. LOL

      Thanks for trying for me😃

  27. Flyers resign Brian Elliott for 1 yr, 2 million. I can live with that. It will give Felix Sandstrom a year in Lehigh to develop.

    • good move by Philly

    • Since leaving Ottawa 9 years ago, where they mistakingly looked at him as a starter, Elliott has put up some pretty damned good numbers as a reliable back-up. That’s a very good signing.

  28. So you want to trade Phat Phil, charmin soft one hit away from being done concussion prone stroked out Letang and a dman that no team in the universe wants and 4 picks for Marner, Zaitsev and an unknown?

    Good deal for the Pens, very bad deal for the Leafs.

    But I like the creativity and the dollars are pretty close to even as well.

    • Phat Phil, Kyle Dumbass…?

      Phat Phil and the “one hit away from being done concussion prone stroked out Letang” are both multiple cup winners playing kee parts in the Pens cup runs.

      I am sure your Flyers latest and greatest $7mil signing will bring them to cup.

      • Hayes has as much chance of bringing the Flyers a Cup as he does of walking on water.


  29. Humble apologies to one and all here.

    I’ve been Free Riding here for the last few weeks. Major initiatives and new clients for my firm. I have been reading and enjoying all posts, but I just haven’t had the time to contribute. I feel contributing is imperative if I expect to enjoy the shared thoughts, banter, and hockey experience/knowledge.

    I value this site for its informative nature (thanks Lyle for all of your efforts) and candour and sharing from all. Many different viewpoints enlightening us all. I share viewpoints with many and differ with some but gain insight every day from this site.

    So, thanks and again apologies for my free-riding lately.

    My thoughts of the day:

    Re Leafs and GMKD decisions:

    To me the issue is clear. Leafs last year were not good enough to be the Division Champs, let alone the EC Champs let alone getting to and winning the cup. Not good enough then. Re-signing the same team (just stay with me on this) would cost prob North of $90M (so impossible) and that team wasn’t good enough last year. So, change is needed, and change is happening.

    Setting aside the perceived value of MM; and set aside what some here believe as a slight by threatening to explore offer sheets (my viewpoint is that it is his right and why not) and whether he should or should not offer a home time discount or whether he will maximize total rev (including ads) by staying a Leaf; he WILL get market value. He won’t be south of $9.5m nor north of $13m next year. Anything in that range is still hefty for the Leafs and still w/o a D improvement… so team not better than last year; hence, IMO… not cup contenders.

    Arguments in comparing the top winger at $10.5 M (Kane) to determine fair mkt value, to me at least, are not sound comparing one on one in the here and now. Kane is top winger but signed $10.5 M when the Cap ceiling was much lower (so much higher percentage of Cap) and his first year at that $10.5M was when Patty was 27. Marner only turned 22 three weeks ago. The Cap this year fell lower than expected but the TV contracts coming up will have a massive push in Cap in 2 years IMO. I would not be surprised at $90M for ‘21/’22 (when Marner begins that year in middle of his prime, at 24 years of age). IMO, Marner will be performing then at/near the Kane level of now (Kane at 31) and still in prime… even undercutting slightly the %’age of Cap comparable Kane to Marner… $10M is low… add to that what he’s performed at for Leafs recently and comparing to others on the team; I stand with $10M being the lowest point of market value. $11 to $11.5 to me is market value; and there are a few teams more than willing to offer sheet that. Matching or not matching that offer to me is irrelevant to the Leafs. Accepting picks and then having to sign comparables is more uncertainty and more difficult with more changeover. Unless it gets uber crazy on the offer sheet (I’m not buying the $13M – $14M bandied around above) then Leafs should and will match.

    To improve the team, I stated many times before …. Move the Horton and Marleau contracts at whatever the market expects (half of that done now); trade Zaitz plus sweetener for cheaper bottom pairing Dman (frees up more cap space); and then trade WW for mid 20’s top 4 RHD; sign MM, Kappy, Johnnsson and one/two UFAs (preferably D). Balance of left-over Cap fills out team. Result…. Loss of WW production (wasn’t much last year and Leafs score at will, offence not an issue); but big improvement in D…. now Leafs have a chance at the cup.

    Alternately, after moving Horton contract, trade Mathews, WW, Ziatzev. Set aside who you will be trading them to; or if it takes 2 to 3 or even 4 moves(trade partners)… the result of those trades will be Mathews (gets a top 2 D , and a 3rd line C, and prospect, and still frees up Cap space); WW gets a top 4 mid 20’s RHD (and frees up cap space); Zaitsev + (prospect/pick) can return a bottom pairing D at cheaper Cap. Kadri becomes 2C; Leafs acquire 3C (in Mathews trade); and D has substantially improved (think in terms of addition of an OEL type plus another top 4 RHD mid 20’s player [WW trade]. Sign MM, Kappy, Johnson. Still have Cap room for UFA acquisitions and space for filling out rest of roster. Loss is major offensive production possibility of Mathews but the much more balanced 3 line approach, IMO, offsets that and Leafs still remain fine offensively. The D massively improves. With that — Leafs much much further along the development line to a SC.

    It is too bad a trade with Arz was not made prior to the Chi/Arz trade of Schmaltz for Strome and Perlini. If Schmaltz got that…. Mathews to Arz would have gotten OEL and Strome and Perlini (maybe more). That move would then have resulted in top 3 Cs : JT, Kadri and Strome; addition of OEL as top pairing Dman ; added bottom 6 winger that could stay a Leaf or be traded…. All basically for no change in Cap. Fill in as in above paragraph and Leafs under cap and a contender IMO. This trade with Arz obviously can’t happen after the fact but gives a show as to what values and returns can be had and used to build a competitor within the current cap constraint.

    Again, easiest/simplest is move Horton for futures; flip Zaitz and futures for bottom pairing D at less Cap; move WW for mid 20s top 4 RHD; extend MM, Kappy, Johnson; use available cap to fill out balance of team (within or through UFAs)…. Team then is already better than last year.

    I have to head back to meetings now but will read and enjoy all posts later tonight.

    Thanks again Lyle and everybody

    • I hope your new clients are a success for your firm and they are paying extra for keeping you away from contributing on this website . =)

      In all seriousness…good luck w/ your new clients. =)

      • Thanks IHC

        Good clients and a fellow hockey fans!…. albeit Flames (they’re Albertans)

    • That wasn’t a post , that was a book. lol

      • I’m beginning to think that might be Striker incognito!

      • Sorry Vinnie

        Had a short piece of time to throw out my points of view for the day …. got hit with the verbose fever 🥵

      • Nah

        Just little old me George


      • When I was in grade school there was this ornery principal who, if he gave you lines to write (he preferred the strap), instead of “I will not talk in class” he came up with “I am inebriated by the exuberance of my own verbosity” – a thousand times. I always held out for the strap.

  30. Lu retires
    Panthers will be left with a $1.09 million cap recapture penalty for the next three seasons, while the Vancouver Canucks, who signed Luongo to his current contract, will face a $3.03 million cap penalty for the next three years.

    • Everyone saw this coming the day the deal was signed. Luongo was a hell of a goalie and a class act so I wish him nothing but the best going forward.

    • A nice parting gift for the Canucks from Luongo for the superclassy way they drove him out of town.

  31. I don’t like the fact a player can retire on their on volition and still be a cap hit. That should be changed.

    • I don’t like the fact that teams can sign players to outrageously long contracts with no intent to fulfill it just so a player signs with their organization over another.

      • Bazinga!

  32. Trade Marner to the Sharks for Vlasic & a pick.

  33. Leafs should trade Marner to the Sharks for Vlasic & a pick.

    • Lmao, yah thats going to happen.

  34. B’s and Rangers fans would you do

    Krug , Heinen , Clifton & JFK rights for
    Kreider, Deangelo , Vesey ??

    • Both Kreider and Vesey will be ufa’s as wells as Krug in a year. So your asking for Clifton, Heinen and JFK for Deangelo. I think i’ll pass on that. thanks for asking though

    • No thank you from one Bruins fans perspective.