NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – August 5, 2019

by | Aug 5, 2019 | News, NHL | 12 comments

Updates on Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, Alex Ovechkin, and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines.

TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said contract negotiations with winger Mitch Marner remain status quo.

“I think the reality is, it’s the status quo with all these types of players throughout the league. There doesn’t seem to be anything really transpiring, and as it gets into August, it’s kind of into a bit of a slog where there doesn’t seem to be any real progress. You don’t even hear of any progress in any of the other situations.”

Marner, 22, is a restricted free agent. He’s indicated he won’t attend training camp without a contract though his preference is to be there.

No progress to report in Mitch Marner’s contract negotiations with the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Status quo would apply to all of this summer’s top restricted agents. Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving recently expressed his hope of getting winger Matthew Tkachuk under contract before training camp opens next month but had nothing new to report. 

Treliving’s view is likely shared by his peers with RFA stars of their own to re-sign. Those include Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, Winnipeg’s Patrick Laine and Kyle Connor, Vancouver’s Brock Boeser, Columbus’ Zach Werenski, and Boston’s Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. 

Money and contract term are likely the main sticking points. Marner is believed seeking a four-to-five year deal comparable in salary to Auston Matthew’s $11.6 million annual average value. Tkachuk and Rantanen could each receive over $9 million per, Point over $8 million and Laine over $7 million. The Vancouver Sun’s Ben Kuzma recently told TSN Radio Vancouver that Boeser’s camp seeks $7 million annually.

The expectation is everyone’s waiting to see what happens with Marner. I expect they’ll only wait so long. Once the calendar flips to September, we could see most of these RFAs rush to sign new contract before training camp opens. 

NBC SPORTS WASHINGTON: Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin received a warm welcome as he was greeted by fans upon his arrival in China. He’s in that country this week serving as an NHL ambassador.

SPORTSNET: Goaltender Cam Talbot reflected upon a difficult 2018-19 campaign that saw him lose the starter’s job in Edmonton, leading to a trade to Philadelphia where he saw little playing time with the Flyers. Talbot hopes to get his career back on track this season with the Calgary Flames.



  1. Lyle. How does the ltir work? Do teams have to wait until season opens to get cap relief? If so, how can Toronto even sign Marner before season starts? According to cap friendly they’re already almost 3 mil over. Signing Marner would take them way over 10% allowance.

    • Teams can place players on LTIR during the off-season. However, the cap-relief formula is different compared to when they put them on LTIR for the regular season. By placing Nathan Horton and David Clarkson on LTIR, they’ll be able to exceed the cap ceiling once they re-sign Marner.

    • Slick62, go to cap friendly, click on Armchair GM, then click on create a team, then on the Maple Leaf logo, make a team name, click continue.

      You’ll now see cap friendly has a roster size of 27. Cap space at that roster size is $2,897,199 over. The maximum roster size is 23, so you’ll need to click and drag four players down. Start by clicking Horton and Clarkson, and dragging them to LTIR, then Hyman and Dermott, since they’ll be starting the season on LTIR too.

      You now have $10,766,134 in cap space.

      • I highly doubt the plan is to open the season with all 4 on LTIR . Imo the day they acquired Clarkson was the day marner wasn’t getting signed before opening night .
        Using cap friendly and shifting guys to the minors with an opening night 23 man roster without marner can come in at pennies from the cap ceiling . Shifting Clarkson and Horton on that day , while pressed as close to the ceiling as possible would be the best way to open up the 10.55 million . There new cap ceiling would be 91.65 million or so. Getting marner under that number seems to be the trouble. Moving dermott would be a last resort but would complicate matters when he returns .
        Signing him before opening night at this point would require another big trade or two which I don’t see coming .

      • Good answer, Bear.

  2. “Money and contract term are likely the main sticking points. Marner is believed seeking a four-to-five year deal comparable in salary to Auston Matthew’s $11.6 million annual average value. Tkachuk and Rantanen could each receive over $9 million per, Point over $8 million and Laine over $7 million.”

    Thats right Marner is 2.6 million more, good grief what a joke.

    • Thing is, Marner is the highest scoring forward on a team with two guys making $11+. As far as his camp is concerned, how can it be argued he’s worth less when he puts up more points?

      Comparatively, Tkachuk wasn’t the leading scorer on a team where the top paid player is $6.75. I see him coming in around Aho’s $8.5 because of the defensive ability, but hes probably looking at Stone as a comparable.

      • Last season Mitch Marner scored 26 goals a career high. He’s a winger not a center. How many games did Austin Mathews miss because of injury.

    • Gary the reason is market and right now all we are hearing is just noise. When you look at t6e other RFAs, Marner, I don’t think is as important to the team as some of the other guys and a few of them will probably be the face of the franchise.

      Is it fair all we hear about Marner and the Leafs? Not really but it is what it is. Btw is it October yet?

  3. Both Jets and Bruins have 2 key RFAs to sign so I would place their “urge” to get things going; ahead of the rest

    Bruins with 2 key D ( great young D I might add; in Carlo and MacIvoy) are in the most tenuous position.

    Bruins certainly can’t wait too long to get at least one of the two young D signed

    Bruins might also have to move out somebody to get Cap space

    • No deal Pengy.
      We dont need JJ in Beantown either.
      (Sorry, force of habit)