NHL Rumor Mill – March 18, 2017
Updates on the contract status of Montreal’s Alexander Radulov, Boston’s David Pastrnak and Los Angeles’ Tanner Pearson in your NHL rumor mill.
TSN: John Lu reports Montreal Canadiens right wing Alexander Radulov denied reports claiming his agent asked the Habs for an eight-year contract. “It’s not even close. I don’t know where that came from,” said Radulov. He added, ” ‘There’s something going on, some people talking,’ so I was like, ‘Who’s talking? No one knows nothing about it,’ so I even talked to Marc (Bergevin) today and it’s like someone throw it in the Internet, or whatever it was, and it doesn’t make sense.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whether or not the Radulov camp sought an eight-year deal, it’s obvious there’s no way Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin agrees to such a lengthy contract for a guy turning 31 in July. Most observers feel he’ll get at most a five-year offer, probably between $6 – $7 million annually. And if Bergevin makes that pitch, Radulov should happily accept it because he won’t get any better than that elsewhere on the open market.
CSNNE.COM: DJ Bean reports the Boston Bruins and young winger David Pastrnak are interested in a long-term contract rather than a bridge deal. Pastrnak, 20, is completing the final season of his entry-level contract. Bean said the winger’s camp isn’t seeking a deal similar to St. Louis Blues winger Vladimir Tarasenko (eight years, $7.5 million annually). Instead, they’re citing Nashville’s Filip Forsberg (six years, $36 million), Calgary’s Sean Monahan (seven years, over $44 million) and Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele (eight years, $49 million) as comparables.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Unlike Forsberg, Monahan and Scheifele, Pastrnak’s first two seasons were hampered by injuries. If the Bruins aren’t interested in a bridge deal, they might try to get Pastrnak re-signed for closer to $5 million annually than $6 million. However, to get him to re-sign a deal for six, seven or eight years in length, they could be forced to come up to $6 million.
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Kevin Baxter recently reported Kings winger Tanner Pearson is heading toward a significant pay raise. He’s completing a two-year deal worth $1.4 million annually and holds arbitration rights. He’s second in goals (22) and third in points (41) this season.
Given the Kings limited cap space for next season (over $60 million invested in 16 players next season), Baxter feels they’ll have to move a high-priced veteran such as Dustin Brown ($5.875 million annually) or Marian Gaborik ($4.875 million) to free up room to re-sign Pearson and fellow RFA forward Tyler Toffoli.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Easier said than done, given the decline in Brown’s and Gaborik’s production. Perhaps they can find a club with the cap space willing to take on one of them if the Kings are also willing to package a draft pick or top prospect in the deal. It could cost the Kings at least a combined $10 million to re-sign Pearson and Toffoli.