NHL Rumor Mill – September 24, 2019

by | Sep 24, 2019 | Rumors | 60 comments

Updates on Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, Kyle Connor and Dustin Byfuglien in today’s NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Bob McKenzie doubts Brayden Point’s new contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning will affect the negotiations of Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen, Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk, and Winnipeg Jets forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor. Point signed a three-year deal yesterday with an annual average value of $6.75 million. McKenzie believes that would be considered too much of a club-friendly deal by the other RFAs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Lightning has three advantages over the other clubs. They’re a Cup contender, they play in a city without a state tax, and they have a recent history of convincing their best players to accept less than market value.

McKenzie reports Connor’s agent dismissed reports claiming his client is close to a new deal with the Jets. It’s believed none of the aforementioned RFAs are closer to signing with their respective teams. The Connor camp could be open to a deal comparable to Timo Meier. The San Jose Sharks winger’s new four-year deal carries an AAV of $6 million but jumps to $10 million in actual salary in the final season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Such a deal would ensure Connor receives a high qualifying offer when his new contract expires.

Are clubs looking into trading for Winnipeg Jets winger Patrik Laine? (Photo via NHL Images)

Pierre LeBrun believes “if and when” Laine signs with the Jets it’ll be a three-year bridge deal. He also reports teams  have contacted Laine’s agent Mike Liut over the past week. LeBrun doesn’t know if they’re checking in because of a potential offer sheet or looking into trading for Laine.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: There aren’t many clubs that could offer to pitch an unmatchable offer sheet for Laine. As per Cap Friendly, only four teams – Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ottawa Senators – have the cap space to offer up $8.5 million annually, which I consider the absolute minimum that might tempt Laine. 

Scratch the Ducks as they’re in the market for a right-shot defenseman, not a winger. The Avalanche must re-sign Rantanen so I don’t see them offer-sheeting anyone. The Blue Jackets lack the second- and third-round pick necessary as part of the offer-sheet compensation. The Senators appear intent on building with their own young players.

If those unnamed teams are looking into a trade, the asking price will be expensive. It could be at least a top-pairing defenseman and a promising young winger, along with a high draft pick or a quality prospect. I’m not saying the Jets would get that much but they won’t just give him away. They’ll need something of significant value in return for the skilled young sniper. 

Darren Dreger said Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff continues to await a decision from Dustin Byfuglien. The big defenseman is currently on a leave of absence mulling his future. The club suspended him for not reporting to training camp and Dreger believes that might not change for a while.

Dreger suggested terminating Byfuglien’s contract could be considered by the Jets but that would require the involvement of the league. He also said the Jets are talking to teams about potential trades but the Byfuglien situation complicates things.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Dreger was only speculating about contract termination. That would be an extreme position suggesting the relationship between the Jets and Byfuglien has irrevocably broken down. I doubt it’s anywhere close to that right now.

He’s also not saying they’re shopping Byfuglien, only that his situation is complicating trade talks that I’m assuming is about other players. Those talks could be efforts to bolster a blue line already depleted before Byfuglien took his leave of absence.

The Jets and the Byfuglien camp are keeping mum for the most part. The club confirmed Byfuglien was informed of the decision to suspend him and he understood it was for cap flexibility and roster protection. Head coach Paul Maurice claimed he had a good meeting with the blueliner last Thursday but offered no details.







60 Comments

  1. Cap space/# of players at ML level according to CapFriendly

    Now well into training camp, and with the season openers fast approaching, there are still 4 unsigned KEY RFAs … plus Honka & Puljujarvi
    Connor & Laine – Wpg – $23,050,836 – 19 – no LTIR available
    Tkachuk – Cgy – $6,341,625 – 22 – LTIR of $894,166 for Valimaki available;
    Rantanen – Col – $15,615,239 – 23 – Cole’s $4,250,000 LTIR available to late Dec + the ELC amount for whoever is demoted if and when he signs
    Puljujarvi – Edm – $1,533,001 – 23
    Honka – Dal – $970,001 – 22 – Hanzal’s $4.75 mil LTIR might be available

    These 6 teams have everyone signed but are over the cap by the amount shown, so watch for other imminent roster moves as necessary – the 2 teams over 23 have the additional cap space of those demoted

    Toronto – $13,365,199 – 23
    Carolina – $2,254,791 – 25
    Vancouver – $1,716,539 – 26
    Washington – $1,364,294 – 23
    Buffalo – $1,059,824 – 23
    Pittsburgh – $331,625 – 23

    The teams with everyone signed and the most “potential” cap space based on 23-man roster
    Ottawa – $11,815,001 – 21 – reduce that by about $1.5 mil of 2 ELCs
    Columbus – $11,640,043 – 21 – reduce that by about $1.5 mil of 2 ELCs
    Anaheim – $8,500,242 – 21 – reduce that by about $1.5 mil of 2 ELCs
    NJ – $6,461,667 – 22 – reduce that by about $750,000 of 1 ELC
    L.A. – $5,240,606 – 24 – increase that by cap hit of whoever is relegated
    Minn – $4,958,911 – 21 – reduce that by about $1.5 mil of 2 ELCs
    NYI – $4,653,334 – 25 – increase that by cap hits of the two relegated
    Det – $4,270,457 – 22 – reduce that by about $750,000 of 1 ELC
    Mtl – $4,044,524 – 25 – increase that by cap hits of the two relegated
    SJ – $2,682,583 – 22 – reduce that by about $750,000 of 1 ELC
    Chi – $2,462,414 – 21 – reduce that by about $1.5 mil of 2 ELCs
    TB – $1,726,669 – 23
    Nash – $1,334,524 – 24 – increase that by cap hit of whoever is relegated
    Bos – $1,153,334 – 23
    StL – $495,406 – 24 – increase that by about $750,000 of one ELC

    The teams with everyone signed but look to be without any wiggle room if going with a 23-man roster
    Pha – $1,167,421 – 21 – no room for 2 ELCs – 22-man roster?
    Veg – $1,025,001 – 22 – room for 1 ELC – not much left in cap space
    Fla – $781,331 – 22 – can barely fit 1 E LC
    NYR – $235,201 – 23
    Ariz – $178,099 – 21 – cannot add any contracts unless they use Hanzal’s LTIR

    • Hi George

      Thanks again for your list

      Just a quick note on Ducks

      Their space is actually $18.5 M ($10 M on LTIR) and they are carrying 3 goalies at NHL level per CF

      drop a goalie and pick up (bring up) 3 league min (or close to ) contracts … and they’ll be at 23 with North of $16 M in room; and they have all of their first 3 rounds of picks in all out years … if Murray was inclined he could trade for a RHD AND still have space to offer sheet

      • No – their space is as shown – those LTIRs only apply in the event of signing a contract for which they have insufficient normal space. Hell, I could add in Callahan’s, Gaborik’s and MacArthur’s for Ottawa and they’d be shown as having close to $30 mil.

        But I reflect it exactly as shown by CapFriendly and they show it that way until a team actually uses LTIRs – and even then it’s proportional. I know, for example, that Toronto’s $13 mil over will largely disappear as soon as all their LTIRs are used on Day 1. In their case they have no choice. In Anaheim’s (and Ottawa’s) it’s an option – but until they show an intent to go that route, I show what they actually have at hand now.

      • Got it

        Thanks George

        Sorry …. meetings overload today ….just reading ur response now

        Ya I was pseudo jumping the gun on what will happen

        I can guarantee that they’ll go on LTIR; if they DON’T go on LTIR …. the the spendthrift Ducks pony up $9.7 M for this year in actual Salary vs $1.94 M in Sal top up (20 %) that the insurance company doesn’t cover (ins. covers on average 80%)

        I’d fire my accountants if the didn’t file simple paper work that saved close to $7.8 M

        I’ve been posting about my desire for Pens to swap JJ for either Kessler or Eaves …. currently Ducks will be paying millions and getting nothing … the swap gets them something and Pens rid JJ and his Cap ; at the off book price of the non insurance Sal payments

        I’m still hopin’ ‘N prayin’ George

        🤞🙏

    • The leafs will be putting Nathan Horthon and David Clarkson, Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott on IR thats like about 13.6 mil. Sorry to burst your bubble, either way mave no room this. Next they will have to make a trade or hope there youth can step up.

      • Line should read either way they have no room this year. Next year will have to make a trade.

      • My bubble? I said “I know, for example, that Toronto’s $13 mil over will largely disappear as soon as all their LTIRs are used on Day 1.” Note the word “largely.” I put it that way because I know, while they’ll be fine for about a month and a half, once Dermott AND Hyman return their combined cap hits of $3,113,333 – minus the time missed on LTIR – will then have to be addressed as you point out.

  2. That last line above should read ” unless they use Hossa’s LTIR.”

  3. Buff is on leave; Laine & Conner unsigned and nothing appears to be moving forward that we know of; is there a locker room issue maybe?

    • Grown men who make millions of dollars threw their teammate’s clothes in the shower.

      Lots of that leadership core is still there.

      Yes, there are problems in the locker room.

  4. I don’t see any ntc on Points contract. I know it’s mentioned a lot here, about Tampa being able to give lower contracts because of the lack of state tax, but that’s a gamble for a player who could still get traded to a high tax state. Especially in that 3rd year.

    • I thought ntc and nmc only could be granted at the ufa years?

      • Correct Chrisms ….. the year in which they could have become UFA

        McD’s starts in 22/23

      • Thanks for info.

      • De rien

  5. I do not think it will happen but if Byfuglien was moved…which contender…

    Florida?

    • Florida wouldn’t have the cap space to take Buff and apparently Buff is mulling retirement.

      I think Columbus is thinking trade as they need a game breaker.

      • I mentioned Florida because even with Bob and their forward depth the top 3 in their division is a tough playoff out

    • to NYR for Strome, Namestnikov & ADA

      Done!

      • Why?

      • @nyr4life

        bc i had nothing else to type at that moment lol

  6. Posted below in Morning coffee but see it’s more appropriate here as contracts/RFAs being discussed:

    “Bolts, Kudos on getting Point signed to that great contract.

    I read a TSN article this morning re: Connor and comparables

    It stated Timo Mier contract as one to look at… one that shocked me when I first saw it
    4 @ $6M …. then walk to UFA
    What I hadn’t realized and TSN pointed out …. TM won’t go to UFA status because at the end of this contract 30/6/23 …. he’s still only 26 years old …. his birthday is later in the year
    So still RFA but his last year of the contract is $10 M …. so SJ has to give him a QO if $10 M to keep his rights

    Connor also will only be 26 in 4 years (later birthday as well) …. so a 4 year reasonable Cap contract with very big back end loaded Sal is not out of the realm of reality

    Again …. great contract Bolts

    For those comparing take home pay ……in his (Point) QO in 3 years would be the equivalent to $12.2 M gross Sal in Ottw/Min/Toronto ; and his COLA in the Bay is less than in Toronto”

    • And it would have to be 15 million a year for 3 years to match Marners deal

    • I’m confused by your math. The taxes on 9 million in Florida would be 3.4 million, (38% annually )the same 9 million in Toronto is 4.2 million. (53% annually) that’s less than 1 million annually.

      Where are you getting 3+ million difference?

      • Sorry 4.7…. at 53% 1.3 difference

      • I believe your math is correct Nyr4Life.
        Edmonton boy Robertson was still in camp in NY last I checked. (Yesterday). My pick for steal of the draft.
        Guy I work is good friends with his parents and they say he was surprised but thrilled to stay up at main camp and get to play with some of these guys. Needed to buy some extra underwear but all good!
        Curious if you got a look at him in preseason or not?
        Big guy, smooth as butter.
        Not gonna make the team this year, but good on him for making a great first impression.

      • I think he was thinking there is NO tax in Florida.

        There is no STATE tax in Florida. Federal tax is alive and well and draining me like anywhere else.

      • Hi NY4Life & Ray

        Sorry just reading your responses now …. between meetings

        Sorry didn’t have my cheat sheet tax list at my finger tips … was going from (my limited) memory using 61% take home (39% TR) for FLA and 45% (55% TR) for T.O.

        Comparative gross Cap is calculated=

        Current city Gross Cap TIMES take-home rate of current City DIVIDED BY take home rate of comparative city

        I used $9.0 M * 0.61/0.45= $12.2 M in comparative Cap

        Meaning a $12.2 M Cap take home in T.0. is the same as $9.0 M Cap effective take-home in FLA

        All above in $ USD so apples to apples

        Sorry if I had the rates wrong; was just doing quick ratios on the fly

        Using TR you have (38 % and 53%)… do take home rates of 62% and 47 % :

        Then $9 M Cap in FLA is the same as $11.9 M in T.O,

        $9 M * 0.62 / 0.47= $11.9 M

        Similarly MM’s $10.9 M Cap hit in Toronto is same as $8.26 M Cap hit in Bolt land

        $10.9 M * 0.47 / 0.62= $8.26 M

        Again sorry guys … was in a hurry

      • Your math is way off. You wouldn’t use 62 and 47 as a multiplier.

        9,000,000- 52% = 4.6 million
        That is 4.4 million take home.

        Vs Tampa
        9,000.000-38% =3.420 million
        Take home of 5.58 million.

        A difference of 1 million, not 3 million.

      • Hi NY4 Life

        We’re both right

        We’re just looking at it from 2 different perspectives

        You are comparing equal Cap and seeing the resulting Net (take home) difference … which as you’ve shown IS $1.27 M ( $5.49 M take home in FLA less $4.22 M take home in T.O.)… for both using Gross/Cap of $9 M

        I went the reverse way …. I was showing what Gross/Cap needs to be in Toronto to match the $9 M Gross/Cap in FLA …. to get the exact same take home pay

        In other words; balance the take home and see what it takes Cap wise (GROSS pay) to match…. if you earn GROSS of $9 M in FLA ; I had said you would need to earn $11.9 M GROSS in T.O. to get the same TAKE-HOME (Net) Pay…. I was using Rounded tax rates from memory and rounded results to nearest single decimal palace $M

        I used the two calc links you gave (thanks BTW, greatly appreciated) …. and to get the same take home of $9 M gross in FLA (which is $5.49 M) I had to enter $11.745 M Gross in Ontario from your link

        So take home pay of the Cap (Gross) of $9M in TBay is the equivalent of $11.75 M Cap/Gross (rounded) in Toronto … $2.75 M more required

        TomAYto TomAHto

        Cheers

      • Similarly

        Point’s $6.75 M Cap in TBay nets same take home ($4.127M) as $8.808 M Gross inT.O. …

        Also …. very few Orange groves in the GTA

  7. Lyle

    Quick question re: Austin Matthews

    Why is he not an RFA after this contract?

    TSN pointed out that Jet’s KC could sign a 4 year and still be RFA at end because he is a late BDay…. still 26 at end of contract…. AM is a year younger …, so 5 year should still keep him as RFA? Right?

    Per CapFriendly (see cut and paste below) … AM can’t be Group 6 as he has played over 80 games and per # 1 below …. he’s not 27 on 30/6/24 (current contract expiration)…. so how is he UFA?

    I am bogged all day with meetings so I will check later today for your response

    Thanks in advance

    Pengy

    Cut and Pasted from CF:

    “What is an unrestricted free agent (UFA)?

    A player becomes a free agent when their contract expires on July 1 after the last League Year of their contract. Any player who meets the following requirements becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA):

    1. Is 27 years of age on June 30 of the contract expiry year

    2. Has seven (7) Accrued Seasons where an Accrued Season is earned when the player was on the clubs active roster for 40 Regular Season games (30 if the player is a goaltender). Games missed due to a hockey related injury will count towards an accrued season in the season of the injury, plus one additional season after the injury.

    3. Meets the requirements for Group 6 UFA Status (See below)
    An unrestricted free agent is eligible to sign a contract with any club as of noon ET on July 1 after the last League Year of their contract

    What is a Group 6 UFA?

    A player whose contract is expiring and meets all of the following conditions will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA):

    1. The player is 25 years or older (as of June 30th of the calendar year the contract is expiring).

    2. The player has completed 3 or more professional seasons – qualified by 11 or more professional games (for an 18/19 year old player), or 1 or more professional games (for a player aged 20 or older). This can include NHL, minor league, and European professional league seasons played while under an SPC.

    3. The player has played less than 80 NHL games, or 28 NHL games of 30 minutes or greater for a goaltender. “

  8. Lyle

    Quick question re: Austin Matthews

    Why is he not an RFA after this contract?

    TSN pointed out that Jet’s KC could sign a 4 year and still be RFA at end because he is a late BDay…. still 26 at end of contract…. AM is a year younger …, so 5 year should still keep him as RFA? Right?

    Per CapFriendly (see cut and paste below) … AM can’t be Group 6 as he has played over 80 games and per # 1 below …. he’s not 27 on 30/6/24 (current contract expiration)…. so how is he UFA?

    Bogged with meetings today so I will check later for your response

    Thanks in advance

    Pengy

    Cut and pasted from CF:

    “What is an unrestricted free agent (UFA)?

    A player becomes a free agent when their contract expires on July 1 after the last League Year of their contract. Any player who meets the following requirements becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA):

    1. Is 27 years of age on June 30 of the contract expiry year

    2. Has seven (7) Accrued Seasons where an Accrued Season is earned when the player was on the clubs active roster for 40 Regular Season games (30 if the player is a goaltender). Games missed due to a hockey related injury will count towards an accrued season in the season of the injury, plus one additional season after the injury.

    3. Meets the requirements for Group 6 UFA Status (See below)
    An unrestricted free agent is eligible to sign a contract with any club as of noon ET on July 1 after the last League Year of their contract

    What is a Group 6 UFA?

    A player whose contract is expiring and meets all of the following conditions will become an unrestricted free agent (UFA):

    1. The player is 25 years or older (as of June 30th of the calendar year the contract is expiring).

    2. The player has completed 3 or more professional seasons – qualified by 11 or more professional games (for an 18/19 year old player), or 1 or more professional games (for a player aged 20 or older). This can include NHL, minor league, and European professional league seasons played while under an SPC.

    3. The player has played less than 80 NHL games, or 28 NHL games of 30 minutes or greater for a goaltender.”

    • Pengy maybe you can trade Ruhweedel and JJ for Big Buff LOL

      • Thanks Lyle

        Just reading this now … busy day at work

        No I new the 8 years but it’s the CapFriendly point that player has to be 27 years old at the end of the contract to make him UFA…. AM’s new contract expires 30/6/24 …. he will still be 26 at that time …. turning 27 2 1/2 months later?

        It’s the rationale that McKenzie is using wrt KC in Winnipeg:

        “for Connor is the fact that they’re both late birthdays and unlike most of these RFAs who would sign a four-year deal now or walk themselves to free agency. These guys are late birthdays, they don’t get free agency for another couple of years after that.”

        In other words …. 4 years for KC and he’s still RFA … because he’d be 26 at end of contract

        AM is 1 year younger …. so 5 years also puts him finishing at 26…. so wouldn’t he be UFA then as well

        Sincerely

        A confused and mal-adjusted Pengy

        🥺

      • IHC

        YOu always have my “save the day” trade proposals …. but can never close the deal

        $20 Tim’s card in it for u if u can close one of these deals

    • Matthews is a UFA after this contract because he’ll have played the minimum of seven NHL seasons required to qualify once his current contract expires. By that point, he’ll have eight full seasons under his belt.

      • Dunka Lyle

        Greatly appreciated

        👍

  9. Kyle Dumbasses backside must be aching because he got f*cked by Marner, Matthews and Nylander.

    Heres an article that shows just how poor a job Dumbass has done signing his RFAs compared to his most relevant competitors. The results are mind boggling and shows Dubas as the incompetent he really is.

    https://torontosun.com/sports/hockey/traikos-when-the-contract-numbers-dont-add-up

    • @Ron Jull: Thanks for the link..does make you wonder about why Dubas & Shanahan have allowed this to happen and yes, I include Shanahan in this too.

      • The Shanascam!!! Oops, I mean plan!!!

      • could be worse Ron…he could have traded a 1st rd pick like Benning lol

      • ihc

        Didnt he give away the Leafs first rounder in the Marleau deal with Carolina? Just shows how badly Benning got taken by the Bolts in the Miller deal/salary dump.

    • LOL why are people comparing completely different things? Is it laziness or just plain stupidity? A bridge contract is just that, a short contract that will bridge a player’s pay from a mandatory maximum salary on their ELC to their perceived value.

      Let’s take a look at what happened to John Tavares. After his ELC he signed a bridge at $5.5 as a RFA for a total of $33M; however, when he signed his UFA deal it shot up to $11M or $77M contract.

      It’s safe to say UFA years cost more than double non-UFA years. Furthermore bridge contracts save teams money and time now but often means you pay much more to retain them at the end of this “bargain” bridge deal…that is if history hasn’t shown us.

      I’m not defending or criticizing one deal over another other than stating how obviously wrong it is to compare the two different things like they are the same.

      • You know Ron, yes there is a big difference between a Bridge & buying UFA years. But how many teams are carrying horrible buyouts because they paid a high profile UFA for what they accomplished & not what they can do. If the players coming off their ELC’s want to be paid huge $$$ for potential for league revenue that hasnt happened yet, then why wouldnt they take a gamble on a 3 year deal when they see the team that has given them the opportunity & invested in them is struggling to to fit their salary demands. Leafs would have gladly given Marner a 3 year deal at $8.0 mill per but the player flat out refused. IN two years when Marner & Matthews get knocked out in first rounds because they dont have the backend or depth to be a true contender, that window closes on them real quick. It’s a team game & it takes full teams to win the Cup. Last I looked, the rosters have 23 players, pretty tough when you are paying 3 forwards roughly about 13% of a finite cap each.

    • Ron, in that article, this one line says loads

      “It’s an easy concept … (managing the cap responsibly) … but it’s a difficult one to grasp in a city that often values its own players more than other markets might.”

      It’s what many of us have been saying for some time now.

      • I’m not arguing either points since I agree with both views and not saying one is a better option than the other but to compare two things that will always have a random result is a disingenuous debate or argument in the sense of the word.

  10. As an avid avs fan I am starting to get concerned on the rants situation for the first time…. the avs may well be the team who doesn’t budge off an “internal” number…and let the player sit…..

  11. Got J.T for only $, albeit a lot of it.

    *Nylander= overpaid

    *Matthews= overpaid

    *Marner= overpaid

  12. Unlike some GMs, Sakic has never shown a tendency to “cave.” Rantanen had better come to that conclusion as well – and fast. Clearly, if he was indeed in town a week or so back, it wasn’t to sign a contract.

  13. Faulk traded to Blues for Edmundson, propsect and swap of late round picks.

    • The Hurricanes #4 D on an expiring contract, for a #5/6 D (on a cheaper expiring contract) and a top prospect. I am good with it.

      Once you decided you weren’t re-signing Faulk (and there’s no way I’d value him at $6.5M/7yr), you get the best deal you can and move on.

      • Bokk a pretty good pick up. Kind of surprising move. With Pietrangelo and Parayko already on right side, did they really need Faulk? And they have him a nice extension. Can’t imagine they won’t resign Pietrangelo, but he’ll be 30 next year and will probably be able to get at least 9-10 mil as a ufa

      • Blues reportedly signed him to a 7 yr ext at $6.5M per.
        Pietrangelo is a UFA next season. Perhaps initial contract discussions aren’t going well?
        Aggressive move by Blues.

      • I like the deal for Canes. not sure Blues thinking as you mention above with 3 RD for the top two pairings? unless Faulk gonna be flipped?

      • Not at that term and cap hit he ain’t – who can afford to take it on now?

      • Whalercane, I disagree. In my opinion Faulk is a better all around defenseman than either Gardiner or Hamilton. I suspect Hamilton will be traded next summer.

        Trading Lindholm last year and Faulk and De Haan this year are moves I don’t like.

        I hope I’m wrong but I don’t see how the Canes defense is going to be as good as last years defense.

  14. I don’t disagree with your assessment, GP, as I’d rather have DeHaan & Faulk versus Gardiner/Edmundson as well. But, and here’s the key, the Hurricanes decided that they weren’t going to pay $6.5M/7year. (and I agree). Once you make that decision, you’ve got to get what you can and not risk losing him for less later. Add in their Cap troubles, and you have to make this move. Effectively DeHaan/Faulk for Gardiner/Edmundson, saving ~1.5M Cap, ~$3M actual money, and getting a former 1st rounder in the process. I think that’s reasonable.