NHL Rumor Mill – October 31, 2018
Latest on Tyler Myers, Zack Kassian, Jesse Puljujarvi, Joshua Ho-Sang and (yes, again!) William Nylander in your NHL rumor mill.
COULD THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS HAVE INTEREST IN NYLANDER?
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance on Vancouver’s TSN 1040, Darren Dreger was asked if the Toronto Maple Leafs might consider trading William Nylander if unable to get him re-signed and which clubs could become potential suitors. He noted colleague Pierre LeBrun pointed out the Carolina Hurricanes have an ongoing interest in Nylander.
Dreger also believes the Vegas Golden Knights definitely have interest, pointing out they have salary-cap space to sign him. He also raised the question of how much Nylander will sign for. “If he’s unwilling to budge off a $7.5-8-plus million Average Annual Salary, is Carolina willing to pay that? That doesn’t sound likely. What about Vegas or any other team that’s interested.”
TSN: Bob McKenzie reports there’s no sign of progress in contract talks between the Maple Leafs and Nylander. At the moment, the Leafs aren’t necessarily any closer to trading Nylander if they can’t sign him. However, the longer this continues the more teams could come calling about Nylander’s availability.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s one thing to speculate about which teams might have interest in Nylander. As Dreger and LeBrun have pointed out, the cost of signing him must also be taken into consideration. A club could be interested in Nylander but not at the cost of over $7.5 million per season on a long-term deal. If he’s unwilling to move from that, it will narrow the number of clubs pursuing him.
KASSIAN AND PULJUJARVI
EDMONTON JOURNAL: Derek Van Diest reports Oilers winger Zack Kassian “was forced to put out the fire started by his agent Rick Curran this past weekend.” Over the weekend, reports emerged the Oilers had given Curran permission to explore trade options if his client wasn’t happy in Edmonton.
Kassian claims he never requested a trade and is still happy living and playing in Edmonton. He explained Curran called Chiarelli after he was a recent healthy scratch from the lineup to see what was going on. “They both acknowledged I’ve been off to a slow start and there has been an indirect conversation that other teams might be interested and he was granted permission to talk to them.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Oilers could move Kassian (who lacks no-trade protection) if they get a decent offer. I doubt they’ll get anything that can provide immediate help to the lineup. Unless Kassian requests a trade, he’s probably not going anywhere unless the Oilers fall out of playoff contention later in the season. By that point, they could be looking at shedding salary and would likely accept a draft pick or prospect.
TSN: Darren Dreger reports it’s caught the attention of teams around the league that Oilers winger Jesse Puljujarvi has been a healthy scratch from several games. “That’s not to say Edmonton Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli’s phone is ringing off the hook, that’s not the case. And the Oilers are adamant they’re not going to trade Puljujarvi any time soon”. Dreger said what the Oilers need is for Puljujarvi to improve and lock down his roster spot.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some promising prospects take longer to develop than others and that could be the case with the 20-year-old Puljujarvi. The last thing the Oilers want is to give up on him too soon and watch him blossom into a star elsewhere. Still, the longer it takes him to reach expectations the more he’s going to pop up in the rumor mill.
JETS NOT MOVING MYERS
TSN: Pierre LeBrun reports the Winnipeg Jets have no intention of trading Tyler Myers even if he’s still unsigned by this season’s trade deadline. The veteran defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. There haven’t been any contract discussions but Myers agent JP Barry recently met with Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff to get some clarity on where things are.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As LeBrun points out, the Jets are all-in this season as they hope to contend for the Stanley Cup. Unless thing goes wildly off the rails by the trade deadline I don’t see them shopping any of their pending free agents.
HO-SANG UNHAPPY WITH ISLANDERS
NEW YORK POST: Brett Cyrgalis reports winger Joshua Ho-Sang feels he’s being buried within the New York Islanders system. He said the club told him they see him as a top-six forward but he’s not even playing that role with their AHL affiliate.
Ho-Sang feels the Isles made up their minds about what their club would look like and his role within it before training camp, as he didn’t see much action in preseason play. Crygalis points out Ho-Sang’s play away from the puck remains an issue as he has only four assists in nine games with Bridgeport with an ugly plus-minus of minus-eight.
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, Elliotte Friedman was asked about Ho-Sang’s trade status. He believes it depends on the Islanders’ asking price. “I think there’s a lot of teams in the NHL that would be happy to trade for a guy who is talented and would be kind of a devalued asset on his second team, as long as the price wasn’t too high.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Ho-Sang’s brought a lot of this upon himself but he also might flourish with a change of scenery and the right coach. If the Isles try to trade him, however, I doubt they’ll get much back in return. He’s in the final season of his entry-level contract and at his current pace, he might not get a qualifying offer from the Isles next summer. For now, they’re probably going to stay patient with him and hope he starts showing real signs of consistent improvement.