NHL Rumor Mill – October 30, 2018
More “Nylander to Hurricanes” speculation plus the latest on the Rangers in your NHL rumor mill.
NO END TO SPECULATION LINKING NYLANDER TO THE HURRICANES
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman yesterday told the NHL Network he believes contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander are at a total standstill following a week of optimism following two meetings between Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and Nylander’s agent Lewis Gross.
Friedman believes the Leafs prefer not to trade the young forward but wonders if they’ll soon reach a point where they have to consider it. Noting Dubas’ recent travels to see games in “Los Angeles, Minnesota, Carolina, Philadelphia”, he suggests “those are some of the teams I think that makes the most sense as a potential Nylander destination.”
During an appearance yesterday on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Darren Dreger said there still appears a wide gap in both term and money between the Leafs and the Nylander camp. With the Leafs facing a Dec. 1 deadline to get the young forward under contract, he feels the Leafs might have to at least consider a trade.
Dreger adds there’s no shortage of interest in Nylander and puts the Carolina Hurricanes right near the top of the list. Show host Carlo Colaiacovo suggested Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce as someone he’d like to see the Leafs target in a trade.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Dec. 1 deadline for signing Nylander a month away, the longer this stalemate drags on the more he’ll appear in trade speculation. I believe the Leafs want to get him signed to a new deal but they could consider fielding trade offers if there’s no resolution in contract talks by late-November.
The Hurricanes have been linked to Nylander and the Leafs for some time but they could be reluctant to part with Pesce, preferring perhaps to offer up Justin Faulk. The Hurricanes are also off to a good start to this season. If that continues, they could remain patient with their lineup. If they wish to keep their defense corps intact but still seek a scoring forward, maybe they’ll look at more affordable trade options than Nylander.
LATEST ON THE RANGERS
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes the rebuilding New York Rangers shouldn’t wait until February to stage a fire sale of veterans such as Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Adam McQuaid. If management knows they’re not re-signing those pending unrestricted free agents, he feels they should be aggressive at shopping those players “when the pool of interested parties might be deeper than at the deadline and clubs are willing to make player-for-player hockey exchanges rather than enter into pure lend-lease operations. ” Doing so would also allow younger players to get more ice time.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance Monday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Elliotte Friedman said he thinks the Rangers are a team to watch in the trade market. He noted Vladislav Namestikov could be out there, cited colleague Nick Kypreos suggesting the Winnipeg Jets could a good fit for Hayes and also acknowledged Zuccarello could be available.
Friedman wondered how long the Rangers will be willing to wait. He also thinks people are waiting to see what the Toronto Maple Leafs do with William Nylander. He speculates the Rangers could pursue Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin via free agency next summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: If the Rangers can get good returns now for Hayes, Zuccarello, Namestnikov, and McQuaid they probably wouldn’t hesitate to trade them. However, I don’t think there’s much of a trade market right now for those players. I’m not suggesting they don’t have any value, but teams are still evaluating their rosters at this point and there might not be as much interest in making moves.
Once we get closer to late-November, the trade market should start to improve. Still, the Rangers might prefer waiting until the calendar flips to January before shopping those guys.