The agent for Anaheim RFA Rickard Rakell, Peter Wallen, told Eric Stephens of the OC Register that “no progress” has been made over the last week in negotiations. Rakell is one of two key Ducks who remain unsigned with less than a week to go until the season gets underway, the other being blueliner Hampus Lindholm.
It’s believed that both sides are interested in a long-term deal, with TSN’s Bob McKenzie reporting late last week that the team would like to come in with a cap hit below $4MM per season. Carolina’s Viktor Rask, a comparable player to Rakell, signed a six year, $24MM deal back in July.
Rakell had been named to Sweden’s roster for the World Cup of Hockey but had to withdraw due to complications arising from an appendectomy he had back in March. While he was able to play in pre-tournament action last month, he was hospitalized shortly thereafter. He has since received the green light to resume training.
The 23 year old center played in his second full NHL season in 2015-16, scoring 20 goals and 23 assists in 72 games. Once he signs, he is likely to reprise his role as a top six forward for the Ducks this season.
Anaheim currently has just shy of $8.5MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly, which likely won’t be enough to give both Rakell and Lindholm long-term deals so GM Bob Murray may still have some work to do. The team waived Clayton Stoner earlier today but that only freed up $950K in space.