We’re in the August grid, but the NHL rumours are still out there. It may feel like we’re slowly ticking off the days before the start of training camp. However, general managers and players are still talking and trying to make those deals. Today we talk about rumours surrounding the Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and Minnesota Wild.
All NHL rumours are taken from the original source and are subject to change.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Rumour: Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas told TSN that contract negotiations between the club and Mitch Marner are in a holding pattern. Dubas described this time of a year as a “bit of a slog” as both try to find common ground.
James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required) reported that other restricted free agents like the Winnipeg Jets Patrik Laine, the Vancouver Canucks Brock Boeser and the Mikko Rantanen of the Colorado Avalanche are waiting on what Marner gets before the other deals fall into place.
The same report also said that Marner wants a deal similar to teammate Auston Matthews in order to get at an even bigger payday. Reports also indicate that the Leafs may want to offer over a three, four or seven-year contract to avoid running up against other big contracts.
Analysis: The gridlock is holding up the signings of the other RFAs. Deals will get done once Marner gets signed because they’ll use his deal as a template. Things will move faster once the ball finally gets rolling again.
Dubas is trying to make all of the pieces fit. He wants to keep his talented core together for as long as possible. Marner wants to get as much as value as he can and a mid-length deal may satisfy both sides.
Rumour: Speaking of RFAs, Bruins president Cam Neely told NBC Sports Radio Boston that the team is preparing for holdouts by Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo. Neely and general manager Don Sweeney say they want to negotiate in good faith and both are in the long-term plans for Boston.
NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty summarized the whole situation as Carlo will likely fetch $3-4 million, but McAvoy may require a little more and a long-term deal. The Bruins will have $7-8 million to sign the pair. Sweeney may have to make a move or two to squeeze out some more cap space.
COLUMN: With RFA negotiations that are like "sweeping mud" this summer, the Bruins are bracing for training camp holdouts from unsigned defensemen Charlie McAvoy and/or Brandon Carlo https://t.co/XGO9bUnKRF
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) August 2, 2019
Analysis: Teams usually have contingency plans just in case players do hold out. Carlo is probably more likely to sign first. Boston would like to lock down the puck-moving McAvoy on a long-term basis.
The situation will probably not be a lengthy holdout like with what William Nylander did last season with the Maple Leafs. There may be a few missed practices. However, the Bruins will probably have them both in the lineup by the start of the 2019-20 season.
Rumour: Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports reports that the Minnesota Wild have asked the Montreal Canadiens permission to talk to assistant general manager Scott Mellanby. He’s been in that role since July 2014.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) August 3, 2019
Analysis: Mellanby has been helping general manager Marc Bergevin as the Habs are trying to turn into a playoff contender in a loaded Atlantic Division. The Montreal native has also been part of the Canucks front office and was an assistant coach for the St. Louis Blues.
Mellanby is in the mix for the job as well as former Philadelphia Flyers general manager Ron Hextall and New Jersey Devils assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald. Mellanby had been interviewed for the Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers GM jobs. The former NHL veteran is a highly-regarded candidate.
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs sends a stick into the crowd after being named the 1st star against the Ottawa Senators in an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on February 10, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Senators 6-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)