Sunday NHL Rumor Mill – September 30, 2018

by | Sep 30, 2018 | Rumors | 47 comments

Update on William Nylander plus the Capitals possible trade-deadline plans in the NHL rumor mill.


NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cited NHL insider Pierre LeBrun discussing the contract standoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent William Nylander on Friday. “I can tell you that I know the Carolina Hurricanes are among the teams that have phoned of late to check in on William Nylander with the Leafs. Just in case. As they should, by the way. ‘Are you trading him?’ They were told no.”

The Carolina Hurricanes reportedly had some interest in Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander. (Photo via NHL Images)

LeBrun said the Hurricanes won’t attempt to sign Nylander to an offer sheet because who knows where they’ll finish in the standings. “Are you going to give away a first, a second, and a third if you sign him for $8.1 million or less?”

LeBrun believes the teams that could use Nylander the most can ill-afford to part with that type of compensation. He also pointed the Leafs have the cap space to match an offer sheet.

THE ATHLETIC: During a recent Dallas Stars mailbag, Sean Shapiro was asked what it would take for the club to acquire William Nylander or Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin to bolster their scoring depth. Shapiro replied adding a top-six forward would help but as far as he knows there’s nothing in play right now.

“The Stars are confident that their depth scoring issues will be solved by a better role for Jason Spezza, the return of Valeri Nichushkin, and a better offensive push from the rest of the lineup after the big line of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Alexander Radulov.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some observers might feel trading Nylander becomes increasingly likely the longer his contract impasse with the Leafs drags on, especially if it gets closer to the Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign him. However, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas remains insistent (publicly, at least) that Nylander isn’t on the trade block and I see no reason to question that position. After all, the Leafs hold all the leverage here.

The longer this drags on, the more it hurts Nylander, especially if the Leafs play well in his absence. There’s also no offer sheet coming that he can use to his advantage. 


THE ATHLETIC: In a recent Washington Capitals mailbag segment, Chris Kuc was asked if the club will be in a position to be aggressive at the trade deadline and if so who they would target. He feels it’s far too early to speculate over which players the Capitals might target by the Feb. 25, 2019 deadline.

Kuc noted they also have around $1 million in salary-cap space, which doesn’t leave much room to add a top player. However, when he spoke to Capitals GM Brian MacLellan if he had enough room to make deals to improve the club, MacLellan said, “We have a little bit of room and we can make it work.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever moves MacLellan makes at the deadline will depend on his club’s performance and roster needs by that point. As Kuc notes, it’s far too early to begin speculating over that. That being said, the Capitals’ limited salary-cap room means they’ll either have to make a dollar-for-dollar swap or deal for a cheap depth player. 



  1. I think it works both ways. If the leafs struggle then it gives William more leverage. After signing jt the leafs have some pressure to be a top team.

    • Not only is that a possibility, but if they don’t have Nylander for the season it means they have to hope their roster can produce the 67 goals, 91 assists and 158 points produced last year by him, Van Riemsdyk and Bozak.

      • That’s a lot of production to make up for.
        A career year for JT would go a long way…..but who’s gonna score the rest of the goals?

      • Yawn. In other news, the sky is blue. It’s a simple situation, the Leafs I’ll get what they want out of this…and it’s only gonna cost them time…something this fans base is familiar with.
        Some fans will soon gain that knowledge and experience soon and hopefully won’t last as long as it has for the Leafs and their fans.

      • Use Nylander to get a top 4 defenseman. The current Leafs’ “D” is not going to get you the Cup, or even close to it.

        Leafs have a need and an asset to acquire that need – looks simple to me.

    • I agree w/ everything that you posted there, Chrisms.

      They didn’t sign JT to be a mediocre team this year.

      The Leafs should trade Nylander, after getting him signed to a 6.5mill/year deal.

      Way too small & ghosty in the playoffs(when already have Marner etc…)

      • What current TOP4 D can Toronto get, for Nylander?

        What options are there?

        It’s going to hinder the return w/ him talking $8mill + contract…

    • Hi Chrisms

      I agree that it (Leafs struggling out of the gate) would give a little swing of leverage from the needle clearly pushed fully in Dubas’ favour now.

      That said … and trying to be as objective as possible ; I don’t see the Leafs “struggling” in Oct. They seem balanced and we’re able to compete in pre-season w/o him.

      Looking at the schedule and I believe they should win 3 or even 4 of the first 5 games… so no pressure at all on Dubas until those games are completed.

      After that the next 7 games are much tougher (Not in order: Wsh, Pitt, StL, 2 against Winn, Cgy, LA) and it is possible that Leafs could go 2-5

      No rush for a week anyway

      Repeating my mantra: I’m good if the trade (D upgrade) and I’m good if they bridge. I’m against a long term deal.

      • this thing is the will not struggle out of the gate. most of the east is rebuilding and leafs will be coasting at christmas

      • Are you kidding? The East is all rebuilding? The Metro is so good that they will be sending 5 teams to the playoffs so that leaves 3 spots for Boston, Tampa, Toronto, Florida each of whom could beat out the other 3 and if Buffalo puts all that talent together they could be a sleeper surprise. The Leafs will definitely not be coasting at any time this season. Their roster is good at forward but they are a Morgan Riley LTIR stint away from a complete disaster.

      • Careful Deee or you’ll be charged with wearing “hate-coloured glasses”

  2. I can’t see any resolve with the Nylander situation in the near future, as far as signing him to a long-term contract.
    From what I’m hearing, his agent & his dad are very difficult to deal with.
    The Leafs can’t afford to cave into Nylander’s demands, once the season starts I’m sure the talks will shift to a bridge deal.
    And if it continues to drag on into later October then I can see trading him will become more realistic.

  3. I don’t see the Leafs struggling at all with or without Nylander they will score alot of goals. They have a easier start to the season too. When is the last time a young player has held out and not played the whole year?

    • OK, you may be right – but perhaps you could name the players who will pick up the missing production of 67 goals, 91 assists and 158 points. Curious to see a devoted Leafs fan opinion on which players will match that production. Tavares is obviously one and even if he produces at “just” his career averages of 33 goals, 43 assists and 76 points that will leave 34 goals, 48 assists and 82 points to make up. Which of the remaining roster do you see increasing their totals to make up that total? If whoever you see doing that does, in fact, do it, in the end their team offense will likely be at about the same pace as last season. Wouldn’t it?

      • I’d bet the farm on Tyler Ennis scoring 20+ goals and hitting 30+ assists. this year. Barring injuries of course.
        He’s a very underrated player who will probably skate top 6 minutes on what looks to be an offensively sound club.
        So that leaves about 30pts. for the rest of the squad to make up.
        Very doable.
        They can afford to trade Nylander for help on the back end if they decide to do so.
        Good times ahead for the Leafs I’d dare say.

      • A 20-goal season from Ennis would be monumental for the Leafs. Where is he projected to play (line) and who with?

      • George, i’d say to make up the additional 34 goals, 48 assists and 82 points…I see more of a collective team effort: tavares/matthews/marner/nylander/marleau/kapaenen /gardiner &/or reilly having more points than last year to make up some slack (say 30-40 points combined). The other 40 points dont really matter, as long as those points are offset by consistent winning, better defense, more experience & stability, as well as lots of assets. All which the leafs have maximized at this point. with that, babcock can transition from teaching to coaching, especially focusing on defense. Basically fine tune a stable a “real” team (as he put it). They have already improved: faceoffs, standing up at the blueline, short passes to get out of their zone, protect the goalie, gardiner +3/zaitsev +8 (preseason i know). what kills them is being risky with a lead, wrong side of puck /cheating , thinking offense 1st mentality, and being a non-checking team…this year is where those changes begin, hopefully to offset those points in an indirect way

      • o ya and ennis/leivo (min 30 points)
        I see him taking ennis taking leivo’s spot when nylander returns & and being rotated throughout the lineup for a spark.
        I see leivo dropping to 4th line and fighting Johnsson for a roster spot.
        Basically, the laffs have 4 lines of scoring and can win (defense be damned).
        I like the fact that Gauthier made the team (temporarily) cuz screw points :p

      • who says they have to since the other teams are going to be worse who on lets say ottawa and montreal make up their scoring just saying

      • Nobody on either team. So what? The subject was the Leafs. No one is suggesting they are going to struggle to make the bloody playoffs – just wondering who some see as picking up that slack mentioned. Jaysus are some of you thin-skinned.

  4. Oh George…they wont. Is that what you want to hear? They will falter and it will be another 50 years until the cup comes to Toronto. All is lost, the leafs are terrible. We have no one to make up Bozak and JVR’s production. We will trade Mathews for 2 2nd’s and a bag of pucks. Marner will sleep with Tavares wife and we will be bunking with the Sens near the bottom for years to come. Isn’t that ideal for you. Lyle please, no more Leaf rumours….there is no point! They stink

    • What is it about you guys that the most mundane things can raise your hackles and get you screaming “Leafs hater?” I simply was curious what someone who follows them closely sees as that production replacements? The subject matter was the Leafs and Nylander so, are you saying when that happens only devoted Leafs fans can comment?

      That kind of crap tells me that you have some concerns yourself or else you would have come back with your take on where in the line-up you see that production replaced.

      If it makes you feel any better – where do I see the combined production of Karlsson and Hoffman replaced in Ottawa? I don’t. Simple enough

      • George.O;
        You Cant tell a Leafs fan anything(they already know everything).

        There are SO many Leaf fans, who have never watched a full 60 min hockey game in their lives, be SO sure about a StanleyCup this year.

        They are CERTAIN that every player will have a career year +

        Not even just this year, I’ve heard the word DYNASTY being thrown around haha.
        Something always happens that f#cks it for the Leafs.
        I’d love to see them win 1 cup since I live E.C of Canada
        (esp before hearing Dynasty talk).

      • Nothing like anything offered that questions them in any way to bring out the rabid ones in LeafsNation. Apparently only THEY can question things at any time – God help anyone else who may raise the same bleeding questions. Amazing really. A nation of rabbit ears

  5. Hi Pengy

    Always enjoy reading your posts. Classy and objective.

    The issue is that Nylander sees himself in the same class as Marner and Matthews and thinks he should get paid the same.

    Personally, I am not a big fan of Nylander. I find him selfish and weak defensively. I would use him as a trade bait to get a top 4D.

    • What? You like reading the exact same thought every day? He’s from Ontario yet he likes the Penguins AND the Leafs. No one from Ontario likes the Penguins and the Leafs, they like the Penguins because they hate the leafs and their blind followers. What do you enjoy about the same comment day in and day out? I’m from Ontario too but if you’re not a leafs zombie or a red wings fan living in the past you are a rebel. Been a rebel for 32 years. Bridge, bridge, bridge, signed Pengy 350000 times.

  6. Anyone have a handle on Anton Rodin of the Ducks and why he was waived? Rodin was awesome playing in SHL. A former Canucks 2nd round pick, he came back and signed with the Ducks as a free agent and now it seems he’s demoted right away.

    • Re: Rodin

      I dont care what he is listed at, he plays like he is 5’5 w/ no heart.

      The type of player who(when healthy) will score some points when team is down 4 goals or winning by 5 but will ALWAYS BE a minus player.

  7. Yes George, even though every time they iced anything close to a starting lineup in the pre season they scored 5, offense is going to be a total isuue…..take off the hate-coloured glasses.

    • I Agree fully, the Leafs will fill the net.

      That is not, nor has it been, the issue.

      They need another career year from F. A in nets.

      Gardiner needs to have another offensive year as he did last year and hopefully develop some sort of way to keep himself afloat defensively.

      Zaitsev needs to do SOMETHING, being with Gardiner is not acceptable.
      1 needs to go(Gardiner gone after season? I wouldnt pay from north of 5)

    • becareful you might get an earful because us leafs don’t watch hockey and always reminded that it’s been 50 yrs since a cup but these same people never say anything about st louis, buffalo ,flyers and a lesser extent islanders and i mean never

      • You do know that the other teams you have listed, are NOT Canadian teams…

        When it comes to HOCKEY fans in Canada;
        that makes the world of difference.

      • All 4 teams which you listed have either been to a SCF or at least relevant in the last 40 years.
        What can you say about the Toronto Maple Leafs?
        They’re in the league still, I’ll give em that but no one born in the 70’s on has seen them win anything.
        Love the old die hard fans.
        Don’t care for the Johnny come lately fans.

    • Stick it in your ear doofus. I’ve tried to explain why I raised that issue – a legitimate one – but some of you clowns are so infused with the media hype that you can’t engage in a normal discussion if it even remotely questions any aspect of the team. 5 goals in exhibition games – whoop-dee-doo. Did you get that excited when the Jays were rapping out home runs in Grapefruit League play? Three-quarters of team’s rosters in early exhibition will be either in the AHL, ECHL or back in junior.

      • Well we all have to admit;

        Many of the Leafs players, all play MUCH better hockey, this time of year in comparision to when playoff hockey rolls around.

      • rattled are we you guys right again and again

  8. Was out for the day and just reading the posts (since this morning now).

    George had a valid query and it seemed to me to be an unloaded and unwarranted frenzy on him .

    I may not agree with everybody and at times I know my views are way off centre; but I try to at least understand it from others’ perspectives

    I am a Leafs and Penguins fan. I was born in Toronto and have lived in the GTA all my life . I do remember sitting on my dad’s knee and watching (on TV) the ’67 cup hoisted.I’m a jaded Leafs fan and I’m sure I often don’t see the reality of the true situation because I’m too close to it.

    To George’s query re the balance of goals/points shortfall w/o WW…using the 34-48-82….

    If WW out all year (unlikely but if) … I see Ennis remaining top 6 and reasonably getting 15-17 G and 20-25 A… take the low at 15G and 20A

    Due to the more balanced attack and teams having to spread out their defending; I don’t see many if any , players declining in points

    Then with Leivo , Kap, Lindholm , Johnson between them only playing maybe 70 games last year and only dribbles of goals and assists between them … I expect an increase in PPG APG for all 4 and between the four … at least doubling and possibly tripling othe total number of games that quartet played last year…. with those parameters …,im thinking an extra 20-25 G’s and 30-35 assists… taking the low… 20 G and 30 A

    …. add that to the low I’ve listed above for Ennis … total 35G, 50 A … 75 points … not terribly off the 34-48-82

    All speculation but not out of the realm of possibilities

    I’d love a WW trade for D upgrade … however trade partners with need for him and with viable D upgrade , right now, are almost non existent. A trade would have had more chance in early July.

    … so if no trade… bridge (as I’ve said many times) is the next best option.

    If I were Dubas I wouldn’t pick up the phone at all until Leafs lose 3 games

    My venting is over

  9. George, honest question. Which canadian hockey team do you despise the most? I can just about guarantee most other canadian posters here will say the laughs. It goes beyond hockey. It gets tiresome.

    • I don’t despise any team, I’ve played against Crosby, Marchand, MacQuaid but I don’t despise them- or any other player/team.

      They we’re always good to me & if a player doesn’t do something to you personally(or your family)- it is pathetic & petty to despise them.

      Don’t have blind “hate” on someone or something, who doesn’t know your existence.

      I know all about the good ol’ rivalries but blind hate is sickening…

    • As a pens fan I can say without a doubt that nobody despised the leafs or any other Canadian team fd. You have to be relevant to be despised. Your post might actually be the most telling post of leafs fans thinking they are the center of the universe I ever read

      • but calling someone a doofus is okay lets all get on george’s side so he doesn’t call you a name

      • That “doofus” was in response to his “take off the hate-coloured glasses ..”

        I don’t “hate” the Leafs as a collection of 23 hockey players – never have I indicated that. But if and when I raise a legitimate question about their inflated prospects I don’t like to be called a hate-monger. Get the difference?

    • The losing is tiresome?

  10. You got me Chris, it’s not leaf fans that think they are the center of the universe…its just me. What can I say, I’m the best…change my mind

  11. Your alright Chris…I dont care what these guys say about you.

    • Duh?

  12. first i wish WN gets traded and as a leafs fan ive watched over the years the ups and downs of this franchise and have taken alot of abuse for being a leafs fan for most of my life from others my take is the leafs have something going and there are people out there that really dont like that its like they turn off the human aspect and go wild on leaf fan hate ive never made fun of another person because of the team they happen to follow we as hockey fans should be able to have a chat with out all the trash talking