RFA Dominos Finally Falling in NHL

Skylar Sicilia

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Perhaps the biggest news from this NHL offseason has been the painstakingly long
stalemate between Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas and player agent Darren Ferris with concern to
Mitch Marner’s contract extension. It was widely speculated as to whether or not Marner would
attend camp this year but it was clear that he wanted to stay in Toronto. Marner’s holdout
seemed to have inspired a large group of other RFAs to do the same and it was assumed that if
Marner signed, the dominos would start to fall.
But an unlikely hero emerged not two weeks ago when Blue Jackets head coach John
Tortorella told the media that he would be “disgusted” if RFA Zach Werenski missed camp due
to negotiations. And for fear of being on Torts’ bad side for the season, Werenski almost
immediately signed a 3-year deal averaging $5 million per year. And not days later, the Marner
camp came to an agreement with the Toronto management team and inked Marner to a 6 year,
$10.9 million AAV contract extension.
And the signings didn’t end there: on Sunday morning Boston defenseman Charlie
McAvoy reupped his contract with the Bruins for another 3 years at a team-friendly cost of $4.9
million per year.
However, many RFAs remain unsigned as most teams reach the halfway marker of the
2019 Preseason, among them: Kyle Connor(WPG), Patrik Laine(WPG), Matthew
Tkachuk(CGY), Mikko Rantanen(COL), and Brayden Point(TBL). Whether or not fans will see
these players on opening night; only time will tell.

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