NHL Rumor Mill – October 12, 2018
William Nylander’s contract impasse with the Leafs continues plus the Canadiens could be willing to move a forward. Details in your NHL rumor mill.
NYLANDER CONTRACT IMPASSE
TSN: Darren Dreger reports being told there’s no progress in the contract impasse between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent William Nylander. Both sides haven’t moved much from their opening positions, with the Leafs believed offering a six-year deal worth $6-million annually while the Nylander camp’s initial asking price was over $8-million annually.
For the Leafs, anything north of $6.5-million annually will affect contract negotiations with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, who will become RFAs next summer.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites Pierre LeBrun discussing the Nylander standoff with Toronto’s TSN 1050 on Wednesday. He was asked if the Anaheim Ducks or Carolina Hurricanes might be trade options if the Leafs decide to go down that road with the 22-year-old forward.
The Ducks’ Brandon Montour and the Hurricanes’ Jaccob Slavin were mentioned by show host Gord Miller. LeBrun replied the Leafs spoke to the Hurricanes during the summer about Justin Faulk but it was a completely different situation that didn’t involve Nylander. He doesn’t see the Hurricanes parting with Slavin.
Bob McKenzie talked about the Nylander situation Wednesday evening on NBCSN, asked if it was possible the Leafs might trade the youngster. McKenzie doesn’t believe they intend to move him as he’s seen as part of their roster core. Nylander doesn’t want to take a hometown discount only to be traded in a couple of years as salary-cap pressures mount for the Leafs.
TVA SPORTS: During a recent appearance on the show Dave Morrissette live, Renaud Lavoie said he believes the Leafs might have to trade Nylander if this standoff drags on.
Lavoie claimed there was a team that told him they would be very surprised if the Nashville Predators didn’t trade one of their defensemen because they’ll eventually have to do it one way or another. He felt they might be a good trade partner for the Leafs. Louis Jean suggests Mattias Ekholm would be the obvious trade candidate.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There might not be any progress in Nylander’s contract negotiations but we’re already starting to see movement in the media rumor mill as some pundits start spitballing trade possibilities.
As McKenzie reminds us, the Leafs insist they don’t want to move Nylander. Maybe that’ll change when the calendar flips to November and the Dec. 1 deadline to get him signed approaches.
If the Hurricanes pursue Nylander they’ll likely offer up Faulk instead of Slavin. However, they’re off to a strong start and are among the league’s goal-scoring leaders. If that trend continues they won’t have any need to acquire a scoring forward like Nylander.
The Ducks could be worth watching as a possible trade destination for Nylander. They’re off to a better-than-expected start but that’s largely thanks to John Gibson’s goaltending and their penalty killing. Their puck-possession numbers aren’t pretty and key forwards such as Corey Perry, Patrick Eaves, and Ondrej Kase remain sidelined.
As for the Predators, I don’t think GM David Poile intends to break up his top-four defense. They helped the Preds reach the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and win their first Presidents’ Trophy last season. Granted, things can always change over the course of a long season. Poile has a reputation for making big moves that catch everyone off-guard, but I don’t think a Nylander-for-Ekholm swap is in the cards.
CANADIENS WILLING TO TRADE A FORWARD.
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin has informed teams that he’s available for business in terms of possibly trading a forward. Nikita Scherbak and Tomas Plekanec have been healthy scratches while sidelined forwards Nicolas Deslauriers and Jacob de la Rose will be returning soon. The Canadiens could attempt to demote one of them but would risk losing them to another club via waivers.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canadiens won’t get much back if they place one of those guys on the trade block. They’ll likely get a draft pick or a minor leaguer.