NHL Insider Bob McKenzie made an appearance early Tuesday evening on Toronto’s TSN 1050, and toward the end he shed some light into the contract negotiations for two key restricted free agent defensemen.
“Right now, the reason Rasmus Ristolainen in Buffalo and Hampus Lindholm in Anaheim – and we’ll see what happens with Trouba on the contract front, not the trade front – the reason why those guys right now aren’t signed is because Buffalo and Anaheim are saying, ‘Morgan Rielly is making $5 million for the next six years. Seth Jones is making 5.4 for the next six years. So we’re not giving you more than those guys.’
“And those other guys are saying, ‘Okay, we know that the Aaron Ekblad deal at eight years X 7.5 in Florida might be a bit of an outlier compared to all of the other young defensemen coming out of entry level; but 7.5 to him, it’s a comparable. So if we’re not at 7.5, we should be at 6, 6.5.’
“So that’s where the battle lines are drawn for Rasmus Ristolainen and Hampus Lindholm, vis-a-vis the comparables of Rielly, Jones at one end, (and) maybe Dougie Hamilton at 5.75 – or Aaron Ekblad at the high end.”
Source: TSN 1050/ Transcript: Nichols