NHL Rumor Mill – July 9, 2019
The latest on Mitch Marner and Jesse Puljujarvi in today’s NHL rumor mill.
MORE MARNER OFFER SHEET SPECULATION
THE HOCKEY NEWS: Ken Campbell believes we could be waiting a while for a rival club to sign Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner to an offer sheet. He said there are, or have been, teams that were/are serious about making an offer to the 22-year-old Marner. He also feels two teams already made offers, with the winger rejecting them because he didn’t like the destinations.
Campbell suggests it might be better for interested clubs to wait. Signing Marner in July gives the Leafs too much time to make sufficient moves to match the offer. Campbell also believes Marner doesn’t wish to sign a long-term deal. He suggests either a one-year, $14-million contract or a five-year deal with an annual average value worth over $11 million could put the Leafs into a bind.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Marner situation could drag on throughout the summer. Not many teams can afford to pony up over $11 million annually. Cap Friendly indicates the Colorado Avalanche, Winnipeg Jets, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, and St. Louis Blues all carry over $12 million in cap space. However, that doesn’t mean any of them will go for it.
The Avalanche must re-sign winger Mikko Rantanen, whose new contract will eat up a good chunk of their cap space. The Jets have to re-sign Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. The Senators would probably love to snatch Marner from the Leafs but I doubt he’s interested in joining them.
Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski is due for a healthy raise. The Flyers must re-sign Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Scott Laughton. The Blues have several RFAs to re-sign, including goaltender Jordan Binnington. The Devils also have several RFAs to sign, such as Pavel Zacha and Will Butcher.
Perhaps one of these clubs will get creative to pitch a suitable offer sheet to Marner. Given their various cap situations and their restricted free agents, it’s unlikely any of them could pull it off.
PULJUJARVI CAMP STILL SEEKS A TRADE
TSN: Jesse Puljujarvi faces an uncertain future with the Edmonton Oilers. His agent, Markus Lehto, said the club hiring a new general manager and a new coach hasn’t swayed the 21-year-old winger to reconsider his trade request. “Sometimes a player and a team are not a fit. This seems to be the case here. Nothing radical about it.”
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Kurt Leavins believes Puljujarvi won’t be playing for the Oilers in 2019-20. He notes there was a recent report linking the winger to the Los Angeles Kings. Leavins doubts that transpires as former Oilers coach Todd McLellan is now the Kings’ bench boss.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Oilers GM Ken Holland is believed listening to offers for Puljujarvi but he’ll want a decent return. That could be tough to find as the winger’s struggles with the Oilers has hurt his trade value.
Unless Holland can package Puljujarvi in a larger deal he probably won’t find many takers. If a trade isn’t possible Puljujarvi could face returning with the Oilers this season or signing with a European club.