NHL Rumor Mill – September 21, 2019

by | Sep 21, 2019 | Rumors | 45 comments

Updates on Mikko Rantanen, Justin Faulk, and Rasmus Ristolainen in today’s NHL rumor mill.


TSN: cited The Athletic’s Ryan S. Clark reporting “it is understood” the Colorado Avalanche are looking at signing Mikko Rantanen to a six- to eight-year contract worth between $8.4 million and $8.75 million.

How much will it cost the Colorado Avalanche to re-sign winger Mikko Rantanen? (Photo via NHL Images)

On Thursday, Pierre LeBrun reported the Avs made a long-term offer to the 22-year-old winger earlier this month but there’s been little progress since. LeBrun said the Avalanche are unwilling to pay Rantanen a deal comparable to Mitch Marner’s six-year contract ($10.9 million annual average value) with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Some observers wondered if Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen might attempt to sign Rantanen to an offer sheet. LeBrun doubts that will happen. While the Jackets have plenty of cap space, the Avalanche have much more and would easily match it.

COLORADO HOCKEY NOW’s Adrian Dater subsequently took to Twitter citing Rantanen’s agent, Mike Liut, calling reports about a possible deal between $8.4 to $8.75 million “inaccurate.”

Dater reports the Rantanen camp seeks around $9.5 million annually. He believes something “like a five-year, $47.5 million offer would close a deal right now. Or, a two-year, $19 million offer would close a deal right now. Or a three-year, $28.5 million offer would close a deal right now.” Beyond five years is harder to nail down.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Avs could be trying to keep as much long-term cap space open as possible for other significant signings (Gabe Landeskog, Cale Makar, Tyson Jost, Nikita, Zadorov, to name a few) over the next two years. Maybe the two sides will agree to something closer to $9 million than $9.5 million.

Don’t expect anyone to try and offer sheet Rantanen. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $15.6 million in cap space, more than enough to match an offer right now.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently reported it’s widely known Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk is available while the Buffalo Sabres are listening to offers for blueliner Rasmus Ristolainen, who would apparently welcome a change of scenery.

A potential trade that would’ve sent Faulk to the Anaheim Ducks fell through. Sources claim the Ducks checked in with the Sabres on Ristolainen but the asking price was high. Given the Winnipeg Jets’ depleted blueline and uncertainty over Dustin Byfuglien’s future, it would make sense for them to be monitoring Faulk or Ristolainen.

LeBrun also noted the Columbus Blue Jackets could be moving a defenseman in the coming weeks. He speculated left-side blueliner Ryan Murray and right-side rearguard David Savard would attract the most interest. One source recently said the Florida Panthers could be in the market for a left-side shutdown d-man but it’s not an urgent need.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Despite the trade speculation swirling around Faulk, he told NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti he’s blocking out the rumors and preparing for the upcoming season as a member of the Hurricanes. It could take time to move Faulk but I think he’s aware his days are numbers in Carolina. Much will depend upon whether the Canes can get a decent return and their own blueline depth.

Same goes for Ristolainen. If Bradon Montour’s recent hand injury turns out to be more serious than expected, Ristolainen won’t be going anywhere for a while.


  1. This is where Columbus should submit an offer sheet, if they want to become a competitive team again.

    Point – 7 years x $8.5M AAV
    Rantanen – 7 years x $9M AAV
    Laine – 7 years x $10M AAV

    Either one of those players they need to grab, because running with Dubinsky, Foligno, Nyqvist and Nash is only band-aiding their team at becoming a bottom feeder again. They need to focus around:

    Anderson, Bjorkstrand, Dubois, Jenner, Wennberg, Jones, Werenski, Korpisalo, Foudy, Texier, and Milano.

    Then add in the likes of one of the above RFA’s signed to an offer sheet, and they’re getting back into business.

    • The Jackets won’t be offer sheeting anyone. Dubi will have his contract bought out by next summer, potentially earlier, depending on how prospects do. Foligno, the team captain, is going nowhere as his value to the team goes beyond his on ice stars. Also, you are ignoring contracts. Three of the players you identified as core players will become RFAs in the next 2 years. That is the major reason the Jackets have not chased big name UFAs and why they aren’t going to sign anyone to an offer sheet.

    • Columbus doesn’t have the picks too offer sheet anyone on less they go 10.8 mil. That would cost 4 first rounders.

      • Bill is correct. The Blue Jackets could only give Rantanen an offer sheet above $10.568 M because they own their next four first round picks. They couldn’t go below that because the compensation would be 1st, 2nd, and 3rd round picks in 2020 and Columbus doesn’t own their 2nd and 3rd round picks next year. Per CapFriendly, Columbus only has $10,765 M in cap space, so a Rantanen contract would put them right up against the cap.

    • rants at 7x $9mil would be matched in less than 5mins by avs….

      • Agree. The only thing an OS would accomplish is forcing Sakic’s hand. Much like the Aho fiasco.

    • you can forget Point. The RFA has to agree to the contract and why in the world would he want to go to Columbus?

      • Well, Columbus did not knock off TB

      • Same could be said before Bobrovsky picked Florida…you and others would have said “why in the world would he want to go to Florida?”. Especially when Columbus was a better team than Florida!

    • Good morning

      Tampa Bay

      I thought that the Marner situation was sticky to say the least …but I was wrong ..the Brayden Point situation is the most difficult …

      Tampa getting both Stamkos Headman and Kucherov under $10 million was strategic…so Brayeden Point in my opinion has ZERO chance to make more than them annually..I just don’t see it !

      Where as with Marner he is the Kucherov Stamkos leader of that team ..and all other contracts will come bellow Marner Tavares and Matthews …Point for as good as he is and the way that Tampa is operating should not be making more than Stamkos and Kucherov and that is going to be a MAJOR ISSUE here ….as he is asking for Marner money PLUS maybe …..which puts him in a no win situation….I just do not see how Tampa would pay Point more AAV than those 2 guys !

      Also with Tampa …the signing of Brayden Coburn is an issue for the cap ..they should never have signed him again ..there was no need …they needed that money in other areas as speaking above ..picking up Shattenkirk and having Cernak emerging was the way to go ..but Coburn is now occupying a very valuable $1.5 million in cap space that is needed elsewhere once Point is signed !

      In another scenario Ken Holland needs to get off his BUTT and put an offer in for Laine …he has assets to do so ..such as RNH Klefbomb and possibly Nurse in any order with a draft pick to get a deal done !

      McDavid could use sniper on his wing !

      Thsi should be a serious play by the Oilers and make a pitch that is hard to refuse to the Jets !

      Just my 2 cents here ..but the Oilers are going NO WHERE with only Draistil and Mc David as we have all ready seen ! THANKS


      • Pengy, IMO the Oil needs to focus on keeping the puck out of their net and getting their cap down to a reasonable #.
        Moving quality players like Nurse, Klefbom or RNH is simply creating another hole. Whack a mole. And for a guy who plays the game the opposite way they want to.
        Next year they get some cap relief, the year after even more.
        Let their D core develop into an area of strength, which I think it will in a couple years, and add the winger(s) then if required.
        Yes they need to build some depth on the wing but not at the expense of C or D.
        As tough as it is for OIler fans to be patient even longer I do think it is the best plan.
        Tippet may just get this team into the playoffs, not a contender, but maybe the playoffs. Needs some saves more than anything.

      • Trading for Laine is not a bad idea. It may have the unintended consequences of getting Puljujarvi back in the fold and playing up to his potential.

      • In regards to Tampa and the cap, I think the big issue is Vasilevskiy
        When his 9.5 million dollar extension kicks in next season the Bolts will need to trade away at least 2, more likely 3 of their top 6 players that mike around 4-5mil
        Not only will that severely affect the team but aside from that, with all the teams pushing the cap limit every team looking to clear cap space will only have 2 or 3 options for trade partners
        I’ve already heard rumors that the cap won’t go up much this next season
        Looks like hard times ahead

      • If you want to get PJ going then Aho might be the guy.
        Looking back on the World Juniors when those 3 dominates as draft eligible guys, the guy who went 3rd looks to be the best player.
        Most pundits and scouts thought that Aho was the beneficiary of the other 2, turns out it may be the other way around.
        Wonder who Carolina would give up for PJ?
        Likely not much.

      • In regards to TB having to trade guys next year to accommodate Vasilevskiy’s extension, they have handcuffed themselves with all the NMC/NTCs they have handed out. Next season they will have 9 players with one or the other. Next year they currently have 2 guys with no conditions on their contract and at $1.7m and $1.65m it’s not nearly enough to clear the needed space. Not counting Point they have $62m committed to 9 guys.
        And which players are going to agree to a trade knowing that they are basically taking a pay cut unless they are moved to another team that has no state income tax?

      • Ray

        Late to the game today; Just reading your post way above

        You hit reply to Kal El but in your response you started out with my name;

        “Pengy, IMO the Oil needs to focus on keeping the puck out of their net and getting their cap down to a reasonable #.”

        I’m thinking that was typo ? Maybe? LOL

        Kal El mentioned the other day about driving his kids to school…. so he’s probably in his 30’s ; outside early 40’s

        …. nice wish for me… I’m in my late 50’s

        I’m fixated with “The Exodus of JJ”; Kal El couldn’t care less

        I agree with you Ray …, wrt Oil….D and goal

        I’m a huge fan of Nurse’s …. would love him as a Leaf or Penguin

        Deal would have to be “an offer he can’t refuse”

        ….. Larrsson for Hall???? 😁

      • Pengy oops! I think I have done that before too.
        On the bright side I can hide my own Easter Eggs next year.

      • 👍

    • Your kidding right, Laine over Raantanen over Point? Its the other way around. Its Point over Rantanen over Laine. If I was Columbus I would go for Point, How about 8X11,5, that would be tough for Tampa and it makes Columbus that much better……..if they could just get a good goalie

      • If you’re replying to me, I wasn’t placing those 3 players in order of who is better (priority)! But to almost assure themselves of getting Point, you can go up a little more…BUT NOT $11.5M!!! Maybe 7 x $9.75M. That is $1.3M over what Tampa currently has in cap space. Oh…and by all means, list a good goalie that is out there. Because a few other teams are looking for the same; Vancouver, Calgary, Buffalo, Arizona, Edmonton…and to some degree; Colorado, NYI, Detroit, Ottawa, New Jersey and Carolina!

    • If I am not mistaken the AAV calculated for the acquiring team on a 7 year contract would be the total value of the contract divided by 5 (not 7). That would push the cap hit up considerably. Can someone clarify this for me.

      • https://www.capfriendly.com/offer-sheet-calculator

        If an offer sheet is made to a player the AAV for purposes of determining draft pick compensation is total $$ dived by the lesser of 5 years or length of contract

  2. If Mike Liut is using Marner’s contract as a comparable , this could drag out which does neither the player, the team or the league any good.

  3. I wonder when there will be a team that decides to make an example of a major player and let them sit without a contract for a season?
    Is it correct to assume the player will never be able to make up for the loss of salary for one year? Or will they play overseas and be able to make up the salary difference in their next NHL contract?

    • I don’t think they will make up the salary difference Nasdaq. Could be wrong, but is the player more valuable after a year away from the NHL?
      Basically the player hopes the team really misses them. If the team doesn’t, then oops, I have a problem.
      It is the only leverage the player has so they are using it.
      Bridge seems like the compromise to get them to arbitration. COL and TB do business a certain way and that is trying to manage the cap to ice the best team possible. I agree with that as that is their job IMO. Also need your best players to win now.
      Do they hang tough and let the player sit? Glad it isn’t me making the call.

    • Hi Nasdaq40

      The best opportunity was last year with WW

      If Dubas had sat him; Dubas then had a better upper hand when eventually finalizing the deal; and then had more negotiating power with AM and MM

      If WW had sat; he’d have then signed for much less than the 7 he got it may have been a bridge; AND IMO absolutely no way AM get $11.6 M and able to walk to UFA; and therefore MM doesn’t hold out and doesn’t get the contract he now has…. and if MM doesn’t hold out … perhaps Rats , Point , Laine, Tkachuk, Connor are already signed and at training camp

      One precedent has affected a lot of outcomes IMHO

      • If I can get WN in the late 2nd/early 3rd round of our snake draft I’m taking him.
        I peg him at 80 plus pts this year.
        I am being serious when I predict he will be better value, cap wise, than Marner for the term of their deals.
        Different players but there shouldn’t be close to $3M separating them.
        WN may even turn out to be a better player. Isn’t today, but could be.

  4. Here’s a big trade proposal;

    Tkachuk and Jankowski for Point.

    Sign Point for a 7 year deal at 9 million per year.
    They could get the cap space by putting Valimaki’ on LTIR.

  5. It has taken me a while to adjust to the Marner contract…..as many of you know I opposed overpaying him and felt that any contract over 9.5 would harm the Leafs…I thought then and think now that Dubas is in over his head, though he did land Tavares for nothing but money….as a Leaf fan I hope I am wrong..but I feel structural damage has been done to the franchise

    Now other organizations must be reeling at the comparative analysis….Boston did a great job holding McAvoy & Carlo at low levels….I cannot see the Leaf model of stacking salaries on 4 guys while hoping some minimum wagers will happily fill in the gaps…

    The only positives I can see in the situation is the idea of overpaying for futures (RFAs) is better than the great majority of experiences of overpaying for past performances ( eg Alan Ladd)….the other positive I see is that all of Matthews, Nylander, and Marner are tradeable ( in Marner’s case with money being held back)…if the fecal matter hits the fan there are outs from the bad situation

    The Leafs have made decisions that indicate they believe their window is now…. to this Leaf fan the window is opaque at best..certainly not clear

    • Old blue dog sometimes, like me, you show your age with unintended references to names that go right over the heads of some of the younger set here, but stick out to old crocks like me. I refer to “Alan Ladd” rather than “Andrew Ladd”

      Shane ….. come back Shane …… 🙂

      By the way I hope the Leafs have a great year – took them in our pool which provides for a combination of drafting a complete team with individual players from the undrafted teams. I had 2nd pick.

    • But are they tradeable, OBD? Even if a big chunk of money has been paid up front the cap hit is still huge, isn’t it?

      And I can’t see the cap going up so much in the next several years that it would make a difference to the receiving team. Then there is the issue of internal equity, which is at play in Colorado and Winnipeg. It’s hard to move big contracts.

    • It will get much harder next year when the Leafs lose the LTIR space of Horton and Clarkson ($10.55m). With only one defenseman signed, do you see the Leafs trading for a couple more LTIR contracts? They have a projected $15m in space with only 12 players signed and no LTIR to rely on.

      • Sorry, I don’t get your logic. How would losing those contracts hurt them? Isn’t extra cap space so how does it hurt them to lose it?

  6. George …you are right about aging and the unclear expression of thoughts….what is really tricky about it that only sometimes do you catch yourself…and sometimes when you catch yourself you were not wrong in the first place….as guys our age know too well….it beats the alternative…..

    Glad to see you have a small amount of optimism about the Leafs….I do too…..but would had more if they held the line on Marner…..I never thought the Nylander contract was too bad unlike others

    Hope you enjoyed the flashback to Alan Ladd….did you know he was so short that they sometimes had to dig a hole/ditch for his counter part to stand in so the scene would look right on the screen..

    • Wow, you boys are old. I had to google him and I ain’t young.
      When I hear the name Ladd, my mind goes to Cheryl. Thanks for that by the way.

      • Ray, Cheryl Ladd? You call that old?
        I’ll see your Cheryl and raise you Esther Williams.

      • It smells like moth balls, denture grip, And pee over here.

      • The risk of sharting increases with age as well Chrisms.

      • BC, I actually knew who she was. Don’t meet many ladies named Esther anymore.

      • I’m in my thirties. Sharting is a universal day to day risk.

    • LOL. Yeah, or if inside a building of some sort, a box to stand on.

    • OBD and George

      I had to look him up too.

      I’d never heard of him….

      He was born prior to WWI and died when I was still in diapers

      BC Leaf Fan

      Esther Williams ??? I thought you were in around my age

      She was probably a looker in her bathing suit pre-technicolor !

      …. but my choice for beauty in a bathing suit is Phoebe Cates …. Fast Times at Ridgemount High …. Diving board scene …. in the words of Eric Idle ….. “ say no more squire”

  7. I mentioned it the other day. A very reliable source told me personally that both Calgary and TBAY are low balling a bridge deal. As in closer to $4.75 average than the widely reported $9 +. Cant see either player accepting that. The eventual deal will be closer to the low end rather than the high side. An impasse may be a while.
    Rantanen situation should be different as there are lots of money in play.
    Winnipeg who knows what’s going on there. If Buff comes back after Thanksgiving he will weigh in at 268

    • Wow, if that is true I could see both players missing the whole year unless the teams bump up their offer.
      I really suspected the Flames offer was about 6 million on a bridge