NHL Rumor Mill – October 27, 2018

by | Oct 27, 2018 | Rumors | 25 comments

The latest on Wayne Simmonds, Nazem Kadri, and Karl Alzner in your NHL rumor mill.


THE ATHLETIC: Pierre LeBrun recently noted Philadelphia Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds will be “a fascinating player to monitor this season”. Simmond is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. LeBrun wonders if the Flyers will re-sign him during the season, if they’ll try to move him if they’re out of a playoff berth by the trade deadline, or if they’ll retain him if they’re still in the postseason chase at the risk of losing him to free agency.

Wayne Simmonds faces an uncertain future with the Philadelphia Flyers (Photo via NHL Images)

Given Simmonds’ role as a physical top-six forward, LeBrun ponders what the two-time 30-goal scorer could get on his next contract, noting Washington’s Tom Wilson got $31 million over six years. However, his age (30), the decline in offense last season (24 goals) and physicality suggest the Flyers want to ensure he’s not a deteriorating asset before committing to him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Much will depend upon Simmonds’ performance and that of the Flyers. So far, he’s (six goals, seven points in 10 games) on pace for a 49-goal season but I don’t think that’s sustainable. However, another 30-goal output will go a long way toward determining if the Flyers re-sign him. It could also improve his value near the trade deadline if general manager Ron Hextall decides to shake things up. 

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said an executive from an Eastern Conference team recently asked him about the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs trading Nazem Kadri. “You guys spend all this time in Toronto talking about trading Nylander, could Kasperi Kapanen be the guy they move.’ He said, ‘What about Kadri?’ Why does it have to be Nylander or Kapanen that gets traded because of the salary crunch at the end of the year.’

SPECTOR’S NOTE: To be clear, Dreger and the executive aren’t saying Kadri will be traded. This is merely speculation over the Leafs’ options if they’re forced to make a cost-cutting trade. It’s an interesting idea. Kadri is a two-time 30-goal scorer and a gritty two-way center, making him an attractive trade chip if the Leafs decide to go that route. However, I think they’re comfortable with Kadri centering their third line. Nylander could go into that spot but they prefer playing him on the wing. So if somebody has to be moved in a cost-cutting deal, I don’t think Kadri is their first choice. 

LA PRESSE: Richard Labbe wonders if defenseman Karl Alzner has an immediate future with the Montreal Canadiens. Alzner was a healthy scratch in all but two games thus far this season. Canadiens coach Claude Julien said as long as Alzner’s with them, he’s certainly part of their plans. Alzner is in the second year of a five-year contract worth over $4.6 million annually. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Labbe was merely wondering where Alzner fits into the Canadiens’ plans this season. If the veteran blueliner keeps spending more time in the press box, however, questions over his long-term future in Montreal could arise. Given Alzer’s contract and struggles to keep pace in a now faster-paced league, trading him won’t be easy. 



  1. I would trade Nylander before Kadri … the Leafs are set down the middle for years … Nick Bonino is certainly no Kadri but ask the Pens how much they missed a top notch 3rd line centre last year? And Brassard wasn’t the ANSWER …

    • Hi ed

      with you on the importance of 3rd line centre. Yes I’d tradeWW before Kadri—- better return and Kadri cap hit reasonable.

      I think I differ with you w.r.t. Brassard inferring that he wasn’t the answer. Depends on how I’m interpreting your post.

      3rd line C stability is very important to a cup run.

      Due to him (Brass) being injured, and if you are looking at the situation after the fact—- yes I agree that it wasn’t the solution. However if you meant that he wasn’t the solution at time of aqisition; then I disagree.

      The injury could not have been forecasted; all else equal I believe this would have worked out.

      Remember… per TSN … no defending champ has lost a second round home game 4… they were winning game 4 no matter what against Wash…and they did. they were up a goal in the third period of game 3 when Wilson decapitaed ZAR…. no call on ice … and we know after the fact that he was suspended by player safety.

      Had the call gone as it should have been … 5 minute major and game ejection … Pens then at 1 goal up and with 5 min power play …. IMO have very very very little chance of losing that game … IMO basically no chance of losing… that then would have Pens up 2 games to 1 going to game 4 see above —— thus 3 games to 1…. then again per TSN …. only twice in history has a SC champ lost a second round series when they were up .. Pens much more likely then win series … not saying that they get past TBay… but they move on and Ovi doesn’t hoist cup.

      Instead of 5 min and game ejection… Wilson on for tying goal and later interferes with D (again another missed call) so that odd man rush results in game winning goal

      All this for one blatant penalty that should have been game ejection and if called … would have more than likely ended Wash cup run

      Bitter grapes … yep. But factual.

      The point is that the Brass acquisition at the time was the right move and had he not got injured and had Wilson been properly penalized … the decision to acquire Brass or not would have been a mute point … Pens wpould have made round 3 (ECF) and that is the hopes of a trade like that… get to your conf championship series and then hope for the best

      …. BTW … I would have thrown Wilson out for the Dumoulin hit … irrelevant now… so glad Bettman upheld the 20 games … he was a thug as a teenager in hockey and remains so

      …. sorry for the rant … started typing and just let it all out.

      Leaving for errands now so I suspect a boatload of backlash on my post

      … again very sorry … just started typing and all spewed out

    • To me, the RETURN for Nylander dictates whether he or Kadri goes.
      I think Kadri does have an established return, but the lure of Nylander progressing to impact status certainly might have more interested and larger return from a team starving for a new marquee poster boy for a team in need of revitalization.

      You can go get looks of 3rd line centre more than willing to play in a maple leaf jersey now that they are contenders.

      I think that is the task: deciding IF Nylander IS that guy, or if the Leafs think they have a clear idea of high water mark.

      • lots not looks

    • Leafs need a Kadri player for a long run. And he can fill in if JT or AM go down. They really need to even try Willy for one run this season…. or add that top 4 D

    • Ive been reading alot about the Wee Willy (Thanks Pengy! Lol) situation (as has everyone). By no means am I a Leafs fan (Wings and Oilers…sigh) but living in a household of Leafs fans, I watch alot of them. And I certainly know about the cap crunch that’s gonna screw things up!

      So…just throwing it out there….

      Kadri, Nylander and conditional 1st round pick to the Canes

      Slavin, Staal, Ferland and picks/prospects to the Leafs

      The conditional pick is obviously on whether or not Nylander signs. If he signs, it’s a 2nd.


      Matthews and Gardiner to Arizona
      OEL, Derek Stepan, Lawson Crouse and a 2nd

      Please dissect/ridicule away!

      • First trade is not terrible but won’t work under the salary cap. The second however is crazy. You don’t trade a player of Mathews caliber, ever.

  2. Wayne Simmonds on any team is a great addition… Phi… try some way to fit him in!

    • He would look great lined up with Krejci and Debrusk in BOS…Krejci’s best days came with Lucic, Horton and then Iginla. He plays well with that style of player on his wing.

    • I can see Simmonds getting traded for a veteran top 4 D… flyers need someone solid back there and leadership

    • Simmonds woukd look great on the Leafs. They need a skilled winger with grit. He’d look great on Kadri’s wing.

      • Nothing but respect for Simmonds and his career thus far, but buyer beware.
        Similar to Lucic or Backes in that he has played a physical punishing game for years. The problem is that it punishes him too. They simply can’t continue to play that way every night into their 30’s and the inevitable decline in production when they change their game to stay healthy. Similar to running backs in the NFL. Iginla was a guy who was able to change his game and produce well into his 30’s. Not sure I could name many more.
        He will demand term, and will get it from somebody, I hope my Bruins don’t give it to him. Would love to have him for 2-3 years though.

  3. Seeing Sustr waived, have to think TOR would consider a claim there.

    Giant (6’7″), Right-shot defensive defenseman with solid possession numbers over his career. Didn’t fit in on a crowded blueline in Anaheim. He may not be a game-changer but he adds some of what they need.

    Free agent after this year with only $1.1M remaining on his cap hit for 2018-2019.

    • Doubtful he`ll still be available to the Leafs, but you`re right. He`d be an improvement over Marincin and Hole for sure. Sustr would be a good partner for Gardiner

  4. Leafs need some skilled toughness for the playoffs and Simmonds is certainly that.
    Maybe Nylander and a pick for Simmonds and a defenceman. Flyers have lots.

    • No Nylander!!!!!


  5. I have no idea how good Sustr is..but I have a general question….why don’t GMs throw a 7 th round draft choice at this type of player….when one considers how seldom a 7 th works out…my point is more a comparative analysis….at least a guy like Sustr knows what it takes and I would have thought sometimes this kind of player might merit a late draft choice….something I have wondered about over the years

    • I don’t know how he’s been playing either but read comments that he’s bad. Probably why he’s available. Agree though many teams could use more defense. Lots of injuries.

  6. Simmonds is good but watching him in the last Bruins game I honestly didn’t know he was even playing until late second period. He did absolutely nothing in that game. I see his game going down hill like Backes. He will definitely help in the playoffs and Boston could definitely use a player like him with Krejci.

    • Just wanted to add I would not sign him for a big contract.
      2-3 years top 6 million top. But someone will overpay him.

  7. Perhaps, I’m still curious about this because I missed a revealing discussion on this blog, but why did the Leafs and every other team except the Ducks allow Jake Dotchin to clear waivers twice? After a few months in the AHL to get in shape. the decent, young right defenseman would look good on the Leafs, or on any team fighting for position.

    • I was thinking the same thing. I wonder how Dylan Mcllrath couldn’t find a team either. How does Edmonton not take a gamble on these guys? Especially Dotchin. He could have been a great low risk high reward reclamation project.

  8. Simmonds would make a perfect add for a team with playoff aspirations. Thats the Flyers dilemma. I cant see him being traded if Philly is contending for a playoff spot and likely wont resign him for what hes going to want (and likely get).
    As noted above Id be wary of the wear and tear on Simmonds due to his style of play, Id think 3 years around 6 million would be reasonable but he will probably get 5 years at 7 million from someone.
    I think a 2nd round pick or an established 3 or 4 defenceman would be a good return in trade. Hopefully if Philly opts to move him a bidding war will fetch a 1st rounder.

    Philly has to get rid of Andrew McDonald and upgrade in goal (Carter Hart?) if the want to really move from pretender to contender status. They have the picks, prospects and cap space to make a big move if they want to go that route. Going to be interesting to see how this plays out.

    No Nylander please. Soft, over rated and not worth the dollars he wants or the headache hell bring.

    • Ok. In a serious attempt to not come off standoffish… a second or a third forth d man seems incongruous. A middle pair d man would be worth much more than a second right?

  9. Karl Alzner for Milan Lucic.