In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there seems to be a reason the Nashville Predators haven’t locked up defenseman Roman Josi yet, NHL insiders note why other teams are upset with the Toronto Maple Leafs and there is an update on Connor McDavid with video as to how he’s progressing.
Predators Waiting for the RFA Market
The Athletic’s Adam Vingan writes that fans in Nashville can blame the restricted free agent market as the reason why the Nashville Predators haven’t locked up defenseman Roman Josi.
Nashville doesn’t currently have any restricted free agents that require attention, but there is thought that with so many RFA’s on the NHL market, teams that don’t have their own contracts are in a holding pattern as well.
The reason for the disparity, according to one NHL agent, is the ongoing stalemate between big-name restricted free agents and their respective teams. The Predators, though not involved, are still affected because of the inability to forecast their salary cap situation, which is among the tightest in the league.
… The trickle-down effect, by not having these RFAs signed who are going to command significant dollars, is that you don’t have any movement in the marketplace.source – ‘Roman Josi is newly married, but what about the commitment he hasn’t made?’ – Adam Vingan – The Athletic – 09/06/2019
On defense, where the Predators need to get a read on the marketplace, names like Charlie McAvoy, Ivan Provorov and Zach Werenski could affect the numbers offered to Josi.
Josi has expressed a desire to remain in Nashville but it’s hard to blame him for wanting to see what the numbers look like before agreeing to a lesser contract than he’s worth.
Related: Ranking NHL Teams By Defencemen
Blues Looking for Maroon Replacement
St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas writes that with Pat Maroon now gone and in Tampa Bay, the St. Louis Blues need to find a replacement in the bottom-six. Thomas believes that the player could be Mackenzie MacEachern.
MacEachern was a forgotten man down the stretch. He was a healthy scratch in the last 10 regular-season games as well as all 26 playoff games. But he has some size to him (6-3, 197) and isn’t afraid to hit somebody.source – ‘Quick Hits: Jim Thomas on the Blues’ – Jim Thomas – St. Louis Dispatch – 09/03/2019
Thomas notes that MacEachern hasn’t been much of an offensive threat, whereas Maroon had the ability to contribute, but once in awhile MacEachern will surprise.
Maple Leafs and Marner Update
As part of the recent Maple Leafs Hot Stove, Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet 960 that there is a three-year contract offer on the table for Mitch Marner.
Friedman explained that three-year numbers will be high for current RFA’s and the issue for teams is that the player will walk right into a $10 million qualifying offer and then unrestricted free agency which teams are hesitant about. Toronto is not unwilling and they set a precedent for making new contract structures when they gave Auston Matthews five years. Not everyone loves the Maple Leafs because of this.
Pierre LeBrun on TSN 1050 had already commented on the idea of term versus money and how it’s holding up a deal. He said it’s easy to understand why teams are upset with the Maple Leafs but that no team has worked harder to get their guy signed.
“80% of are hung up on term… If you want to talk about why teams are mad at Toronto, they hate the five-year precedent. They either want to go long or short, but not five.
I think the Marner one is not on term. The two sides have talked about all kinds of different years and both sides would do a three-year deal. But we know why they haven’t signed: They can’t agree on money.”
McDavid Skating, Looking Good
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug posted a number of videos showing footage of McDavid on the ice with the Edmonton Oilers and fans in Edmonton are excited to see how good McDavid looks.
Flying around, taking some bumps and pushing the injury a bit, McDavid says he feels good and needs to test the limits. So far, he’s had no ill effects and said, “It feels like nothing’s changed. I didn’t want to push it too hard but you have to push it hard enough to ensure that it’s healing.”
He said he’s hoping he’ll be in the lineup opening night.
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.”