Training camps have begun, but there are still plenty of NHL rumours out there. Teams are still trying to get some of those pesky restricted free agents to sign new contracts. Deals are starting to fall into place after the market was set when the Toronto Maple Leafs signed Mitch Marner.
Rumour: Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic stated on TSN 1290 in Winnipeg that RFA forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor aren’t close to making a deal with the Jets.LeBrun also went on to say that the new TV deal could be triple of what it is at the moment.
— TSN 1290 Winnipeg (@TSN1290Radio) September 16, 2019
Analysis: It seems the duo aren’t swayed by Marner or the recent deal between Brock Boeser and the Vancouver Canucks. Laine and Connor join Brayden Point, Matthew Tkachuk, and others, as big-name RFAs without a new deal.
Laine’s deal has been notoriously hard to sign, rumours speculate. The Finnish forward is working out in Switzerland with SC Bern while he awaits word on this new deal. He will train under Kari Jalonenen, a former head coach for the Finnish national team.
It seems that many of these young RFAs are also opting to go for bridge contracts in order to score an even bigger payday once the new TV money hits. Salary caps could balloon and these young players want to cash in on some of that revenue money. The league may have plenty of suitors to broadcast games and the bidding war could benefit the players especially.
Rumour: It turns out there were a couple of teams interested in Marner after all. Marner’s agent Darren Ferris said on TSN 1050 that the Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild present offers to the winger, but he refused them.
Analysis: A Marner offer sheet was often talked about over the summer and it looks like the experts were right. However, it wasn’t from any teams that expert expected.
Both the Blue Jackets and the Wild are struggling and were willing to throw a huge sum of money at Marner. Columbus lost plenty of talented players this summer, like Artemi Panarin, Sergei Bobrovsky, and Matt Duchene. Signing the former London Knight would definitely help fill the void, but Marner wanted to stay on the contending Leafs.
The Wild are also trying to keep up with a loaded Central Division, but are undergoing plenty of front office changes after canning former general manager Paul Fenton. Minnesota and new GM Bill Guerin are trying to figure out what to do with their roster.
Rumour: Cory Lavalette of The North State Journal in Raleigh said that Justin Faulk looks to be staying with the team for now. He said Faulk is happy in Carolina and willing to play there beyond this season.
Analysis: Carolina has a glut of defencemen after signing Jake Gardiner to a four-year contract this summer. Because of this, rumours swirled that Faulk was likely on his way out of Carolina. Many speculated that he could be headed to the Anaheim Ducks, with the Hurricanes reeling in Ondrej Kase in return.
Kase would have been a nice addition for Carolina. However, it looks like a deal between the two sides in on ice at the moment. The Canes would love to add some forward depth. A player like Faulk would be the centrepiece of a huge swap.
OTTAWA, ON – FEBRUARY 09: Winnipeg Jets right wing Patrik Laine (29) during warm-up before National Hockey League action between the Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators on February 9, 2019, at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, ON, Canada. (Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)