NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – September 29, 2019

by | Sep 29, 2019 | News, NHL | 13 comments

The Avalanche re-sign Mikko Rantanen and the Jets ink Kyle Connor. Details and more in today’s NHL morning coffee headlines. 

THE DENVER POST: The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Mikko Rantanen to a six-year, $55.5-million contract. Cap Friendly indicates the annual average value is $9.25 million. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed winger Kyle Connor to a seven-year, $50-million deal with an AAV of $7.14 million

The Colorado Avalanche re-signed winger Mikko Rantanen to a six-year deal (Photo via NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: And with that, the last two notable restricted free agents are finally under contract. Both players missed training camp and preseason action but are expected to rejoin their respective clubs as the curtain rises this week on the 2019-20 regular season. It’ll be interesting to see what effect their absences will have upon their early-season performance.

As for the contracts, they’re worthwhile long-term deals for the two sides. Both players get long-term security. Rantanen becomes the highest-paid player on the Avalanche on a front-loaded deal paying him $12 million annually this season and next in real salary ($34 million over the first three seasons) while Connor becomes the second-highest paid forward on the Jets. 

The Avs and Jets each get an important young player under a contract that could turn out to be a long-term bargain. Rantanen is coming off back-to-back 80-point performances while the two-way Connor netted 30-plus goals in each of the last two seasons. The 22-year-olds are core players entering their playing prime with their best seasons still to come. What looks expensive today could look cost-effective in a few years. 

TRIBLIVE.COM: Pittsburgh Penguins forwards Sidney Crosby and Bryan Rust suffered undisclosed injuries blocking shots in last night’s preseason loss to the Buffalo Sabres. Coach Mike Sullivan said both were being evaluated and more info could be available today. Speaking of the Sabres, Connor Sheary missed the game with a lower-body injury and remains day-to-day. 

VANCOUVER SUN: Canucks winger Brock Boeser and defenseman Oscar Fantenberg skated in practice with their teammates yesterday. Both have been sidelined by concussions since Monday. 

WASHINGTON POST: Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny (hamstring) remains doubtful for the club’s season opener on Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues. 

LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL’s David Schoen reports Golden Knights winger Alex Tuch is week-to-week with an upper-body injury while Cody Eakin is day-to-day. 

THE SCORE: The Calgary Flames released Devante Smith-Pelly from his professional tryout offer. 

TSN: The Toronto Maple Leafs placed blueliners Ben Harpur and Jordan Schmaltz on waivers for the purpose of sending them to the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. 


  1. The Crosby/Rust situations must have sent a cold shudder up and down the backs of Pengy, blackngold, Deee and Chrisms last night. Let’s hope both are minor dings.

    • Reports are Crosby was limping leaving the arena but not needing crutches or a boot or anything. Sounds like a bruise. 🤞

      Rust … hey. If he’s out longer they bought time to figure out cap situation

      • Rust has gotta stop acting like Bobby Ryan and trying to block shots with his hand 🙂

      • 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞that it’s just a bruise

        That was good to see (that is was only limping w/o boot on)

        We can’t have Rust out to figure out Cap situation … it must be settled with a JJ exodus…. please , pretty please , and thank you

    • Indeed it did George O.it certainly did.. Sidney skated lightly today left practice still sore not sure on Rust!!! Why the hell they were in the line-up to begin with is a mystery and stupidity..

      Yobe from the athletic reports Rutherford has been transparent with jack Johnson saying a trade is imminent in the next 48 hours. Reports two teams willing to take on Johnson’s whole contract of course they didn’t say what two teams they were..

      more moves to follow that……pens need to get better defensively period..

  2. Just in case I’m confused. Marner is 15% better than Rantenan and 60% better than Connor. Also Connor and Nylander are equal. Therefore, with such valuable players, the Leafs should be cup favorites.

    • Crushton

      No confusion from me

      SCF last year saw only 3 players making North of $7.0M ; plus in exactly at $7.0 (Rask) and max Sal at $7.5 M (RoR & Teresenko)

      Spread the wealth; depth and balance ; good D; good goaltending

      I’m a Leaf fan and still say no chance for Cup as is (for June ‘20), so opportunity is ‘21-‘24 and D improvement a must

      However no space to improve D next summer as at now …. a Fed with big $’s must be traded for cheaper (Cap hit) top 4 D …. I say WW after his SB paid 1/7/20… then only owed $2.5 M next year and effective cash owed is $5.1 M per for balance of contract …. that should easily bring back top 4 D at $5M Cap or less


      • Fwd not Fed

  3. The Rantanen contract surely shows that when it comes to negotiations, Dubas has no idea of what players are worth.
    It doesn’t matter what The cap will rise by in a few years time. Overpaying players now, when it leaves no room for upgrades elsewhere, or to sign your defense next year, is going to hurt in the long run.

    • And there you have it all signed before the season starts.

      I said Rantanen would be first (wrong) and Connor last (right) picked Rantanen first because I thought Sakic would get it done and didn’t expect Rantanen to sign for as much as he did.

      Connor last because of Chevy previous negotiations with rfa’s and thought Laine was his first priority.

      Crosby injury and hopefully it’s nothing is why I don’t think star players should be blocking shots.

      • Caper

        Good news re 87

        Not major as at least he got dressed and did take a lap at practice …. left right away though … but that tells me that it’s bruising only and nothing broken or long term …. will he miss opener ????

        At least not out long term

        Better news…, JJ was actually formally told yesterday by Rutherford that he (GMJR) is working on several deals now and multiple deals being worked on include JJ (source SB Nation)

        SB Nation also says that Ducks could be one team

        …. HELLLLLLLLOOOOOO…. Murray …. please please please …. RK for JJ …. your paying RK $4.0 M + to retire 3 years early…. money for nothing

    • I’m glad I’m not a Maple Leafs fan. That’s such a tough market. Hockey is such a big deal in Toronto and everyone there is always under the microscope. I thought it was nuts for Rantanen, Laine, Connor, and Point to sit back and wait for Marner to set the market. I figured the Leafs didn’t have a lot of cap space and would play hardball with Marner, but they were right to wait. Dubas doesn’t have the luxury to sit back and wait it out like GMs in other towns do.

    • We’re dòomed, I tell ya, doomed! How will we ever watch Leaf games now? It’s a tragedy.