NHL Rumor Mill – September 15, 2019
Updates on Brayden Point, Mikko Rantanen, Ondrej Kase, and Julius Honka in today’s NHL rumor mill.
MARNER CONTRACT WON’T AFFECT POINT AND RANTANEN CONTRACT TALKS
THE ATHLETIC: Joe Smith believes Mitch Marner’s new contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs won’t affect the Tampa Bay Lightning’s negotiations with Brayden Point. Smith’s colleague Pierre LeBrun reported the two sides are far apart, with the Lightning’s offer believed to be a three-year bridge deal worth $5.7-million annually. Marner inked a six-year deal worth over $10.893 million per season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Smith indicates the Lightning have over $8.4 million in cap space for this season. That’s more than enough to re-sign Point to a much higher annual average value but Smith points out the Bolts are also looking beyond this season. They’ve got over $67 million invested in 13 players for 2020-21. Whatever can be saved from re-signing Point will be put toward a pending RFA like Mikhail Sergachev, Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak.
COLORADO HOCKEY NOW: Adrian Dater reports Marner’s contract won’t influence the Avalanche’s negotiations with winger Mikko Rantanen. He cited sources within the club indicating they won’t follow the Leafs example.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly indicates the Avalanche have over $15 million in salary-cap space. They have plenty of room if they want to invest over $10 million annually in Rantanen on a long-term deal.
GM Joe Sakic has indicated he’s will to be flexible on a long-term contract or a bridge deal. However, there’s speculation suggesting they don’t want to invest more than $9 million in the 22-year-old winger. Sakic is looking beyond this season, while players such as Gabriel Landeskog, Cale Makar, Philipp Grubauer, Nikita Zadorov and Tyson Jost will need to be re-signed over the next two years.
DUCKS GM BLASTS KASE TRADE SPECULATION
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER: Elliott Teaford reports Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray implied Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon leaked the name of winger Ondrej Kase as the player his club wanted in exchange for defenseman Justin Faulk. Murray acknowledged he’s in the market for a right-shot defenseman but declined to say who he might be targeting or willing to part with.
Teaford believes Faulk didn’t get the seven-year contract offer from the Ducks that would’ve prompted him to waive his no-trade clause. Kase, meanwhile, claims to be unfazed by the rumor. He’s putting his focus on returning to form following off-season surgery to repair a torn labrum.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Looks like things have cooled significantly from last week when the Hurricanes and Ducks reportedly had a deal in principle that merely required Faulk’s blessing. If the Ducks aren’t willing to give the blueliner the contract he wants, this proposed trade is probably dead on arrival.
CANADIENS INTERESTED IN HONKA
SPORTSNET: Eric Engels reports the Montreal Canadiens are among several clubs interested in Julius Honka. The 23-year-old defenseman last week requested a trade from the Dallas Stars.
It’s believed the Canadiens prefer a player-for-player deal rather than a player-for-draft pick swap. The Carolina Hurricanes are also said to be interested in Honka.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Cap Friendly lists Honka, a restricted free agent, as a right defenseman. The Habs could use more depth on the left side unless they’re concerned over the health of right-side blueliner Noah Juulsen. Perhaps they simply want more depth in their system.