NHL Rumor Roundup – September 17, 2019

by | Sep 17, 2019 | Rumors | 52 comments

The latest on the remaining notable restricted free agents in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Luke Fox recently looked at the status of the key NHL restricted free agents.

Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois remains optimistic of getting center Brayden Point re-signed. The Lightning has around $8.5 million in salary-cap space. Point is believed open to a range of terms, stretching from two to eight years. His agent claims his client loves Tampa Bay.

The Colorado Avalanche have plenty of salary-cap space (over $15 million) to re-sign winger Mikko Rantanen. The problem, however, is how much more he could make above the $6.3 million per season earned by superstar Nathan MacKinnon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Colorado Hockey Now’s Adrian Dater (stick tap to Shawn Lamba) claims Toronto Maple Leafs winger Mitch Marner’s new contract (six years at over $10.8 million annually) has complicated Rantanen’s contract talks. I doubt the Avs will that high but they could end up paying him closer to $10 million annually than $9 million.

The Calgary Flames could be forced to shed salary to free up room to re-sign winger Matthew Tkachuk (Photo via NHL Images).

Calgary Flames GM Brad Treliving insists Marner’s contract won’t affect his effort to get power forward Matthew Tkachuk re-signed. With around $6.3 million in salary-cap space,Treliving has reportedly entertained trade offers for Michael Frolik and T.J. Brodie.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll likely cost much more than $6.3 million to re-sign Tkachuk. A knee injury to defenseman Juuso Valimaki has reportedly made Treliving reluctant to part with Brodie. Frolik, on the other hand, was almost shipped to the Minnesota Wild at the February trade deadline in a failed deal for Jason Zucker.

A recent report by Fox’s colleague Sean Reynolds claimed three teams discussed the possibility of an offer sheet for Winnipeg Jets winger Kyle Connor.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: One of those clubs could have been the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reports sources confirmed they were among the clubs that had conversations with Mitch Marner earlier this summer. Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen declined to comment about offer sheets but acknowledged he’s looking at “all ways possible to improve our club.”

Cap Friendly indicates the Jackets have over $10.7 million in salary-cap space. It’s not a stretch to assume Connor could be on their radar.

The Jets recently offered a three-year bridge deal to winger Patrik Laine with an annual average value around $5 million. It’s believed Laine is willing to accept a short-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Perhaps Laine will consider a three-year deal similar to Vancouver’s Brock Boeser’s new contract. The AAV is $5.875 million but he’ll get $7.5 million in actual salary in the final year. The Canucks’ qualifying offer would have to be $7.5 million unless they take him to arbitration, reducing that offer by 15 percent to $6.35 million.

The Boston Bruins only have $3.2 million in salary-cap space to re-sign defenseman Brandon Carlo. They could get some cap relief by placing Kevan Miller and John Moore on LTIR. Their injury status could also give Carlo additional leverage.

**UPDATE** Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports the Bruins have re-signed Carlo to a two-year contract with an annual average value of $2.85 million. 

Fox also noted the New York Rangers are willing to raise defenseman Anthony DeAngelo’s salary to $925K. That’s quite low for a 30-point blueliner.

Dallas Stars rearguard Julius Honka has requested a trade. The Montreal Canadiens are among the clubs kicking the tires.


  1. Now well into training camp and early ex games there remain 7 “key” unsigned RFAs (Honka isn’t viewed as a“key” signing)

    Carlo – Bos – $3,203,334 – 23 – no LTIR available – but the cap hit of whoever is demoted to make room when Carlo is signed
    Connor & Laine – Wpg – $15,450,836 – 20 – 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 for whoever is demoted if and when he signs
    Point – TB – $8,476,669 – 22 – no LTIR available but add in a possible $1.4 mil of Condon’s & Domingue’s cap hits if they remain healthy enough to be demoted
    DeAngelo – NYR – $1,160,201 – 22 – no LTIR available
    Honka – Dal – $970,001 – 22 – Hanzal’s $4.75 mil LTIR available

    These 5 teams, while having everyone signed, are over the cap by the amount shown, so watch for other imminent roster moves as necessary (current # of players at the ML level also indicated – Vancover 3 over the limit so look for 3 relegations to account for the amount over)

    Toronto – $13,365,199 – 23
    Vancouver – $1,716,539 – 26
    Carolina – $1,554,79 1 – 24
    Washington – $1,364,294 – 23
    Buffalo – $1,059,824 – 23
    Pittsburgh – $1,031,675 – 24

    As I said yesterday, it wouldn’t surprise me to start hearing about others getting offer sheets besides Marner.

    • Hi George

      I posted to you earlier on morning coffee side before rumour side was up …. how apropos was my post there relative to the gist of rumours section here today?:

      The hold-out RFA numbers are plummeting …. LOL
      Panic or coming to an epiphany ?
      Who’s your guess at remaining holdouts day 1”


      • And I responded there Pengy – Rantanen and Laine for the reasons cited. I think Tkachuk will be signed as soon as Frolik – can’t see them dealing Brodie – is moved. Probably would have happened sooner but it’s likely Treveling was hoping for something more substantial in the way of a return (prospects/picks – no point taking back salary) than dictated by the fact a GM had painted himself into a cap corner and has been reduced to a “beggars can’t be choosers” position.

        There are several teams that could take on Frolik’s $4.3 mil cap hit without blinking and would gladly do so for the 1 year left on his deal – but they aren’t about to give up anything of substance since his addition to the line-up isn’t going to be seen as the ingredient to suddenly make them a playoff contender – Ottawa, Anaheim to name two.

      • “… as soon as Frolik is traded ….”

      • Ahhhh

        Can’t type as fast as you and while I’m taking forever to post … others post and it doesn’t show on my screen until I hit send…,

        And with phone can’t have the two sides (morning coffee & rumours) simultaneously open

        So sorry George …. duplicated some of your thoughts in my post further down


      • Hey, no problem Pengy – nice to see we’re thinking along the same lines on some issues. 🙂

      • Pengy…..Your not gonna like this jack Johnson was in mid season form last night in the Pens preseason loss to Bufalo..

        Poor gap control several bad penalties due to lack of foot speed….uggghhhhhhhhh

        granted we had 1 NHl forward there and jack Johnson Buffalo brought their whole squad…so

        Jacks got to go..

      • Thanks BlackNGold

        Listened to the play by play for a bit …. then I couldn’t take it any longer

        Was hoping for JJ to have a miracle 2G 2A; +4 night so that he was tradable … LOL

        Yep he absolutely must go

      • Du calm, mon ami. These are early EXHIBITION games. Like Grapefruit and Cactus League Baseball in the early spring, they mean absolutely nothing other than giving the coaching staff some idea of the depth they have in their system … and who is or isn’t in shape!

      • Hi George

        Correct re almost all prospects and depth players

        We’re talking JJ here

        He’s not only a game changer but a season changer (and both of those meant in a negative way)

        C’mon Hossa itch ; we need ya now

    • Pengy – Seriously man, JJ isn’t the reason the Pens got swept last year. He also isn’t the reason they didn’t make a deep playoff run. The idea that Malkin was bad because JJ was on the ice at the same time is ridiculous.

      I love reading your stuff but lay off the JJ bashing, it’s misdirected and ill informed.

  2. It will be interesting to see how things transpire in Winnipeg. Laine could go the Boeser route but Connor’s a whole different story. He might just sign an offer sheet from a team like Columbus.
    The tension mounts for the Jets.

  3. Oh I wish the Sens would offer sheet Tkachuk to have both brothers. Compensation would be picks that they have in abundance.

    Wasn’t Honka such a “can’t miss prospect” he was rumored to be part of the ask when Karlsson was going to be traded to Dallas?

    • If so, that’s obviously changed Dark G. I don’t know what he and his agent thought they’d get coming off an ELC of $863,333 and all of 87 NHL games spread out over 3 seasons (16 in 2016-17 – 42 in 2017-18 – and 29 last year) – especially since he didn’t show any great progress.

      If he was regarded as a “can’t miss” – he’s now looked upon more as a “did miss.” Besides, with 22 at the ML level and so room to add Honka, even a return at his ELC would leave them with absolutely no wiggle room (they now show cap space of $970,001, although they could dip into Hanzal’s $4.75 mil LTIR or Johns’ $2,350,000 LTIR to sign him to a modest increase, I guess.

      Like fellow-Finn Puljujarvi he clearly has an inflated view of his worth

      With Lindell, Klingberg, Oleksiak, Polak, Sekera, Heiskanen and Fedun ahead of him in the pecking order, Dallas doesn’t really need him. Hence the “non-key” label.

  4. Ok here’s my thoughts/responses re today’s Spector’s posts on RFA’s:

    Bolts; 8.5 left …. Point discussing various terms …. realizing that MM’s $ 10.9 M is about the same take home pay as about $8.1 M in FLA…. then AAV won’t be anywhere near as high…. risk to Point is that any NMC/NTCs can’t be in place until what would have been effectively his UFA years …. so signing low and with a continued performance trend makes him an extremely extremely valuable trade asset if push comes to shove in Bolts land… that’s vulnerability

    If it’s 3 years …. $7.75 , with quite high 3rd year

    If it’s 8….. it’s got to be $8.5 M absolute min methinks

    Re Rats and Avs …. hard to see long term contract as AAV would be so much more higher than their franchise player MacK

    Agree with you Lyle that if LT (7/8)… closer to 10 than 9 …. but that forces the MacK team to be talking in the 12-13 range two summers from now when he’s eligible to re-negotiate an extension (note: that’s after TV deal is finalized)

    Yes Flames will for sure have to shed $’s to sign the young strapping lad…. not sure what market there is out there for Frolik?

    Offer sheet for Connor …. since we only found out after the fact about MM receiving offer sheets …. my gut says that Connor has already been contacted and if not already provided an offer sheet ; close to…. again by definition …. not a complete “offer sheet “ unless he signs … valuable negotiating tool though

    Can’t see Laine at $5 M

    Chevy up a creek now … two prominent UFAs ; 3 D left off season ; a playoff season that fell well short of expectations… yes he’s not going to carry 3 goalies so has $16 M+ to play with; but only 10 Fwds signed and pre-season under way…. the clocks tickin’

    Bruins will get Carlo done and have a Roster only missing two from its SCF … some D injuries now but sitting fair

    Re Fox suggesting ADA at $925K…. same agent as Pettersson’s ?????

    Re:Honka … trade partners not hard to find …. it’s wether an amenable deal can be struck

    • Why do you say the salary in Tampa is different than Toronto. Yes they have the tax savings but Marner gets paid in US dollars and lives in Canada so that is a 30% raise. His salary in Canadian dollars is over $13 million

      • Hi David

        Take home pay is what I meant. Sorry.

        All players are paid in $US as per CBA

        The currency is irrelevant as it is uniform for all 700 + players

        The diff city to city is the relative COL …. if the exchange rate drastically changes over the term of a contract then that player either gains or loses relative to the direction of change

        Outside of exchange fluctuation and local COL; in dollars only … the FLA tax advantage is substantial over Canadian cities especially Leafs; Sens; Habs

        COL is much higher in T.O. than TBay ; and NYC is higher than T.O.

        Of course that is not everything when it comes to signing a contract ; the players in general want to (1) play hockey ;(2) play for a winner; (3) play with team-mates and coaching staff they like

        City amenities; weather/climate; close to home if ailing parents ; good schools for players in their 30’s raising a fam; city with large communities similar in background to the player (Panarin); ad $’s possibilities

        Many reasons

        But NHL pay take home $’s only …. Panthers; Bolts; Stars; Preds; and Knights all have big advantages over all other teams and massive advantages over the teams most heavily taxed (Sens; Habs; Leafs)

        I can’t speak to how Point rationalizes all other parts of his decision making

    • pENGY….I think Brian Rust is going somewhere soon. He was the only real NHL forward dressed for this preseason tilt at Penn State.

      Maybe buffalo is looking to ad scoring and move one of their 5,000 defense man.

      Rust for Scandella…good for for both teams.

      He is 29, UFA next year and by then Peterson will be ready for the second pairing or if they move on from Schultz Peterson and Scandella can be the second pairing d next year.

      • Another thing to consider for Habs and some Sens signing is language barrier. The Habs may have had to pay more to convince player not to leave because family struggles with language barrier. Ottawa has a large French population as well. Those are intangibles other teams don’t have to deal with. Vancouver is another Canadian city where taxes and real estate values are over the top. It’s sad, then there’s the intense media zoo in Toronto and Montreal that scares some players away. Another intangible Leafs & Habs may have to pay extra for to keep a star or entice a high level UFA.

  5. Are Jets willing to lose both Conner and Laine? Seems they are sour on PL now, and his recent comments might not help with that. Is there a trade market for Laine?

    • Connor will sign. negotiations seem a little like the morrissey negotiations from last year. It may end up being a 2 year contract in spite of the long term talk.

      Laine is a difficult contract to value due to grossly inconsistent production. 5m is on the low side of the ‘fair’ window for a bridge/show-me contract. This is right where chevy should be starting.

      Trouba was a loss, Pionk is a fair Myers replacement and Chiarot is replaceable from within the organization. Jets are still a very young team and natural internal growth is still on thier side. No panic in winnipeg.

    • Any offer sheet for Laine will need to include a million Z-bucks.

      (fortnite reference for you non gamers)

      • might be worth including z-bucks as a good-will gesture. lol

  6. Well done Donald Sweeney!
    Everyone is now back in the fold.

    • If so, that’s obviously changed Dark G. I don’t know what he and his agent thought they’d get coming off an ELC of $863,333 and all of 87 NHL games spread out over 3 seasons (16 in 2016-17 – 42 in 2017-18 – and 29 last year) – especially since he didn’t show any great progress.

      If he was regarded as a “can’t miss” – he’s now looked upon more as a “did miss.” Besides, with 22 at the ML level and so room to add Honka, even a return at his ELC would leave them with absolutely no wiggle room (they now show cap space of $970,001, although they could dip into Hanzal’s $4.75 mil LTIR or Johns’ $2,350,000 LTIR to sign him to a modest increase, I guess.

      Like fellow-Finn Puljujarvi he clearly has an inflated view of his worth

      With Lindell, Klingberg, Oleksiak, Polak, Sekera, Heiskanen and Fedun ahead of him in the pecking order, Dallas doesn’t really need him. Hence the “non-key” label.

      • What the hell?? – I didn’t re-post that! I was responding to Shorepark’s comment on the signing of Carlo!!

        What I thought I posted was

        “Sweeney is now 4 steps ahead of the pack in the “manager of the year” sweepstakes. Carlo at 2 years and $2,850,000 per leabing him with 23 at the ML level and still $1,153,334 in wiggle room.

        All he has to do now is whether the early schedule storm with those various dings and bruises on his D and they’re right back in business as a top contender

    • Must be the beans in Boston – Sweeney does it again!

  7. Not every RFA is getting Marner money. Konecny reasonable Boeser reasonable McAvoy reasonable . Aho reasonable

    • Marner must be really good, eh?

  8. Can’t have the tail wagging the dog Sweeney understands that and both McAvoy and Carlo will get their money when the have earned it. These kids who want Crosby and Ovie money who haven’t won anything yet is crazy.

  9. Lyle a question:

    Do the Matthews contract and the McDavid contract terminate such that when McDavid is an UFA …..Matthews is also a UFA…..

    • No. Matthews’ contract expires in 2024, McDavid’s in 2026.

  10. Old blue dog – the leafs have Matthews signed through to 2023-24 – he becomes a UFA 2024-25

    McDavid is locked up through to 2025-26

  11. With Laine still holding out does anyone think the jets would bite on a Vlassic for Laine trade?

    As good a Pickles is, he’s getting old. And the sharks have a lot of money tied up in the defense. This frees up enough cap to add a potent offensive weapon, gives the Jets a top pairing d man and resolves the outstanding contract issues.

    As the contract talk drag on I have to assume some teams are looking at more drastic moves.

    • Going to take a hell of a lot more than Vlasic to get Laine.

    • Does Laine get to pick which line he’s on?

      • Haha!
        He wants to decide on the line combos, restaurants, drills, video games, dressing room music, warm up music and the 3rd sweater.

      • He can do all that in the Finnish Elite League.

  12. Nobody thought Boston could fit McAvoy and Carlo under the cap space they had available. Credit to the players for taking less than market value to help the team be successful. They should get paid on their next deals.

  13. I see Carolina just signed UFA – and ex-Sens – D-man Fredrick Claesson to a 1-year $700,000 cap hit, giving them 9 at the ML level among 25 players shown and are now $2,254,791 over the cap. Is this one more indication that a Faulk deal is imminent to move his $4,833,333 cap hit? Or someone else from that D-list?

    • Even with Van Riemsdyk going on LTRI they are still 1 over the limit. Maybe Claesson is simply AHL depth for call-up if and when needed.

      • @George O . Where do you see Van Riemsdyk injured ?

      • Swany – this post yesterday from GP

        GP on September 16, 2019 at 12:29 pm
        Trevor van Riemsdyk is expected to start the season on injured reserve for Carolina.

        I guess he’s heard news along these lines from RotoWorld

        “The defenseman underwent surgery at the beginning of May and the timetable of four-to-six months looks to be five-six months at this time. He is skating but is not participating in practices. “I don’t expect him to be ready for the start of the season,” Hurricanes President and General Manager Don Waddell told NHL.com last week. “It just depends on how things go for him. There’s no reason to rush him back in game one or game two. It’s a long season. If we’re going to go deep, we’re going to need him. We’ll be very patient.”

      • Although, in retrospect, I shouldn’t have used the term “LTIR” – looks like nothing long-term about it. Just a few games

    • Hi George

      Claesson at $700 K is a no risk move

      Can’t get paid less and he’s not a horrific player

      He is definitely not an offensive threat ; but he’s an average depth DMan ; still relatively young

      If he picks up …. deal was a bargain ; falters…. don’t play him don’t extend him

      If they have to make room and waive him and no one picks him up …. a retained asset

      If they lose him to waivers … they are just where they were this morning prior to acquiring him

      Prudent move

      I say this with definitive backing to the above rationale :

      Jimbo signed Ruhweedel (far inferior to Claesson ) for 2 years at same rate

      Jimbo signed JJ; the worst player in the entire league ….5 years and more than 4 times the rate of Claesson


      • Update

        Was looking at CapFriendly …. showing as not confirmed yet but shows AHL Sal not at $700 K but only $100
        k … if correct …. that really is a no brainer signing

  14. All these young star hockey players signing short deals remember one thing, Eric Lindros turned down a guaranteed 10 years 100 million dollars and was injured most of his career only making 39 million. What kind of fool turns down 10 million a year and then signs for only 3.5 million?

    • The same kind of fool who, after posting back-to-back seasons of 11g 29a 40 pts followed by17g 39a 56 pts under an ELC of $717,500 … and settles for 1 year at a whopping increase of $282,500, risking his whole future. For what? Team balance? Labanc makes Lindros look like a genius.

  15. I hope the pens do well
    This year. It is looking bleak in Pittsburgh sports right now otherwise

    • Could be a long year for the Penguins too. Crosby, Letang and Murray are one bump to the noggin of being on the IR and who knows if Malkin feels like playing.

  16. Why should Rantanen take 9mil since he’s better than Marner.

  17. rants is in denver right now…not sure how he is going to play in teo places at once lol