A handshake deal for Gardiner?
James (@Account4hockey): The Athletic’s Michael Russo said on the Russo-Souhan show that unrestricted free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner may have a handshake deal with a team that would need to move out a higher price defenseman first.
So if a team moves out a higher-priced defenseman soon, they could be the team to sign Gardiner.
Marner and the Maple Leafs still dug in
James (Account4Hockey): The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta said on Sportsnet 590/650 that Mitch Marner won’t be signed any time soon. There were teams that wanted to offer sheet him, but he didn’t want to sign them.
Pagnotta added that they could circle back.
James (@Account4Hockey): Pagnotta said that both the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner remain dug in. Marner is not interested in signing for more than five years and the Maple Leafs are not wanting to have Marner’s deal expire at the same time as Auston Matthews deal.
Pagnotta could see it being a three-year deal for Marner at $11 million per season.
Two teams were in on Gusev at the end
Jesse Granger of The Athletic: Sources said that Nikita Gusev was looking for $4 million a season from the Vegas Golden Knights before he was dealt to the New Jersey Devils and signed a two-year, $4.5 million per deal. The Golden Knights had been offering Gusev closer to $2 million per.
Had the Gusev signed with the Golden Knights, they would have had to trade at least one player. Sources said that the Golden Knights talked to teams to see if there was any interest in Ryan Reaves ($2.775 million) and Nick Holden ($2.2 million). Teams weren’t that interested in helping the Knights out.
A source said they may have had to trade Max Pacioretty but they didn’t want to do that.
GM George McPhee said they had back and forth trade talks with two teams for a couple of weeks. A source said the Columbus Blue Jackets were the other team.