In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there are updates on some of the biggest restricted free agent names yet to sign their deals. What’s the latest on Brayden Point? Where are the Winnipeg Jets at with the Patrick Laine negotiations? What did the GM’s of the Calgary Flames and Dallas Stars say about moves and deals they are working on? What is the big holdup in getting Mikko Rantanen signed?
Optimistic on Brayden Point
According to video released by Joe Smith of The Athletic, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julien BriseBois spoke to fans Sunday and noted he is “very optimistic” about getting Brayden Point re-signed.
He said he didn’t believe there was a reason to panic, that things have been cordial, there is an ongoing dialogue and both sides really want to make it work in Tampa.
According to Luke Fox of Sportsnet, Point’s agent, Gerry Johannson has said that Point is open to a variety of contract terms, anything from a two-year bridge deal to a five-year Matthews-type deal to an eight-year lockup.
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The Latest on Mikko Rantanen
Finding ways to save money when it comes to Mikko Rantanen is not something GM Joe Sakic is concerned with thanks to a ton of cap space in Colorado. “It’s not something we’re worried about. He’s going to be here a long time,” Sakic said.
What appears to be more the concern is if Rantanen signs for a high-priced deal that is well beyond what Nathan McKinnon is making. While McKinnon is a steal of a deal in the NHL, if you sign Rantanen for $10.5 million, the concern out of Colorado is, are you really ok with indirectly asserting that Rantanen is 40 percent more valuable?
The players on the Avalanche know this is a tough spot for Rantanen because he wants to be in Colorado but has to get fair value for the production he’s been providing the team. Captain Gabriel Landeskog told the Denver Post Sunday. “As much as he’d like to be here, he can’t go out and sign an eight-year deal at $1 million a year just to be nice.”
Rantanen’s absence doesn’t seem to be a distraction though. Mike Chambers of the Denver Post writes:
Rantanen, 22, has missed the first three days of Avalanche training camp, including Friday and Saturday’s on-ice sessions, because he doesn’t have a contract as a restricted free agent coming out of the three-year, entry-level deal. But he’s the last guy who would ever disrupt the Avs’ locker room over a salary dispute.source – ‘Chambers: Mikko Rantanen’s agents might have him locked up and gagged during contract negotiations’ – Mike Chambers – Denver Post – 09/15/2019
Matthew Tkachuk Wants a Five-Year Deal
If what Tkachuk said in February still holds true today. Fox reports that Tkachuk is looking for a five-year deal out of the Calgary Flames similar to the one Auston Matthews signed.
GM Brad Treliving has confidence that he will get his player signed but it will likely end with Tkachuk becoming the Flames’ highest-paid player. That means, because of limited cap space, Treliving has reportedly entertaining trade offers for roster players like Michael Frolik and T.J. Brodie.
Treliving noted that the Marner contract would not impact the Tkachuk talks.
Patrick Laine Goes to Switzerland
Laine is currently training in Switzerland with SC Bern as his agent and Winnipeg Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff try to find a contract solution. The Jets are rumored to have offered a bridge deal of three years at around $5 million per season. Laine said of his decision, “Obviously a great organization and great city, so it was an easy choice to come here.”
Speculation is that Laine is not opposed to a shorter-term deal banking on the fact that two or three strong years will set him up to hit a home run on the next deal.
Nill Comments on Julius Honka Situation
As Sportsnet’s Eric Engels reports and as we’ve already reported, the Montreal Canadiens are a team interested in acquiring the services of defenseman Julius Honka from the Dallas Stars. GM of the Stars, Jim Nill commented on the trade request from his player.
“Did we handle him right at times? Yes or no, we don’t know.” Nill said that Honka needs to take some responsibility here too. “You get an opportunity, you’ve got to grab it. Sometimes, things don’t work out. There’s different personalities, but that’s sports and that’s life.
Of the trade and the Stars working to move Honka, “Some people fit in, some people don’t, and away we go.”
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.”