Why The Delay Signing This Summer’s Top NHL RFAs?

by | Jul 24, 2019 | Soapbox | 10 comments



  1. Cap space, Your welcome.

    • More to it than that, but thanks for the hot take.

      • How about collusion among the GM’s and/or player agents, Lyle?

      • Can you cite a specific example of collusion?

  2. Lyle, we could probably cite 10 different reasons and a case could be made for each and every one of them as to why signings have dragged on this long for what I consider as these Top 7 among unsigned RFAs – and in the order of their ability/potential IMHO – showing their ELC cap hits and stats from last season:

    Rantanen – Colorado – $894,167 – 31g 56a 87 pts in 74gp
    Point – Tampa Bay – $686,667 – 41g 51a 92 pts in 82gp
    Marner – Toronto – $894,167 – 26g 68a 94 pts in 82gp
    Tkachuk – Calgary – $925,000 – 34g 43a 77 pts in 80gp
    Boeser – Vancouver – $925,000 – 26g 30a 56 pts in 69gp
    Connor – Winnipeg – $925,000 – 34g 32a 66 pts in 82gp
    Laine – Winnipeg $925,000 – 30g 20a 50 pts in 82gp

    My view is, everyone’s waiting for the first shoe to drop because once the first of the above signs it sets the bar for the others. On the surface, Winnipeg might seem to be in the most precarious position simply because they are the only team with 2 although, again IMHO, Laine’s inconsistency drops him to the bottom of the list and I think he and his agent are dreaming in technicolor if they think they are in the same class as the first 6. In fact, right now and until he shows otherwise, I put him barely above Konecny of Philadelphia ($894,167 – 24g 25a 49 pts) and not even in the same class as the other 6.

    • It could well be that most are waiting for the other shoe to drop, as you put it, George. However, in Marner’s case, it’s clear his agent believes his client is worth Auston Matthews/John Tavares money. The Leafs apparently are willing to offer up in the $10.5 million range but that could be their limit. What Marner gets won’t affect what Laine gets any more than what Rantanen gets will affect what Boeser receives.

      • Well, maybe. I mean I don’t expect Boeser to come close to Rantanen’s settlement, any more than I think Laine will settle for something close to Marner, but one could be a gauge of sorts for comparison by the agents.

        So far the biggest RFA names to be signed are Aho in Carolina ($8,454,000 per for 5 years – and that took an offer sheet to drive it home), J.T. Compher of Colorado ($3.5 mil per for 4 years) and Timo Meier of SJ ($6 mil per for 4 years).

        Of the 3, probably Meier’s deal is being used more as a comparison, although what Aho got, in a round-about way, is also likely entering conversations.

  3. It may be a wait and see; it may be just strategic planning; it may be slower talks; it may “waiting for the shoe to drop”; I don’t see all holdouts being for the same reason

    I do however believe a relatively quicker pace of signings once one of the “top tier” RFAs sign

    I don’t see a high probability of MM signing pre game 1; first week of season IMO is a much higher probability…. GMKD is destined as at now to place himself at start of season with a bucket load of LTIR (two permanent LTIRs and Hyman and Deemott) so even with the “exponentially “ “escalating” first year Cap hit(see last year’s WW hit) ; he’s safe at least until mid Oct on a MM contract

    I’m very excited to see how all of this (various key RFAs still to be signed) plays out

    In the mean time …. many UFAs still out there

  4. Calgary just signed Bennett to 2 years at $2,550,000 per – that reduces their cap space to $7,423,292 and they still need to sign Tkachuk, Rittich and Mangiapane. Something has to give there.

    • If Mangiapane just re-signed for the same $705.000 that reduces their cap space to just over $6.7 mil. No way they get both Rittich and Tkachuk to re-up. The former should get at least what Bennett received, leaving around $4.2 to ink Tkachuk. Even dropping several contracts to the AHL doesn’t give them enough and they don’t have a Clarkson/Horton contract to draw upon.

      They’re in as tough as the NYR right now.