NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2019

by | Sep 4, 2019 | Rumors | 47 comments

Updates on Mitch Marner, Charlie McAvoy, and Jason Pominville in today’s NHL rumor mill.

MARNER

TSN: In an interview with Bob McKenzie, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas remains optimistic about getting Mitch Marner re-signed before training camp opens on Sept. 13. He said he had discussions with the restricted free agent winger’s agent as recently as last week.

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas isn’t interested in trading winger Mitch Marner (Photo via NHL Images).

McKenzie’s colleague Pierre LeBrun reports Dubas has no interest in trading Marner. “That’s not a real avenue that we’ve even remotely explored. It’s our full intention that Mitch Marner will be a Toronto Maple Leaf for a very long time and that’s everything we’re working towards.’’

Writing for The Athletic, LeBrun reports contract term appears to be the sticking point for Marner and other noteworthy RFAs such as Colorado’s Mikko Rantanen, Tampa Bay’s Brayden Point, and Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk.

Regarding Marner, he believes a three-year bridge deal has been discussed but isn’t sure what the annual average value would be. There’s a sense teams could prefer avoiding situations where the player walks directly into unrestricted free agency upon completion of their new deals.

THE LEAFS NATION: cites TSN’s Darren Dreger saying there’s talk of the Leafs and the Marner camp discussing a three-year deal with an AAV of $9.5 million.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We’ll find out by next Friday if Duba’s optimism will be rewarded. Marner has indicated he won’t attend training camp without a contract and has already looked into training with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland’s National League A.

I don’t doubt Dubas’lack of interest in trading the young winger. Nevertheless, that probably won’t stop the trade speculation if his contract impasse drags into training camp. I daresay we’ll also hear talk of offer sheets but I doubt that scenario will unfold. 

McAVOY

BOSTON HOCKEY NOW: Jimmy Murphy cites sources claiming the Boston Bruins are set to return to talks “in earnest” with restricted free agent defenseman Charlie McAvoy. With training camp fast approaching, there’s increased urgency to get a deal done.

Earlier this year, there was talk the blueliner sought a deal comparable to Florida’s Aaron Ekblad’s eight-year, $60-million contract. It’s believed the Bruins countered with something around $5.5 million. Given the Bruins’ current salary-cap crunch and the need to also re-sign Brandon Carlo, there’s talk a bridge deal has been discussed.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON: Joe Haggerty reports the Bruins could get some cap relief if veteran forward David Backes is placed on long-term injury reserve. There’s talk the 35-year-old winger, who has a history of concussions, has been dealing with an undisclosed injury this summer.

The Bruins currently have around $7 million in salary-cap space with McAvoy and Carlo to re-sign. Placing Backes ($6 million AAV) on LTIR would alleviate that problem.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As with Marner, we’ll learn by the end of next week if the Bruins can hammer out a deal with McAvoy (and Carlo) before training camp opens.

If they end up placing Backes on LTIR they won’t have to worry about making a cost-cutting trade to free up space to re-sign their two blueliners. Of course, that’ll depend on how long he’d be sidelined. If he receives medical clearance to return to action this season, the Bruins will have to shed salary to become cap compliant.

POMINVILLE

 

 







47 Comments

  1. Why would the Habs want yet another smallish F who turns 37 in Nov and whose best years are way WAY back in the rear-view mirror?

    • George, I couldn’t agree more…there are still some Sabre fans and bloggers who want Pominville back. I say bring up a young player and give him a shot. With the current roster the Sabres aren’t going anywhere so let the youngsters grow with the young core we have. I think the same goes for Montreal.

  2. Pomanville’s reaction says it all…..most of these rumors are such crappola.

    Rumor Crafting 101: Montreal, a perceived need scoring. Need a French sounding last name cheap veteran who might consider coming there.

    (scans possible names) Pomanville !!!

    we have a rumor

    • LOL. Much truth in that.

    • Sorry, but Pominville’s reaction says nothing. I do not believe that the Habs will sign him, but when any negotiations are going on, the team, the agent and the player must be sure to be good poker players. Also, Dark G, do not discount the role agents play in creating these rumors as a way of creating some buzz around their clients.

  3. “It’s our full intention that Mitch Marner will be a Toronto Maple Leaf for a very long time and that’s everything we’re working towards.’’

    That statement is extremely close to the wording used last summer and fall wrt WW…..

    I really don’t see MM traded… and I certainly don’t wish for it

    3 @ $9.5 M is not out of the “reality” realm

    Dubas’ biggest mistake was capitulating last Dec…. costing higher Cap contracts for all 3…. WW, AM, and eventually MM

    Negotiating power shifted to the AM and MM camps after that gargantuan capitulation

    Long term solution still lies with addressing the D

    I stick with my prediction of no chance for Leaf cup in ‘20; so all moves need to be with window (‘21-‘25) in mind …. starting with long term D (only one NHL D man signed past 1/7/20 as at right now)

    Go Leafs Go

    🙏🤞🙏🤞🙏🤞

    • Pengy…

      Poor Torts Columbus is a mess….Dzingle gone, Panarin gone, Brobosky gone, Duchense gone..

      they still have a decent team but alot of people left…

      Torts is gonna blow if they don’t get Werenski signed…

      • Hi BlackNGold

        True (re Torts blowing his top… what else can a new 😂)

        Re “poor Torts” … it would be against my nature for me to say “poor Torts” related to anything hockey …. I’ve never been a fan of his coaching style and/or his personality

        “Poor Jarmo” yep
        “Poor Jackets fans” yep
        “Poor Jackets players” yep
        “Poor McConnell” yep

        But “ Poor Torts”…. just can’t say it; sorry ☹️

  4. Maybe that has been the holdup to these signings all along. Not the amounts but the term that allows the player to walk free to the highest bidder and to a location of their preference at a young age. Like Mathews.
    A case of I want what he is having

    • SilverSeven, we are hearing that more and more; they all want to walk into ufa territory. We’ll see how many are successful at doing so.

  5. could the blue jackets put in an offer sheet for MM?

    • With $15,765,918 in cap space and only Werenski left to sign from among their RFAs, they could – but not only is it highly unlikely, unless the offer sheet is for something north of $12 mil, all that would do is force Dubas’ hand in matching – and therefore make other moves necessary to accommodate him.

      Some would argue let Columbus have him at that price – take the 1st round picks and run – but as enticing as that may seem, with Marner in that line-up those picks wouldn’t be very high up the ladder, and anyone the Leafs take with those picks would likely be several seasons away from the NHL (IF they make it – and that’s no guarantee). Dubas would then be forced to face the next few seasons without his top points producer the past couple of seasons.

      Is there anyone in that line-up not named Matthews, Tavares or even Nylander that anyone sees as automatically capable of 94 points? That would be one helluva gamble on Dubas’ part.

    • Shocked the CBJ have not sent any offer sheets(or perhaps they did and not signed)

      They were a bubble team before adding Duchene…. they can replace Panarin with a RFA….. and hope the goalies are solid.
      Torts would prefer tkachuk!

      • There’s the rub, DS – a player needs to sign the offer sheet. I don’t think Marner would sign one with Columbus – see comments above re Torts.

    • Hi JShark

      I’m in line with George

      Could …. yep
      should they … no
      Will they …. doubt it

      Again as George says …. unless it has a massively high…. Leafs match it

      Exception …. if Karmo brainlessly offers 4 @ $10.5 M…. walks him to UFA…. then outside chance Leafs take the 4 firsts

      Note—- offer sheet is one way…. is nothing at all unless MM actually signs acceptance of offer…. and I can’t see him jumping at a chance to be coached by Torts

      • LOL. Forgot about THAT aspect Pengy. Oil and water.

  6. Trade him for D

  7. Nobody wants to play in Montreal.

    • I am pretty sure Max Domi does….

  8. The Marner deal will probably look like $7-7.5M 1st year, most in a signing bonus, year 2 will be $8-8.5M same as year one, then in the final year $9-9.5M most in a signing bonus as well. This will insure his next contract at min will start at $10M and by then the cap should grow to allow large and long paydays again.

    • Most plausible scenario yet.

    • Why should Marner take 4m less than AM in 2019/20?

      • If it gets him to UFA status that much sooner why wouldn’t he? And if the kid has confidence in his abilities and continues to lead the team in points for the next 3 seasons, the competition for his UFA services would be fierce.

    • Hi Ron

      Agree that it will be a ramped Sal package

      But that total gets a Cap $8.5 – $8.8M and I don’t think it comes in at that

      Re last year highest … might be more like 8,9, 10 , 11 (heavy on the SB) = Cap of $9.50 M

      His ask then (if production maintained or increased) for 7 or 8 year will likely start at $12 Cap; heavier on the front end; mostly in SB

    • Hossa’s gloves and shoulder pads haven’t arrived yet!

      • George oh George

        That Hossa equipment package is FedExed and on route to Pittsburgh addressed to a certain DMan with the initials JJ!!!

        And there shan’t be an intervention !!!!!

  9. Varying opinions of Marner’s value that have been posted here make me curious about the number of posters who would say that Marner wouldn’t puts up 94 points playing with any of the Bluejackets’ centers, and that he wouldn’t greatly elevate the Jackets’ in the standings. With that possibility in mind, and if the Leafs are of the same mind, could an offer sheet that returns 4 first-rounders become palatable for them? If other teams are as skeptical as the doubting posters, would a trade result in a better deal?

    • A trade would be infinitely better in the long term for the Leafs than walking away from an offer sheet and taking 4 1sts as I say above. Especially if the offer comes from a team that projects to be in or damn close to the playoffs for the next 4 years since those picks would be mid-range at best – and possibly even lower. And IF any or all actually make it to the NHL (again, no guarantee there) you’re looking at anywhere from 3 to 7 years before they play in the NHL.

      • George

        With all the respect due to a man I once addressed as a wizened hockey scholar, I don’t see how you can be so certain that an offer sheet coming from the proposed team, the Blue Jackets, would be coming from a team likely to be in the playoffs for the next 4 years. They barely made the playoffs last season, and Bravado says only the Ducks, Kings, Red Wings, and Senators have worse odds of being Cup winners this season. Considering the quality players the Jackets have lost to free agency, and the assets they gave up for a Cup run, they could be in the bottom half of the standings for years. For Duchene alone, the Jackets paid the Senators a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and a conditional first-round pick in the 2020 Draft. Add to that the 4 first-rounders they would pay for Marner, and it becomes likely that they will be as bad as Bravado thinks, rather than as good as you think, for a long time. In fact, any of the teams most likely to offer-sheet Marner should miss the playoffs, which means they probably have less quality to offer in a trade, but greater value in picks than better teams.

        Likewise, right or wrong, some posters here obviously think that Marner isn’t worth what you think he is. Perhaps, in their view, the trade return for Marner is as uncertain as the value of 4 years of top-10 picks.

      • I said “in or damned close” – even finishing 10th makes the picks close to mid-range – and what makes you think adding Marner wouldn’t make Columbus – or any other team for that matter – a much more dangerous team to play against.

      • George

        I think that adding Marner without vicissitudes would make any team immediately better. However, along with him, comes something that could hurt a team in the long term. A $12 million/yr salary limits the number of good players a team can have on its roster. Marner would have to be able to carry a team to be worth that. I don’t believe he can.

        I think it’s possible that the Leafs may be forced to move him, even though that would lessen their chance of winning a Cup. In that case, the CBJ’s 4 #1s, which would be possible lottery picks, and the additional player the Leafs could protect from the Seattle draft could be more attractive long term than a trade, and with good fortune, to produce several Cups.

    • Marner would definitely learn to block shots in Columbus, Francis, not sure about silly stuff like goals and assists.

  10. Just saw that Clayton Keller signed extension in AZ for 8 years AAV 7.15 per year. Some questions for you all….

    1. Did AZ overpay for a young player who had a down year in 2018-2019?
    2. Do you expect this contract is a bargain in future years based on Clayton Keller’s potential?
    3. What impact, if any, does Clayton Keller taking AAV of 7.15 have on existing RFAs that are unsigned? Did it raise asking price of players? Lower it? Or no real impact?

    • Couple of RFAs signed as well – Adrian Kempe in L.A. ($2 mil per for 3 years) and Goldobin in Vancouver ($900,000 for 1 year). It’s being whittled down slow but sure.

      • Hi George

        AK 3 @ $2M slightly on the low side me thinks

        Goldobin …. gets a couple of Hundo over League min and a year to prove he’s worth more …. fair deal IMO

    • Hi Pucks

      I believe this was a risky move by Arz; this could pay off but I peg the odds low

      He still has D deficiencies

      If he does somehow overcome the D liabilities and get in to form …. in a couple of years this could be a nice contract; nice but not spectacular

      For it to be spectacular; he’d need to be worth a $10 M player in 2-3 years; I really doubt that

      Good deal… if he’s worth $8-9 M in a couple of years …. to me lrelatively low in the likliehoid scale

      Most likely …. he’s worth somewhere between 6- 8 in 2-3 years…. 8 is basically what 7 is now; worth 6 and it’s a big loss

      This signing is very strange to me

      I will set aside the obvious train of thought and contract ramifications of many today (MM) and look at some other young players looking for a contract

      Tkachuk …. has progressed every year ; almost PPG last year; 34 G’s ; +14….. waaaay bigger…….. if Keller worth $7.2….. just simple logic/math says Tkachuk has s worth $10

      Point …. centre …. massive production ….. foaggeddabowdid

      Rant …. Hello

      Connor …. Hello

      All these guys should now be buying rounds for Keller’s agent

      Strange times

    • Hi Pucks

      I believe this was a risky move by Arz; this could pay off but I peg the odds low

      He still has D deficiencies
      If he does somehow overcome the D liabilities and get in to form …. in a couple of years this could be a nice contract; nice but not spectacular

      For it to be spectacular; he’d need to be worth a $10 M player in 2-3 years; I really doubt that
      Good deal… if he’s worth $8-9 M in a couple of years …. to me lrelatively low in the likliehoid scale

      Most likely …. he’s worth somewhere between 6- 8 in 2-3 years…. 8 is basically what 7 is now; worth 6 and it’s a big loss
      This signing is very strange to me

      I will set aside the obvious train of thought and contract ramifications of many today (MM) and look at some other young players looking for a contracts

      Tkachuk …. has progressed every year ; almost PPG last year; 34 G’s ; +14….. waaaay bigger…….. if Keller worth $7.2….. just simple logic/math says Tkachuk has s worth $10M

      Point …. centre …. massive production ….. foaggeddabowdid

      Rant …. Hello

      Connor …. Hello

      All these guys should now be buying rounds for Keller’s agent
      Strange times

      • Pengy

        I think Chayka went for a little bit of a risk here. He may be banking on the fact that Keller had amazing chemistry with Schmaltz pre-injury and will increase with a full season together… This also could be a Kessel effect…Chayka may have wanted to pay Keller what he thought was decent now to avoid lengthy talks and high demands of Keller and Kessel click.

        I agree with you though..if Keller’s last year is worth 7.15. Tkachuk and Laine are easily 9.5-10 mill in comparison…with Marner being just plain unaffordable.

  11. Just like the free agent frenzy every July 1st. Everyone is so excited with their teams signings, only too call for the gm’s head 2 years later for such a terrible deal.
    Now it’s the RFAs turn. Not all these guys are proven vets. Which player will be a bust and which team will be on the hook for all those years and all that money??

    • I can think of one …. he wears a Black, White and Gold #73 jersey

  12. Because he’s not worth anymore. I don’t watch the Leafs a lot, but what strikes me as unbelievable is that Marner having 94 points playing with Tavares and only netted 26 goals. How many primary assists did he have. Mathews has scored an incredible 64 more goals in their short 3 year careers. And Mathews has done it in 29 less games! Also only 19 less assists. A big, dominant center who puts puck in the net is worth more than a winger who has averaged 22 goals per season. When Mathews plays full seasons he will be leading scorer every year.

  13. IF he plays full seasons.

    • True George, but he still hasn’t even turned 22 yet. Marner has been fortunate to play back to back full seasons. I don’t think we can assume that 1 will always be healthy and the other not. I just don’t see an argument that Marner is worth same money.

  14. Marner: Good hockey player: According to his agent, a legend. Is he worth what he demands? Doesn’t matter. Between his father and his agent, this guy is Connor Mcdavid 2.0.

    The Leafs will not give Marner a 5 year contract as that would mean him and Matthews would become UFA’s at the same time.

    Now as soon Mitch, and his swollen head gets tired of banging itself on the clubhouse door, he will either sign a 2-3 year bridge deal or a 6,7-8 year deal.

    Until then, nothing is going to change and If TML has to let his NIbs sit, well so be it.

    I don’t believe they want that outcome, but both Shanny and Dubas have to answer to people who are bigger than they are

  15. Keller 65 points as a rookie on a crappy team. Has a bunch of minor league records.
    He has a good year to which many pundits are predicting his contract would have demanded to be much higher . The fact that the term is 8 at his age is a good deal for both sides in my opinion.
    Flames are PTO ing the lights out. Trying o build a tougher 4 Th line by the looks of it

    • Either that or they’re going to see if any one (and just one) among MacDonald (a D), and forwards Smith-Pelly, Rieder, Rinaldo or Grenier are capable of stepping into the regular line-up somewhere so they can deal one of their current roster (Frolik, Ryan, Hamonic??) to make room to re-sign Tkachuk. Which means, of course, that nothing along those lines will take place until sometime after the start of camp, If so, how much of camp will Tkachuk miss?