NHL Rumor Mill – September 25, 2018
An update on William Nylander’s contract situation plus the latest on the Sharks and Blues in your NHL rumor mill.
NYLANDER CONTRACT STANDOFF CONTINUES
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Darren Dreger sharing his thoughts on the contract standoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent William Nylander yesterday on Toronto’s TSN 1050. While he doesn’t think discussions have turned nasty there may not be as much dialogue between the two sides as originally thought.
Dreger doesn’t think the Nylander camp has come down much from their original asking price. If they’re still seeking a number in the “mid-high sevens” ($7 million) he doesn’t see the Leafs agreeing to that. When asked about the possibility of a “sign-and-trade” scenario, Dreger didn’t rule it out but doesn’t see rival clubs lining up to pay Nylander $7-million plus.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I agree with Dreger. Nylander’s a good young forward who still has plenty of upside. One day, perhaps, he could be worth over $7 million annually but he’s not there yet.
The Leafs are reportedly offering around $6 million annually. It’s believed Nylander’s reps see their client’s worth as close to that of Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl, who’s pulling in $8.5-million annually.
Nylander’s not doing himself any favors with this standoff. I also don’t see a rival club jumping in with an offer sheet, which seems more remote than a sign-and-trade. Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas insists he’s not trading Nylander. If we take him at their word, a sign-and-trade won’t happen.
SHARKS AND BLUES
THE ATHLETIC: In a recent mailbag segment, Kevin Kurz was asked what the San Jose Sharks might do to address their overage of defensemen. They’re currently carrying eight blueliners. One option he suggested was trading Tim Heed, who might have some value, rather than risk losing him to waivers. Heed, 27, is due to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
Jeremy Rutherford examined how the St. Louis Blues training-camp battles were shaping up. The eventual return of Carl Gunnarsson from hip and knee surgery could turn Jordan Schmaltz into their eighth defenseman. They could keep eight blueliners or perhaps try to sneak Schmaltz through waivers or trade him.