NHL Rumor Mill – September 25, 2018

by | Sep 25, 2018 | Rumors | 67 comments

An update on William Nylander’s contract situation plus the latest on the Sharks and Blues in your NHL rumor mill.


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.

William Nylander’s contract impasse with the Toronto Maple Leafs shows no sign of ending anytime soon. (Photo via NHL Images)

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. 


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. 



  1. Backing yourself into a corner is always a good strategy…

    • The only reason the Oilers signed Draisitil to that contract was that outside of Connor Mc David in the rebuild…. they had…
      NO ONE!!

      He came off one good year where he did not even make the team out of Camp!!

      They just moved out Hall… and Eberle had one foot out the door from Management ..and they were desperate to find different faces in a new youth movement and rebuild on the fly.

      Draisitil was a natural center who could also play wing and LUCKED OUT that the Oilers Drafted McDavid the next year and he got to play with him…and it increased his persona and worth …

      So in saying that with 20 /20 hinsite would the Oilers pay Leon that again if they had to …NO probably not 25 goals and 45 assists last year…..75 points for the Oilers no playoffs and cap strapped !

      Maybe to the public they would say yes… but in the board room they would not …so the Leafs need to look at that and NOT MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE !!

      Nylander is NOT worth the $7 + to $8 million ..I am at $6.75 for a bridge …and paying Marner down the road instead.

      Once the Leafs have the full team on display ..you will see that Nylander is not going to be that well missed and it would be better to keep that Cap available for future considerations.


      • Leon right place right time for that contract plus that monster two rounds of the playoffs 2017. Just look how the world views Marner vs Willy after the playoffs compared to before that series.

        The longer he sits as everyone has stated here the worse will be for him. the Leafs should start just fine

      • Sure. Draisaitl put up 25 goals & 70 points playing with a revolving door of wingers & Edm’s PP in shambles. He went from 27 PP points in 2016-17 to 11 last season. The kid will turn 23 in Oct & has 269 games on NHL regular season experience. His 8.5 his solid value when compared to what Tavares just signed for, Eichel & the contracts of the next wave of studs. Worth every penny of that deal.

        30+ goals & in or around 85 points this season as long as he plays at least 75 games. No way Edm is that bad again this season especially on the PP & Draisaitl is going to get Yamamoto or Puljujarvi on the right & Lucic on the left. Both Yamamoto & Puljujarvi are ready to give far more; 15 to 20 goals & in or around 40 to 45 points each & Lucic will bounce back to 20 to 25 goals & 50 to 55 points.

      • the reason the oil payed dria is because chia over pays everyone with the exception of MC D I don’t know why he still has a job

      • As an Oiler fan from Edmonton, I would like to set the record straight. I don’t know anything about Toronto’s management, so I can’t say what Toronto is thinking with Nylander. However, as an Oiler fan from Edmonton, I can say that the reason we sign Draisatl for that amount is because:

        1. Yes, he has 75 points and did great with McDavid and for the Oilers.

        2. Right time and right place. He’s still out Malkin

        3. Chiraelli in every interview has always compared NHL centremen to NFL quarterbacks. NHL wingers and NFL receivers which he considers a dime a dozen.

        He follow the Penguins example. Strong centres with revolving wingers. If Nylander was in Edmonton, Chiraelli won’t give him that much because he’s not a natural centre. He’d most likely sit or get traded if he didn’t play ball. He wouldn’t have a lot of pull in Edmonton.

        There’s a reason why we traded Eberle but not trade Nugent-Hopkins. Eberle can’t play centre. We only signed Lucic for his leadership abilities and at the time, never missed the playoffs (so luck as well). Puljujarvi and Yamamoto will become revolving door players with the Oilers as well along with any other wingers that comes through our system. But players like McLeod, Khaira and Strome will likely stay because they started at centre and can play wing.

        Nylander can’t compare himself to Draisatl because it’s a completely different situation and different management mentality. I hope that it works out for you Toronto fans. But he’s doing himself no favours when he knows that Tavares just signed for big money. He should of aimed for a bridge deal.

    • If he was a Leaf, he’d be worth $8.5M and more. Dude is a tank.

      If Leafs are going to move him, they need a top 4 defenseman and nothing else. The current D corps is not going to get you the Cup.

      • The fact that he is holding out significantly lowers his value. Give up a top 4 D for the chance to overpay someone… No way!

  2. There are already teams out there with need of an established blueline to help hold down the fort in absence of players who will be on injured reserve. Picking up a mid round pick from one for San Jose shouldn’t be all that difficult. Not really a bad position for them to be in.

    • Hi DC

      I’m unfamiliar with Heed’s play/value; so I’m out to lunch (again!) re his worth.

      TSN shows just 30 GP at about 16 min/game ; mostly played in Swedish leagues; didn’t come in to NHL until he was 26.

      What’s his true value? 4th? 3rd? Who is in need for his services?


      • Not as a third-fourth d-man. Right now, Heed’s a depth blueliner, third-pairing is where he’ll see most of his minutes. He shoots right so he could be of value for clubs seeking that type of shot on their third pairing.

      • Thanks Lyle

        Sorry …. the 4th/3rd I was referring to was return??? 4th rounder coming back or is he good enough to have a 3rd rounder coming back

        Sorry my bad for the miscommunication

      • No problem, Pengy. Doubt you’ll get a third for him. Maybe a fourth.

      • Thanks Lyle 🙂

      • He has shown he has PP abilities & was getting decent PP time when in the lineup. This was a Dman that when pushed to the bench last season I felt teams should target as he should be available at a decent cost.

      • some offensive upside, good shot from point.

      • Thanks Striker and DPF

  3. Draisaitl is not a comparable for Nylander. Is his agent his dad ?
    Have fun playing in Europe and hope he does not get injured for his sake

  4. Theodore seven at 5.2 but Nylander is worth 8?
    Is his agent his dad 😁

    • Silver Seven

      LOL… his Dad is prob his de facto agent

      Dubas …. do NOT capitulate … wait him out … then Bridge

      Check the ego and dreamer contract request at the door… he (WW) has every right to play his waiting (sit-out) card …. IMO bad move

      I don’t see Leafs struggling at all regular season w/o WW… they are loaded at forward.

      Sign ‘n trade … not a bad idea but basically impossible now … willing trade partners with proper return not out there

      • They should just trade WW foe KL or perhaps DS nut only if they throw in RT.

    • Essentially yes as he is calling the shots apparently. Nylander has an agent but what I heard yesterday is that Dad is demanding what he feels his son is worth.

      I hope they enjoy the time off.

      Again might this tie into waiver roster issues before Tor has to submit its 23 man active roster on Oct. 2nd.

  5. Instead of saying he won’t trade him dubas should be doing the exact opposite. If Nylander is NOT interested in being a leaf at the same price as Ehlers then it is time to move him for that right side d man and players who want to be part of what the leafs are doing.
    Give him until Tues to sign then the trade is imminent

    • Threatening a player with trading him out of Toronto if he doesn’t sign is a good inducement for him not to sign.

    • Sandman852

      With you in Theory …. but who are the potential trade partners and who is the RHD coming back?

    • Sounds great but what Dman are available? No harder position to fill & the price to buy quality extremely expensive.

  6. Nylander has tonnes of confidence, why doesn’t he bet on himself and sign a short term bridge deal. He will rack up points with Matthews and drive up his value.
    The strategy worked for PK Subban and is working for Trouba.

    • Scott

      With you on this re: his confidence and why not prove and win $’s kater … I think Silver Seven is on the right tract …. likely Nylander Sr. effectively pulling the strings

      Bridge and show me

      Sign and trade ….????? I’m scratching my head to think of true trade partners right now

    • “The strategy worked for PK Subban ”

      And it worked terribly for Montreal. So why not flip it around and say that it is in Toronto’s interest to give in.

      • Because they won’t be. As crazy as it sounds Tor barely misses a beat without Nylander. Tor is loaded with forwards that can play top 6 roles. I’m not sold on Ennis there would prefer Brown but it doesn’t matter as Tor will be rolling 4 solid lines, 3 that can score well without Nylander. He couldn’t be in a worse situation to be making such demands. Coming out of his ELC, ZERO leverage & Tor can plug a player in with little to no impact in the win column. The added bonus they save a waiver player in the short term not having Nylander eating up a spot when they need to submit their 23 man active roster on Oct. 2nd.

  7. The contract would be for 8 years. He’ll be playing with Matthews the entire 8 yrs. does it make any sense to pay Matthews’ 10 million a year to play with Tyler Ennis and Josh Leivo? No one is saying he’s with 8 million but stretched out over 8 yrs 7 mil is not bad as he’ll be worth more than 7 for at least half the contract. Dubas won’t get him under 7 unless it’s a bridge deal and they won’t do that as he wants term and money.

    Leafs sign him for anything less than 7 that’s a good deal as you need Matthews and Marner to stay under 10 if you want them all in with Tavares.

    • I find it very hard to believe that Mathew would accept $10, let alone under. The comparison is Eichel who getting $10. Mathews is the better player and Eichel signed when the cap was much lower. A guess for Mathews would be no less than $11.5. What everhe he gets, it will be more than Laine, who’ll get over $10. Kessel plus the top four forwards will almost certain exceed $40,000.

      • I think it should come in just under 40. I’m thinking about 37.5 but I basically agree with you about Mattews deal. I was listening to some talking head on Sat radio yesterday driving around the interior of BC but am struggling with my brain today. Had a serious asthma attack last night & like getting hit by a truck.

        He, whoever he was, basically said that Tavares may be the threshold for max contract at present & if it, Matthews next contract exceeds it, it will be nominal so your 11.5 may be right there Seems fair to me at least based on comparables.

    • Hi Frank

      I still think Bridge is way to go.

      Re AM under $10M; I have trouble seeing that happen. If he matches production from last year…. PPG and full season pace of 45 G’s … he’s going to be North of $10M IMO

      • I see Matthews getting north of $11M/8 year, the question is what will Marner cost? If he has a comparable year to last or better he’ll at a minimum command Draisatl type money if not more. Then the leafs are looking at close to or over $20M on two players, insert Willie at $6 – $7 and Tavares and wow…

      • That would work for me, Matthews 11.5, Marner 8.5, Nylander if not bridged 6.5 if he wants term today, say 6 years & Tavares 11. That’s 37.5 for those 4, give or take but under 40.

    • Leivi isn’t playing there. Marleau is getting that spot & Hyman is moving to Tavares line. Or at least that is what Babcock said as it relates to Marleau. I haven’t heard him say anything about Ennis but he has been there since the start of camp essentially.

      I assume Leivo is with Nadri & Brown.

      Johnsson has been with Lindholm & Kapanen on the 4th line.

      • Every player needs to clear waivers in Tor but Matthews, Lindholm & Kapanen shown on CapFriendly’s active roster. Gauthier isn’t shown on Tor’s active roster but he will need to clear waivers also.

        Factor in the D & goalies that need to clear as well & adding Nylander before Oct. 3rd just makes the problem worse. They may have to designate a player or players to IR to juggle the #’s, but the NHL is supposed to make sure they are actually injured!

  8. I think the problem with the Leafs and Nylander is the Marleau contract. You are paying a 39 year old 6.25 mill for 40 to 50 points a season and Nylander sees himself as a 60+ point producer. So he and his agent think that may should he get 7+ million a year?
    Not saying I would pay him that. Just thinking what Nylander and his agent may see on the Leafs books.

    • Sorry, accidentally hit submit before I was finished. Was just going to add Nylander and his agent may think that the Leafs have set their market for his production at the 7 mill for his 60+ points per year.

      • I think he (and his father) will bet on Nylander’s value and go for a bridge deal, then check out the market in a couple of years. Depending on how other Leaf wingers develop, he could be a trade candidate sooner than later.
        Pretty good player though and Matthews likes to play with him.

    • I’m going to assume his agent knows that UFA’s are paid a premium over young players coming out of their ELC’s, this is the business side of hockey & if he doesn’t he needs to fire him & his interfering father.

      • I understand the difference of UFA’s and players coming out of their ELC. But is there a clear difference of old 35+ contracts of players on the decline compared to players coming out of ELC’s who are on the incline?

      • Is Marleau declining? Just keeps plugging away. Stays healthy, still skates well & scores 20+ goals.

        No thank 1 forced Tor to give him 3 years at 6+ they did so willingly.

      • From 2008 to 2014, not including 2012/13 shortened season, he had 30 to 44 goals a season. During those years he also was getting 57 to 83 points. Also at the age of 39 do you really think he can keep up the high 40 points per season pace?
        I really think the agent (or the father) is looking at it this way. A declining asset is worth 6.25 million. So, an asset who is on the incline should be worth more.

  9. I think Nylander just doesn’t want to sign with the Leafs – at least not long term

    • Well in 5 years he can be a UFA & decide where he wants to play. Until then or Tor moves him he is Tor property or that of the team traded to.

    • Most analysts are assuming that Nylander is concerned he will be significantly low-balled in comparison to what Marner may make. And this is what Nylander is fighting to protect. I’m not saying they are right, but there is logic to this assumption.

      I personally appreciate Nylander fighting for himself. It speaks volumes in terms of his persona and hopefully will present itself on ice as someone that is determined. I know many see him as soft, his game is not build around fighting for pucks, but built around speed, stickhandling, and shot which he does extremely well. His fight will be in terms of drive and determination around his attributes.

      Having said this, Nylander will be signed, he’s not that stupid ultimately.

      • I agree. Nylander is an incredibly gifted offensive player just scratching the surface of his offensive abilities. Tons of growth & upside & I assume he will get better defensively as he ages & develops but who really cares. The league is loaded with offensive players that can do little else. Puck possession & scoring is a great defensive strategy.

  10. Most teams when they submit their 23 man active roster carry 13 forwards, 8 defensemen & 2 goalies. A few deviate due to injuries or waiver issues but the majority keep 8, so StL & SJ are simply following a fairly standard format.

    That said Heed & Schmaltz aren’t suited to the Black Ace roles that #7/8 NHL Dman fill. Essentially practising & rarely playing & these Dman need minutes. Heed is older by age but has very limited NHL experience so perhaps he is a Black Ace.

  11. I was listening to NHL sat radio driving around yesterday & the guy on the show said the issue with Nylander is his father Michael. It’s his sense of his sons worth that is driving these negotiations apparently. I believe it was the Koulas show.

  12. Ott just waived Z. Smith! What the hell is going on it Ott? For the love of God who is running this organization.

    • With Thompson gone & Pageau heading to LTIR long term who’s killing penalties for Ott? Ryan & Dzingel! That’s tongue in cheek they don’t kill penalties.

    • Maybe they should have checked with you first since you always assume its the result of managerial incompetence.

      • 3 million to kill penalties? i don’t think so

      • I’m fairly certain he did more than killoebalties George. & the same management team gave him that contract.

        They should have called me even I’m not making those deals or signing those contracts.

        What message is Ott Wendi g to their players & fans because as don’t have a clue. Nor are the saving any real money. Will Smith be claimed with 3 years left at 3. 3.25 & is it his fault there is no 1 to play with on the 3rd line last season.

        I’m fairly certain Smith isn’t responsible for this mess.

        Go check your depends you appear to be full, it’s wven c Ming out of your mouth.

      • What happened in your mouth at the end of that statement?

      • Even your return barbs lack class you loser – when in doubt refer to someone’s advancing age.

        Training camps are held to assess both newcomers and returning vets to see if they anything left to contribute. Clearly, he was lacking. We’ll see how “valuable” he is when – and if – someone picks up that contract. You also had apoplexy when Ottawa traded Lazar – he was a “stud” who was gonna shine in Calgary. Some stud. Some shine.

  13. Toronto has options that’s the beauty here’s the options sign him to a bridge deal which he will ask for 6 million anyways and we are right back where you started in 2 years or sign him 8 years 7.5 million which if you think about it it sucks now but if he is playing with Matthews Marner Taveres he’s going to rack up points hell I’d rack up points playing with them so he’ll ask for the moon if he’s already asking for this price now…. Or another option is don’t sign him at all and he sits not playing hockey at all or another option is just trade him no need to sign and trade the other GM’s problem to sign him … ask for a top pairing dman or decent Dman with high draft pick….. Carolina has a few good D Faulk or Montreal take Weaber and Mete might have to add a high draft pick but worth it knowing you will be contending for a cup and your draft pick will be very high … I say if Toronto hits on Weber just give them the cup 6’4 230lbs scores with that blast , clears the net of any power forward, blocks shots very scary lineup if they would get Weber

  14. How is “Gritty” not in the headlines Lyle?


    LOL…Sens offer ceci and anything else you ask for for Nylander. Also, heard a rumor this morning that Tkachuk is already on the trade block…………..3 years from now once he’s good.

  15. For what it’s worth, Ottawa just placed Zach Smith on waivers – which probably signals that a spot has opened up for one the rookies.

  16. Matthews will come in at 10-10.5 max. I say 9.5-10 and the captaincy as part of the deal. I can see Marner at 8.5-9 only because his numbers will remain high playing with Tavares.

    I get that his comparable will be Eichel but Eichel is overpaid and everyone knows that. By way of comparison, so is Draistl and Nylander is failing at that strategy to see if Dubas can be suckered into getting him (Nylander) in the 8 million range.

    The cap is not going up that much to justify having four top forwards making over half of the team’s cap. I also don’t see the cap going up 2-3 million a year incrementally to say that Matthews at 9.5-10.5 would be a steal. Stamkos signed for less and TB already has cap problems even with the lower price tag.

  17. Mathews will ask for and get 12 million per year for 8 years. Toronto needs a D man trade Nylander for someone who can play top minutes defensively forget offense their forwards will score enough goals.

    • Hi Obe

      I’m all for a trade if it nets improvement on D. However right now , just before season opens, I don’t see a viable trade partner (with need and space for WW AND the reciprocal D improvement Leafs need).

      There likely were some viable options a couple of months ago but not now I believe.

      A couple of months ago I would have loved to see a trade of Nurse/Nylander (sundries to balance)… not happening now:

      A perfect dream for me months ago (prior to St L acquiring O’Reilly, Perron, Maroon, Bozack) was a deal with WW+ for Parayko….. just a dream that wouldn’t; didn’t ; and most likely, will never happen.

      What are your thoughts on trade partners and what D coming back now.

  18. If I’m Toronto I’m all over the Ducks trying to get Manson he is exactly what a lot of teams need especially Toronto. He also has a great contract and Anaheim also needs a good young forward.Trouba would also be a good D man to get.

  19. The leafs blew a season to get a chance at drafting early to get the calibre of Nylander. Why would they give him up for suggested defensemen who coukd be had for less? The leafs are loaded on d and will be for years. Let them develop. Nylander is a natural fit for Matthews. Who is he going to play with if they trade him? Leivo? Ennis? Jooris?

    Matthews is not getting 12 million the math doesn’t add up. They are loaded with youth that will want raises. How is Nylander worth 6 but Matthews 12? Is there 50 point differential between them?

    • I don’t think Matthews will get much beyond $10.5M. He will make more than Eichels $10M but not significantly more than Tavares. Tavares is UFA money at $11M. Matthews is RFA so can’t actually see him make more than that really. I think Toronto would want to keep their internal salary ceiling at $11M. I don’t think TOR will budge on Nylander. He will get what they offer for his remaining RFA years which is something around $6.5M. Marner could come in at anything around $7.5-9M.