NHL Rumor Mill – December 5, 2018
The latest speculation on the Leafs, Flyers, and Hurricanes in your NHL rumor mill.
CAN NYLANDER TRUST DUBAS’ NO-TRADE PROMISE?
TORONTO STAR: Dave Feschuk is skeptical of the verbal no-trade promise made by Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas to William Nylander. The recently re-signed winger said Dubas told him “multiple times that as long as he’s here, he’s not going to trade me” as long as Dubas was running the club. The Leafs GM acknowledged his intent to keep Nylander with the Leafs.
However, Feschuk cites NBC analyst Pierre McGuire claiming that, unless it’s in writing, such a pledge “doesn’t count.” Los Angeles Kings president and Hall-of-Famer Luc Robitaille once said, “The day the GM gives you that speech, you’re gone.”
TSN analyst Ray Ferraro wonders what Dubas would do if he received an incredibly attractive offer but the other team wants Nylander as part of the package. Nylander lacks no-trade protection until the final season of his new six-year contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t doubt Dubas is sincere with his verbal “no-trade” pledge to Nylander. And I don’t see the winger being shipped anywhere this season. But a lot can transpire during the years Nylander lacks no-trade protection.
HURRICANES’ OFFENSE NEEDS HELP
THE NEWS & OBSERVER: Chip Alexander reports the Carolina Hurricanes are still plagued by an inability to score. While they lead the league in shots on goal (1,007), they have only 65 goals and their shooting percentage (6.5) is the league’s worst.
When they traded Jeff Skinner to Buffalo in August, GM Don Waddell felt his absence could be offset by youngsters such as “Andrei) Svechnikov and rookie center Martin Necas, defenseman Dougie Hamilton, forward Micheal Ferland.”
Ferland has 11 goals but is sidelined by a concussion. Svechnikov has six goals, Hamilton three and Necas is playing with their AHL affiliate in Charlotte.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: This piece isn’t a trade rumor but it’s worth noting the Hurricanes were frequently linked to William Nylander during his contract impasse with the Leafs. With Nylander no longer available, Waddell is probably shifting his focus toward other clubs to bring in some scoring punch. The Hurricanes has considerable blueline depth and could shop a defenseman such as Brett Pesce or Justin Faulk to land a scoring forward.
LATEST ON THE FLYERS
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Philadelphia Flyers’ recent management change may indicate a shift toward a “win now” mentality to a certain degree. However, he doesn’t expect new GM Chuck Fletcher to start trading first-round draft picks or top prospects like Morgan Frost for quick fixes to get the Flyers into the 2019 playoffs.
McKenzie considers the top priority finding a short-term fix in goal. “And it could be a short-term but might even be a longer-term fix, but that is something they absolutely have to look at,” he said. He also believes Fletcher could give head coach Dave Hakstol a “fair amount of time for evaluation.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Taking sufficient time to assess Hakstol’s coaching is probably the easiest of those priorities. Finding suitable short-term goaltending help could be tougher to address. There’s not much available right now.
Last week, there was some talk of the St. Louis Blues scouting Detroit Red Wings starter Jimmy Howard but the Wings could be reluctant to move him right now. Fletcher could be forced to wait until next summer to suitably address his goaltending.