NHL Rumor Mill – September 27, 2018

by | Sep 27, 2018 | Rumors | 62 comments

Latest on William Nylander and Zack Smith in your NHL rumor mill.


SPORTSNET: During an appearance on Prime Time Sports on Tuesday, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas remains confident of re-signing restricted free agent William Nylander, who is working out back home in Sweden. He said he’d prefer getting the 22-year-old signed to a long-term contract. Dubas also admitted he’s received calls from rival GMs expressing interest in Nylander but insists he’s not on the trade block.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun also reported a couple of teams have contacted Dubas over the past seven days regarding Nylander but both were told he’s not available. ” In the meantime, you’ve heard whispers from around the league and I think it’s people gossiping more than anything else about the value of an offer sheet,” said LeBrun. He’s doubtful a club will attempt to go that route, pointing out the Leafs have plenty of salary-cap space to match.

Toronto Maple Leafs getting calls about restricted free agent forward William Nylander. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s believed the Nylander camp seeks between $7.5 – $8 million annually while the Leafs have offered around $6 million per. Dubas knows time is on his side. The start of the season is fast approaching and Nylander has no leverage unless a rival club sends him an offer sheet, something I don’t see happening right now. 

Of course, the longer this impasse drags on the more speculation will grow over the youngster’s future in Toronto. The Nylander camp could ask for a trade but I doubt the Leafs honor that request. 

Bear in mind, the Leafs have until Dec. 1 to get Nylander under contract or he becomes ineligible to play for the remainder of the season. I don’t think either side wants to see it get to that point. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports there’s no guarantee Zack Smith will remain with the Senators after he cleared waivers yesterday. GM Pierre Dorion attempted to move the veteran forward since last season. He couldn’t find any takers for Smith’s $3.25-million annual salary-cap hit unless he agreed to take a salary back, something the club didn’t want to do.

With teams knowing the Senators are serious about moving Smith, perhaps a deal might be possible if the Sens are willing to absorb part of the 32-year-old’s cap hit.

TSN: Pierre LeBrun also reported on the possibility of a trade if the Senators agreed to take back a contract or absorb part of Smith’s cap hit. However, LeBrun feels Smith could spend the season in Ottawa, suggesting this move was “just one quick attempt by the Senators to see if there was a taker.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In the comments section yesterday, some folks wondered why the Senators tried to waive Smith as a cost-cutting measure as demoting him would only free up $925K of his cap hit this season. The reason is they didn’t intend to demote him. They were merely seeing if someone would take him and his full cap hit off their hands.

Some also noted the Senators have plenty of cap room so there was no need to make a cost-cutting move. However, it’s apparent ownership wants to shed more salary. Just because the Senators have over $8 million in salary-cap room (stick tap to Cap Friendly) doesn’t mean ownership is comfortable with that.

Unless the Senators agree to take back a salaried player or pick up part of Smith’s cap hit, I doubt they’ll find any takers. 




  1. With Zack Smith, salary cap has nothing to do with the move. It’s all about the cheap ass owner wanting to cut actual salary. Waiving means the entire $10m comes off the books. A trade would me either a body or licks come back. If you want to cut costs, picks would be best, followed by a bad contract at less than the total salary owed to Smith.

    • Could someone explain what the compensation would be to Toronto if a rival team offered an offer sheet to Nylander and they let him walk?

      • 1st, 2nd, 3rd at the rate they’d be offering… Leafs can match (1week)

      • Sorry Striker

        Just seeing now you’d already responded …. small screen … weak eyes!

      • It would sort of be amazing if Lou signed Willy to an offer sheet. just saying…

      • All good Pengy at least you didn’t call me a narcissist, snow flak or worse. Ha-ha!

        I really just wish to discuss & debate hockey.

      • Racist 😉

      • I am a racist but only against idiots, morons & redneck hill billy’s. Unfortunately, they are everywhere. That said there is a positive for redneck hill billy’s when they get divorced they will still be brother & sister. Sorry is that wrong?

      • This….^^^^ is the same pos crying for Lyle to intervene when comments were slung at him a couple of days ago!!!?

      • I’ve often wondered how many in his umpteen pools have bought him toasters for his bathtub.

      • You know the whole gang up on striker thing is pretty lame-o. He tried to make a funny! Cut the man some slack.

      • No, once again as usual… he likes to throw punches, and cry when people call him out.

        If he doesn’t want this reaction, he should seriously consider changing his ways!

    • How does the entire 10 million come off the books by waiving Smith? That’s news to me and every gm in the NHL. Not one dime comes off the books in actual dollars. They’ll get some cap relief, but no real dollar relief.

      If it was just that easy, you’d be seeing lots of nhl players waived daily.

      • they mean, if another team claimed him off waivers, that new team would have to take on his entire contract

        now that he wasn’t claimed, Ott still has to pay him his full salary ($10 over 3 years). His cap hit lowers by $925k per season if they bury him in the minors

    • This will be a varied post about issues in the Leafs lineup and cap that gives no way out other than to trade Nylander at this point…..sorry Leafs are dominating the posts …can we talk about Eric Karlsson again …LMAO

      What a terrible game played by the Leafs last night and what a bright spot
      ( finally ) for the Habs in Kotkianemi he looks great up the middle makes great plays is very conservative (smart)and has a great pass and wheels.. good player thus far an upgrade on Galchenyuk for sure !

      Unfortunately as Ive been saying this game also has exposed the Gardiner & Zaitsev pairing… AGAIN …these guys need to be separated and traded just.. awful !!
      They are not worth a combined $10 million as a 2 – 3 pairing NO WAY!!!
      And Iam not giving Gardiner a raise to stay next year NO WAY..he can go VIA UFA like JVR and Bozak if he is not traded.

      The lack of quality shut down D is still a major issue and the Leafs need to work a trade scenario with Nylander and player and or prospect to bring in a quality D man ..it is not going to be easy as there is little out there available that will make sense and or Teams willing to give up a quality D man…whihc is extremely limited.

      But one thing is Nylander is not worth Blake Wheeler Money he is in the area of Shiefele money….as a comparison.

      Karlsson in Vegas took a short bridge deal after a 40 plus goal campaign and that’s where Nylander is at this point …and the one thing his hold out has exposed outside the lack of quality D …is that Marner is better payer and will command what Nylander is asking for or more …and the Leafs WILL NOT have room for both..it easy to see at this point now and what the Leafs need to do. No team is giving up a quality D man…there is no good trade scenario.
      As stated before it may be better to trade for a solid BIG Winger instead which is a huge need as well.

      Sens fans should be very excited about some of the players they have to build around.
      Once Duchene & Anderson are traded lets see what they will have overall but I like the direction in the scortched Earth rebuild.

      Young Power forward in Tkachuk
      #1 potential Center in Logan Brown
      Quality young D in Chabot & Ceci
      Quality speedy wingers in Chaplik, Boedker and Formenton.
      Gustavson as the up and coming franchise Goalie in a year or 2.

      There are positives in this rebuild …they just did not get enough quality in the Karlsson deal however and they will need to be smart in what comes back for Anderson and Duchene to compliment this core group!

      It is not bad for a start to a rebuild !

      • It’s a decent start to a Sens re-build Kal-el – unfortunately, Karnak The Magnificent assures us that they’ll all be bailing before the re-build can take shape.

  2. Lyle.

    Isn’t the Dec. 1st deadline to sign to be eligible to play come the playoffs not the season?

    We have players ifned all the time after the 1st that come in & play NHL games especially out of college. But last season Gionta & Fischer we’re both signed after Dec. 1st & played?

    • Striker

      Just spitballing but maybe the 1/12 date for RFA’s (playing reg season) only and UFAs fall under diff parameters??? Just a guess

    • Striker, restricted free agents must be signed by December 1 or they’re ineligible for the remainder of the season. That includes the playoffs.

      Players who are unrestricted free agents must be signed by the trade deadline to be eligible for the remainder of the season.

      • Awesome thank you, Lyle.

  3. & Smith’s a great example of why teams shoukdn’t Award players especially like Smith for 1 good offensive season.

    The only thing Dorion & Melnyk accomplished putting Smith on waivers was pissing of the current veterans & pending UFA’s off & further cementing their desire to get the hell out.

    The fact Doriin & Melnyk didn’t know what would happen isn’t surprising as they are apparently clueless. What this move did was assure there isn’t a hope Duchene, Stone or Dzingel are staying & they will be followed the season following by Cebu, Pageau & Boedker.

    My point yesterday’s was a response to Pengy about what might be gained that Nyr4life, Scott & George felt necessary to attack. That said there points were correct nor do I disagree that Itt has no cap issues. As I have stated since Zibanejad was traded, everything Itt has done from that trade forward has been all about the money.

    What a terrible way to run such a great team. I feel sorry for Ott fans in the short term but thankfully rock bottom is only 2 years away & the future can restart.

    • Sorry typing from my phone. Soft touch keys hate me & auto correct doesn’t like player names. Add in 56 year old eyes, terrible spelling to begin with & you get a ton of gobble gook.

      Never understood the layout of the QWERTY keyboard & ready for stronger magnification on the reading glasses. 1.75 just isn’t cutting it any longer.

      • Striker


        “Sorry typing from my phone. Soft touch keys hate me & auto correct doesn’t like player names. Add in 56 year old eyes, terrible spelling to begin with & you get a ton of gobble gook.
        Never understood the layout of the QWERTY keyboard & ready for stronger magnification on the reading glasses. 1.75 just isn’t cutting it any longer.”

        …. now your living my life …LOL….. add to that … I type single finger on the iPhone… Yowza!!!

        When I do get the chance to be at a computer (with keyboard) to post …, waaaaaaay better (and I type with all 10 digits and fairly quickly) . But … being at computer is becoming more and more rare for me

    • which “great” team are you referring to? Surely not the Sens … great???? really man?

      • It was addressing a past organizational issue Ed, not the current situation which was created by Melnyk & his lackies. I feel sorry for Ottawa fans. This whole situation was of Melnyk’s creation & for me started with the trade of Zibanejad. It’s been a downward spiral ever since & for me, the worst thing to happen for Ottawa was having everything go right in 2016-17, it gave false hope as to where this team was & needed to go.

        Boucher’s pattern is very well defined, we have seen it before. wash, rinse, repeat. Coupled with the ineptitude in everything but drafting & what you see is what you get.

        Who wants to watch Ott play a 1-3-1 this season raise your hands.

    • My question was an attack? Lmao! There are many topics I’d love to attack you on…. however, yesterday I was stating the obvious. And asking a simple question.

      For a guy that rambles on about nothing, recycling the same dribble on a daily basis…” needs 400 games to develop” stud in the making, “never getting traded “ “ will definitely re-sign” “ I have them scoring x amount of goals” yada yada yada…. you need to be less sensitive when questioned!

      Believe it or not Striker, you don’t know everything. That would be impossible. This site or nhl gms don’t revolve their choices and opinions around what you think…

      Seriously, if you’re going to non stop have to put your 2 cents in every conversation, and try and tell every fan base they’re wrong on a daily basis…. don’t be so sensitive when people question, or flat out disagree with you.

      • Bam!!!

        Seems like Mr Striker loves handing it out but cant take it when it comes back to him.

      • Yeah the know-it-all, condescending, superiority, toned comments get old fast. But then when called out on it he’s just here to debate hockey.

      • Ron.

        I happily step up & state when I’m wrong. I just don’t get the personal barbs. What do they have to do with the discussion or hockey? It is essentially trolling. Its sole purpose to be inflammatory.

        I could care less what someone thinks of me. I’m never meeting almost any of these people although I have met some from other forums at events.

        Why not just discuss & debate the subject matter & leave the personal options of someone out of it?

      • Election coming, NY4Life?

      • Are you voting for me bcleaf?

    • Maybe – just maybe – we’re f&^*ing tired of your Johnny-One-Note repetitive schtick. I doubt there’s a person on the planet who doesn’t know your stance on the Senators. And you’ve long past exceeded the boredom level with your multiple 500 word + tomes. There’s 30 other teams out there. Pick one and flail away.

      • My personal favorite is the “bounce back season” comment we get 50 times a week, lol.

    • Ouch. Personally I think your fine striker. The line ups are a useless exercise and your formulas for development are so obviously bologna that it is silly but otherwise you make quite the daily contributor.

      • I agree that Striker’s comments and assessments are value add. I can speak on behalf of the Leafs specifically, during the year his comments are obviously from one that actually watched the game vs assessing using post game stats. I have agreed with most of the Leaf comments Striker has made, which given I believe to be a very knowledge Leaf fan tells me he knows about the Leafs very intimately. I can’t speak about his knowledge depth with other teams but can assume it is equally valid.

      • Have you ever tried running the #’s I’m spouting Chrisms?

        I post the rosters as people say this player is going to play. Show me where & how. Who of the players I have entered is being waived or traded to make room for player X? As everyone else has to clear waivers & is said team, just going to waive a guy so player X usually a kid can play.

        Bounce back 50 times a week Ron. I defended Duchene, Barrie & recently Lucic as bounce-back players. Who else have I been touting?

      • Striker. Very rarely do teams actually keep most lines together. If your talking depth chart it makes sense to just list the 4 people for each position. Barring the rare line combo like Bergeron Pastrnak Marchand very few teams keep three players consistently together. Cold streaks injuries coaches whim. It’s not that common

  4. Re Offer sheet

    It’s strange that this hasn’t happened more often …. GM’s IMO are gun shy w.r.t. future ramifications (you’re own future RFAs then becoming vulnerable).

    If GMPC had some gumption … worth a shot. He’d have to wave at least one player.

    When I have meetings with my Directors I like to start each meeting with an open 5 minute banter on any topic … often gets juices flowing and sometimes spurns some creative ideas for us . Topics vary . Yesterday my youngest Director (I think he’s 30 or 31) went off on this very idea …. offer sheet. A very creative guy and always thinking outside the box.

    His idea … GMPC …. formally offer 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Strome to Dubas for WW… Dubas would immediately decline… then with being able to say that he gave a fair offer to Dubas… GMPC then offer sheets WW 7 @ $7.5… if not matched … wave Strome (Leafs could pick him up… but others would likely get him first) then pay up 1st, 2nd, 3rd. With current cap space , Sekera in IR , and waving Strome …, Oil gets in under cap and has their coveted winger to play with McD. If matched (likely).,. no harm no foul realistically for Ed and it forces then Leafs to over- pay not only for WW, but also likely to force an additional premium over-payment for MM and AM than if Dubas stays the course and gets the bridge deal at less.

    Great discussions followed …. not an outlandish thought IMO …. do I need to take this into account when I do his performance review in Jan? LOL

    • Pengy, if you read the offer sheet compensation closely, your scenario would actually cost the signing team 4 first round picks.
      The total contract is divided by the number of years OR 5, whichever is LESS. The total payout of 52.5 divided by 5 is 10.5 which puts that above the 4 first rounders threshold.

      That’s pretty steep!

      • Double Minor

        Thanks … will bring that up with that Director at Performace Review… LOL

        Yes steep at 4 firsts ..I guess he didn’t look up the chart and nuances of the offer sheet. Looking up the chart and with that in mind …. if it was 7 * 7.200 instead of $7.25 … total 50.4…. then comp drops to Two 1sts, one 2nd, one 3rd.

        … and they could offer up to $8.1 per as long as term 5 or less years … then return is 1st, 2nd, 3rd

        When I see him later today I’ll tell him his well thought out plan had a flaw. LOL. We all bought in to it … none of us realized the divide by 5 or term (if less than 5) rule

        Were it me and with the above in mind …. my offer sheet would be $40.5 over 5 …. heavy on SB

        Not going to happen anyway…. trade more likely to happen

        As a Leafs fan …. to me worst thing to happen would be KD capitulating to a long term deal. Best thing …. traded for D upgrade (very unlikely now) . Next best scenario…. Leafs go Oct/Nov on fire w/o WW … WW waits till Dec 1 … throws in the towel… signs reasonable bridge

      • @Pengy the player has to sign the offer sheet you don’t just give it to Dubas

      • Hi Yogi

        Yes I knew that it is completey moot w/o signed acceptance by player…. sorry if my comment inferred differently … it wasn’t meant to do so

  5. The mention of a bridge somewhere between Johansen and Kucherov seems to make the most sense 3 years between 4-5 mill if they couldn’t do long term certainly worked out for the other 2

    • Why would Nylander do that? That’s just dumb he wants his money guaranteed before Marner and Matthews get theirs

      • well firstly it’s a direct comparable.
        Secondly, Nylander may not ‘want’ to do that but that’s what a negotiation is.
        He has limited leverage here and the time will come when he holds the stronger cards, but now is not that time.
        Take the bridge or 6×6

  6. Thank you Striker and Pengy for the information.

    Here is my take.

    NYI are pissed Tavares lefft.

    Lou is pissed because TOR more or less retired him.

    Lou takes Komarov as free agent and brings back Martin from the Leafs.

    Lou will perhaps extend offer sheet to Nylander knowing if they match it will create salary cap probs for TOR withmatthews and Marner likely getting more by the end of this season 9-11 million range each.

    Nylander is worth 1, 2, and 3rd round picks.

    Edmonton wants him too. So might PIT.

    • Why the hell would Nylander sign a deal to play on a team in the state of the Islanders right now so he can play with 4th line guys the Leafs let walk? And explain why Lou is going to offer sheet a gyy like Nylander almost as much money as he offered his team captain and one of the better players in the league? Do you think Lou thinks Nylander is the missing piece and his rebuilding team doesn’t need draft picks? No one is going to throw an offer sheet at Nylander either they will need the picks and contending teams generally are not going to have the space to make it work. Players still have to actually want to sign the offer sheet and I can’t see a guy saying no it’s ok I don’t want to play with Tavares Marner Mathews Marleau I’d rather takes my chances with Mat Martin and Leo Komarov on long Island or Brooklyn

      • Oh good, sticky is back……….what is the sarcasm font again?

      • Guessing it’s not the space bar keep trying Dee

      • Ya it’s wonderful deee, can’t wait for him to post more brilliant comments! Is that how the sarcasm works shticky?

      • Why would Nylander sign with the Islanduhs? Money – seems to be his primary motivation right now.

      • Again it was kicked around that Lou and the Islanders offered Tavares between 10-11 do you really think he is going to offer Nylander 8 or 9? Losing a bunch of picks that could work out to be cost controlled as good or better in the next few years on a rebuilding ng team? And if it’s all about money why hasn’t Nylander said he wants out or requested a trade? He is never going to make aMathews or Taveres type money in a cap world I’m sure he knows it so why not request a trade if money is all that matters? Nylander and guys in his position understand the business, Turris Duchene ROR,Subban Johansen Trouba Drouin he isn’t the first guy to sit out hope for a better deal but in the end it seems like it all comes out in the wash if it was only money or ego pretty sure we would hear rumblings of him wanting out of Toronto which right now doesn’t seem to be the case. I’m sure Kucherov wanted his money too when the Bolts signed Stamkos but he took the bridge same as Johansen.

      • you guys stole my Lou thunder from 10am…

        Nylander is 4th most important forward in Toronto for the next decade- He would be #2 on the Isles and they would pay him. Isles add Wahlstrom to top 6 next year

        Lee-Nylander-Eberle/Wahlstrom 2019

        Perhaps Lou is waiting for next summer when Marner and AM are up…..

  7. As far as trading Nylander, I am curious if Anaheim would be in on it. The ducks have a lot of good Dmen. With the loss of Perry for 4 months may push them in that direction. Could the Leafs get Lindholm ?

    • was thinking the same about Ducks , Lindholm & Ritchie for Nylander and Gardiner ….doable ?

      • No way …it has to be:

        MANSON and Ritchie


        Nylander and Gardiner

        Id sign off on that !

      • Toronto would most likely be adding? A
        2nd or 3rd? IMHO. .but would Anaheim have the 7.2ish?..in cap to sign Nylander. .but in theory it’s close ..and solves some problems for both..rh d for Toronto. .and with with Cory out Anaheim adds scoring

      • Apologies! ..lindholm is a lefty. .agree with pengy. .Manson or Montour! ..probably Monty. .but doubt Anaheim would be favorable? ..but value is close IMHO

      • are we saying that Manson > Lindholm?
        Lindholm is the best defenseman on that team

        Manson is the meaner guy but I’d take Lindholm all day, every day, ahead of him

    • MotorCitySmitty

      Or Manson or Montour

      • I guess Manson would suit and straight up for Willy would be an overpay but that does seem to happen for Dmen. i think most agree] TO does not need an offensive D man