NHL Rumor Mill – October 4, 2018
Latest on William Nylander and Jeff Skinner in your NHL rumor mill.
NO PROGRESS ON NYLANDER’S CONTRACT TALKS
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: cites NHL insider Darren Dreger telling Winnipeg’s TSN 1290 there’s been no progress on contract talks between restricted free agent William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dreger also noted Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas had received calls from rival clubs about Nylander. While Dubas said he’s not trading the young forward, Dreger speculated maybe that might change if this contract impasse drags on into late-October or early-November.
TSN: Pierre LeBrun gave his opinion regarding Leafs president Brendan Shanahan’s comments on the Leafs young core. He believes there’s some frustration among the front office over how Nylander’s negotiations have gone. The feeling seems to be the Leafs cannot afford to re-sign Nylander, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and perhaps Jake Gardiner at full market value, but if they’ll accept a little less, the Leafs could be a team that can win for many years.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Now that the regular season has started, expect Nylander to become the hot topic in the rumor mill for as long as his contract standoff continues. He has to be under contract by Dec. 1 or risk being ineligible to play for the remainder of the regular season. He’s losing money every day that he’s not in the lineup.
I believe Dubas is sincere when he says he has no intention of trading Nylander. That won’t stop teams from inquiring but it’ll take a significant offer to change Dubas’ mind.
CAN THE SABRES RE-SIGN SKINNER?
THE BUFFALO NEWS: Mike Harrington wonders if the Sabres will be “interested and able to work out a long-term deal” with Jeff Skinner and if the left winger will be willing to stay. The Sabres acquired Skinner in August from the Carolina Hurricanes for a prospect and two draft picks, in part because he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next July.
“What happens at the trade deadline?”, asks Harrington. “Does Skinner accept a deal to a contender if the Sabres are out of the race and look to move him? Botterill could conceivably get several assets back in exchange for a prolific goal scorer.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Skinner’s situation will be worth following this season. If he meshes well alongside center Jack Eichel on the Sabres’ top line I expect they’ll do all they can to re-sign him to a lucrative new contract. If the Sabres are wallowing at the bottom of the standings again, perhaps Skinner becomes reluctant to re-sign, forcing management to put him on the block before the February trade deadline.