In today’s NHL rumor rundown, Patrik Laine’s agent posturing on contract negotiations? Are the Toronto Maple Leafs learning anything from their dealings with William Nylander and what team has just popped up as interested in Jason Zucker?
Jets and Laine in Potentially Awkward Spot
Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun comments on David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period’s report this weekend that Patrik Laine could explore a variety of options if he doesn’t like numbers the Winnipeg Jets are using to negotiate the forward’s extension.
Wiebe suggests this could just be posturing by Laine’s agent and considering that contract negotiations are expected to pick up here in the upcoming weeks and that the player is seeking upwards of $10 million per season, that makes sense.
The other side of this is that if Laine’s agent Mike Luit doesn’t like what he hears he and the sniper could explore an offer sheet similar to how Mitch Marner is rumored to be looking to do come July 1.
But right now, it’s simply far too early to overreact and suggest the Jets and Laine have reached the point of no return.
Negotiations of this magnitude take time and both sides need to find numbers that are suitable when it comes to both contract and term.source – ‘Jets won’t move Laine: Negotiations should heat up soon with Finnish sniper” Ken Wiebe – Winnipeg Sun – 06/03/2019
From a Jets perspective, speculation is they’d like to get Laine in on a five- or six-year deal in the hopes of keeping the AAV down. Toronto did something similar with Auston Matthews.
Staying with the Jets, the team has re-opened talks with pending unrestricted free agent Tyler Myers according to Frank Seravalli of TSN.
Canucks Interested in Zucker?
It’s no secret the Minnesota Wild have tried to trade Jason Zucker multiple times. The last buzz was that he was part of a deal that would bring back Phil Kessel from the Pittsburgh Penguins. Speculation is now, another team might be interested.
During a discussion on TSN 1040 radio today, host Mike Halford —who also works at The Athletic—reported that a source told him the Vancouver Canucks are interested in the Wild forward and that there are several trade proposals already on the table.
Interest from the Canucks makes some sense if you consider they have a group of young forwards, a huge amount of cap space and Zucker can still produce (21 goals and 42 points last season). Zucker is the right age to help groom some of their top-six, namely Bo Horvat or Elias Pettersson.
In other Canucks news, both Luke Schenn and Alexander Edler continue to discuss new contracts with the team according to GM Jim Benning on a Sportsnet radio appearance today.
Benning also shot down any rumors that the team and RFA Brock Boeser are far apart on contract talks. He said things are moving “in the right direction.”
Leafs and Marner’s Agent Having Frequent Talks
Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has met with Mitch Marner‘s agent Darren Ferris often according to reports. The latest comes from Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun who wrote:
“We’ve had a lot more discussion with Darren already than we had with Lewis Gross (Nylander’s agent),” Dubas said. “This time last year, Lewis and I had not even had discussions…
“The discussions with Mitch, Darren and I, they’ve been going back to last year.source – ‘Requested Zaitsev trade could help Dubas, Leafs and the defenceman’ – Lance Hornby – 05/31/2019 – Toronto Sun
Dubas said they can’t allow their three restricted free agents – Marner, Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson – to hold up everything so the trick will be to stay in constant contact with the player’s agent to ensure things don’t get pushed back.
Jim Parsons is a senior THW freelance writer, part-time journalist and audio/video host who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes NHL news and rumors, while also writing features on the Edmonton Oilers. He’s been a trusted source for five-plus years at The Hockey Writers, but more than that, he’s on a mission to keep readers up to date with the latest NHL rumors and trade talk. Jim is a daily must for readers who want to be “in the know.”