NHL Rumor Mill – September 4, 2018
Latest on Erik Karlsson, William Nylander and Tyler Seguin in your NHL rumor mill.
WILL SCHMIDT’S SUSPENSION PUSH THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS TOWARD KARLSSON?
SPORTSNET: Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro wondered if the recent 20-game suspension of defenseman Nate Schmidt might push the Vegas Golden Knights toward acquiring Ottawa Senators blueliner Erik Karlsson. They believe the Golden Knights must do something to replace Schmidt, who led the club in time on ice per game last season. Micallef took note of the previous trade rumors linking the Golden Knights to Karlsson. Seixeiro feels if this doesn’t bring Karlsson to Vegas it never will, adding now’s the time to make that move with Ottawa.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anything’s possible but I don’t see Golden Knights GM George McPhee using Schmidt’s suspension as justification to pull off a blockbuster move. Yes, the absence of a minute-munching defenseman like Schmidt for 20 games is a problem, but he’s no Karlsson. Unless the Senators reduce what’s believed to be their expensive asking price, making that deal would look like a panic move by the Golden Knights.
I expect McPhee will evaluate his roster during training camp and preseason play, focusing on the young defensemen within his system. I daresay he’ll also keep an eye on the waiver wire and the trade market for affordable help.
WILL THE LEAFS BRIDGE NYLANDER?
TORONTO STAR: Damien Cox notes the clock’s ticking on the Toronto Maple Leafs getting restricted free agent forward William Nylander under contract before training camp opens next week.
While this situation suggests a bridge contract for Nylander, Cox notes Nylander has some bargaining power, pointing out Florida Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl (taken ahead of Nylander in the 2014 NHL Draft) and Winnipeg Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers (selected after Nylander) have big-salary contracts.
He feels Ehler’s $6 million annual salary could be a tad low for Nylander. Still, a bridge deal could also work to Nylander’s favor as it could set him up to negotiate for substantially more in two years time.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: New contracts next summer for Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner likely factor into the Leafs’ approach to Nylander’s negotiations. He could end up with a short-term contract with the promise of a more lucrative deal down the road after they’ve sorted out new deals for Matthews and Marner.
Nylander does have some negotiating power but the Leafs ultimately hold the hammer. He’s coming off an entry-level contract and didn’t have arbitration rights this summer.
LATEST ON SEGUIN
Hearing the Seguin camp and the Dallas Stars did speak about contract extension this weekend. Things will get interesting when Tyler returns to Dallas on Wednesday.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) September 4, 2018