NHL Rumor Mill – October 5, 2018

by | Oct 5, 2018 | Rumors | 75 comments

Updates on the Leafs and Blue Jackets in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan recently suggested that his star players should do what they can to remain within his club’s salary system, but Pierre LeBrun believes franchise player Auston Matthews could get an annual average value of $12.5-million on his next contract. Matthews will become a restricted free agent next summer. While that’s comparable to Edmonton’s Connor McDavid’s salary, LeBrun points out it’ll actually be a lesser percentage of the Leafs cap hit (15.2 percent) than McDavid’s was at the time of his signing (16.6 percent).

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews could become the NHL’s next $12-million man. (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Whatever Matthews gets is going to be well over $11 million annually. Even if he leaves a little money on the table his new contract is still going to be very expensive.

Darren Dreger points out Mitch Marner and William Nylander will seek their share of the pie. Like Matthews, Marner will be a restricted free agent next summer.

Meanwhile, Nylander and the Leafs remain deadlocked. Dreger said it’s believed the Nylander camp isn’t willing to come down from his asking price of $8 million-plus per season. He also noted teams have called the Leafs to inquire about his availability. General manager Kyle Dubas insists Nylander won’t be traded but Dreger wonders if he might reconsider if this standoff drags on into early-November.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: In a recent interview with Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet, Nylander said he’d love to be playing with the Leafs right now and wants to stay in Toronto but he’s thinking about his long-term future. He also said he hasn’t spoken with the Leafs, leaving negotiations up to his agent.

While Nylander’s stance is costing him money, The Athletic’s Tyler Dellow suggests leverage could be shifting toward the young forward. He points out Nylander’s value to the Leafs in their Stanley Cup quest this season. If Nylander isn’t re-signed before Dec. 1 and becomes ineligible for this season, the Leafs face having to re-sign him, Matthews and Marner in the same summer.

It’s understandable that Nylander doesn’t want to take, say, $6 million annually for six- or seven-years only to see Marner land much more next summer. However, the argument can be made that Marner is more valuable to the Leafs and deserving of more money.

It’s rumored Nylander’s agent seeks a deal similar to that of Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl (eight years, $68 million) but Draisaitl’s put up better offensive numbers over the last two years. It can also be argued the Oilers were guilty of overpaying him after his 16-point performance in the 2017 playoffs. The Leafs are understandably reluctant to emulate that example with Nylander.


Pierre LeBrun reports Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin has no intention of signing a contract with anyone this season. ” In other words, if and when he gets traded, he will be traded as a rental which will greatly diminish the return for him.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That won’t stop Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen from trying to re-sign Panarin. If the winger stands firm, Kekalainen will have to consider his options. Panarin is invaluable to the Blue Jackets’ playoff hopes but Kekalainen could field trade offers if the Jackets fall out of postseason contention before the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline. 



  1. When Shanahan was playing I’m sure he told his agent to take discounts so his team could remain within his club’s salary system … same guy who forced his way out of Hartford …

    • Shanahan appears to be a bit of a dink.
      Seems everyone has short memories when they change sides.

      • Shanahan played in the non cap era so his comments show he’s just pandering.

      • Short memory or not……Nylander is not an 8 million dollar a year player. Perimeter in the playoffs when checking is tighter. He should take six and be lucky they don’t trade him for a D-man. Could he even get six if he wasn’t on Mathews line the last two seasons?? NO!

    • I think its hilarious that Betman and the owners died on the hill of the salary cap era to quote unquote create PARODY in the league and open new markets…It was all owner driven …headed by Jeremy Jacobs in Boston along with a few others.

      in essence they made the owners MORE money with a cap era and the players less when they have a market value and they come in millions under what a team would actually pay them individually on an open market.

      ….the owners made all that money back they lost in the lock outs just in revenue from Vegas and new markets not to mention popcorn and a beer is $25 bucks per head and 2 tickets in Toronto is a thousand dollars where as an average family will never see a game EVER!!

      but when a team can not handle the cap and the players they have serious issues….LMAO…OK.. cry me a river.

      so what Willie can only own 10 Lambos and a Bentley with homes in Sweden, Whistler Toronto and Italy as opposed to include Switzerland Morocco and Burgundy
      …$42 million as opposed to $50 million not including endorsements, investments and that you will sign another BIG FRONT LOADED CONTRACT IN 6 YEARS FROM NOW FOR ANOTHER $50 MILLION to equal $100 million playing hockey for 12 years or so …… most of his contract will be front loaded and most likely take home $20 plus million on that day he signs …and hes worried about his long term future …WHATEVER GET THE HELL OUT !!!!

      SORRY WILLY Your not worth the $8 million buddy sorry especially in Toronto with a team to sign long term to WIN A CUP so go get it elsewhere then!

      Dont spend all your money in one day how about that for your long term future !
      GIVE ME A BREAK !!

      Take the $6.5 million AVV today and the $9 AVV million in 6 years and play hockey or move on and try your luck …your a middle of the road player without Matthews anyways.


      Just a side note:
      I dont trust that Matthews will sign in Toronto either…I see him asking for more than McDavid and I think he actually wants to play in a bigger USA market and have his own team without Tavares …so Matthews IMO is no shoe in either !
      His attitude has changed over the past year and he looks as if he has one foot in and one foot of Toronto… IMO

      • Kal El- was with you on everything except the Matthews portion. I don’t want has given you the inkling he wants to leave? there is no market bigger in the US for hockey – period. No player is ever going to publicly say they will take less for the team. Reality is these guys aren’t going anywhere before 27 unless Leafs want them too…I WOULD give Nylander his 8 million make most of it real dollars payable this year and then look to deal him in the off season. We already traded Nylander for Tavares- everything else we get is a bonus.

      • Kal-El;

        Not sure if serious
        Re: “Parody”…

      • “in essence they made the owners MORE money with a cap era and the players less ”

        This rant is ridiculous. Players make much more than they did in the past. How you can deny this obvious fact is beyond comprehension.

        You also assume that the salary cap has had no effect on league income and that they would make as much money when most of the teams in the league would have no chance of winning, as would happen without a salary cap. The salary cap has made the pie bigger. Everyone gets a bigger slice, and that’s why player salaries have skyrocketed since the cap was initiated.

        You also ignore the fact that players have found ways new ways of essentially increasing their take through front loaded contracts and signing bonuses that didn’t exist before the cap.

      • The cap allowed some teams to survive and allowed the league to expand providing much more employment positions for players coaches and of ice personal.

        Sk yeah. The cap didn’t reduce players earnings.

    • Shanny’s comments reflect the assertion that Lou was not retained in favour of Kyle Dubas so that Shanny could take a more prominent role. The learning process under Lou was as much by Shanny as anyone and now he feels empowered to take a more active role in day to day decisions. Disagree? Then answer this. Would he have gone before the media like this if Lou were still here? Just saying……

  2. The lost $ will add up fairly quickly for young Nylander.
    To each his own I guess.

    • Then again, what he’s made so far in his career is probably more than all of us combined in here will make in a lifetime, so I doubt anyone will need to hold a tag day for him pending conclusion of his next contract.

  3. Leafs in big trouble salary cap wise over the next decade unless they move Nylander now. If the pay Mathews 12.5 their nuts im not saying the kid can’t play but 12.5 really.

    • There’s not a team in the NHL that wouldn’t give Matthews that contract in a second. He would probably get even more from a lot of teams

      • I honestly have to say I feel bad for all the guys who like to talk hockey here and the daily scrum is all about Nylander …

        as a Leaf fan it sucks for you guys….
        I get it….it would be nice to make comments that are league wide related as well…

        As stated Ive been posting her for 7 years now and Lyle does an amazing job bringing the daily news for discussion and the leafs always make their way in daily somehow …but this has been a bit much even for a Leaf fan…

        How bout those Kansas City Cheifs…LMAO

      • Well, there IS a rationale for that – Toronto is hockey-mad – wait, clarify that, NHL hockey mad since their Major Junior teams never drew flies – and with umpteen panelists, journalists, commentators – whatever – covering the team for what, 4 daily newspapers?, and ALL (except the French ones)so-called national TV hockey panelshows centered there, there’s almost always an article or rumour surfacing about some aspect of the team on a daily basis. Compare that to say, Miami or Phoenix or even Las Vegas (among many) where hockey coverage is often superficial, and it’s only natural that these dominate Lyle’s daily blurbs.

        I don’t know if Lyle speaks or comprehends written French otherwise there might be a lot more of that type of material covering the Habs.

        Just the way it is. But what bugs me is, if any of us known to be not exactly Leafs followers dare to comment negatively on any aspect, we’re immediately put down as “Leafs haters.” Talk about a rock and hard place.

      • I have been posting here only for a couple years myself and agree, Lyle does a great job of collecting all of the news around the NHL.
        I’m an Oiler fan but, first and foremost I’m a hockey fan and love to chat about the whole league. If the Leafs are in the conversation then lets talk Leafs. To be honest it just so happens that it’s a Leafs player that is holding out. If he was a member of another team than he would be the topic of conversation.

      • Careful there Kevjam – there are a couple of trolls lurking about who will be quick to split hairs by pointing out that Nylander is not a “hold-out” but simply “without a contract.” A classic distinction without a difference, but that won’t stop them.

      • Kev Jam. Not a hold out. Definitely not. Duh.

      • @George Hi George, what are your thoughts on a trade involving Nylander and Chabot?

    • Sign the kid and then consider a trade. They still have some time to play with. Keep in mind who is coming off the books in the near future. One should also consider the trading of Kadri in the next couple of summers if the cap does not permit the luxury of three 30 goal centers.

  4. Leaf fan:

    When I saw Marner start to play well they last few months of last season and how chaotically their defense played (even with a over performing Dermott) i felt Nylander for close to equal value defenseman was the way to go.

    The other evening was doing his macho man routine stating this a test for Dubas and he had to sign Nylander then trade him or he failed the test

    What bunk….Dubas should trade Nylander when a team improving trade is available…a good low paid extended salary defense man…..not this stuff about it has to a number 1 o 2…just a guy who do the job well….

    In the season opener the Habs took advantage of a slow nervous, under performing defense…that will be the opposition play book until Dubas does something about it…

    with Pengy….trade him for defense soon

    • sorry left out Burke doing his macho man routine

      • Unfortunately for Ottawa fans Old Blue Dog, there is no chance they repeat that Nervous Nellie approach Saturday night. I hate predictions but if I had to offer a guess I’d say 5-2, 6-2 – something like that, for the Leafs, now that the opening night jitters are out of the way.

      • Woa George O
        Have a little faith. I thought we played a pretty good game against the Hawks. The young guys looked good. If only Formenton could finish…he’s beginning to remind me of Condra 2.0 🙁

      • The Hawks ain’t the Leafs – at least not at the F position (except for Kane) and the Leafs will not want to repeat that poor 5 on 5 play. As for Formenton, he;s still junior eligible so if he’s not showing signs of locating the net by game 9 he’ll be back in London.

  5. I am always curious how endorsements effect a players decision to go with a certain club. Lindros said he did not want Quebec due to being a small market/less endorsements. When JT signed in TO his salary would be a small part of his income. If he went to Arizona he would not have anywhere near that opportunity. Is this a big market advantage?

    • MotorCitySmitty

      Yes … endorsements for NHLers in Toronto, NY and Chi are substantial and minuscule in places like Carolina

      To be fair re: Lindros and QC/PQ…. at that time …. his parents bulldozed through and made sure there was no way he’d be a Nordique …. not saying that it wasn’t financially better for him inPhi … it was … it was just that his parents were the ones pusshing all issues

    • ” To be honest it just so happens that it’s a Leafs player that is holding out.”

      This is nonsense. No hockey player gets anywhere $11 million a year in endorsements. Besides, the Canadian dollar is low and he’d need like $14 million Canadian to equal $11 million US.

      • All players are paid in U.s. funds

      • Thanks Hunter, and their expenses are in CDN$. An advantage for CDN clubs.
        Taxes, a different story in Ont and Que, but very reasonable in Edmonton and Calgary.

  6. What respectively who could be the d-man the leafs get if they trade Nylander? And which team has the cap space to sign him or take his cap hit now that the season started?

    • Juss76

      Trade partner with space and amenable D to swap is basically almost non existent right now … ideal time IMO was 3 months ago

      As the season proceeds .., opens might (slim chance, but might) open up with a team losing a top 6 winger to injury at the same time having strong enough D corps that they can afford to lose one in a trade

      The only one I see right now as viable is Ana … Perry et al on LTIR… and Richie like WW still a hold out

      I posted before a trade I’d do (that’s me … can’t see either GM doing it):

      WW + Gardner for Mansour + Richie (with balancing picks)

      As I mentioned …. won’t happen

      We’ll see what is happening in a couple of weeks

      • Hi Pengy how about Chabot from Ottawa for Nylander?

      • Gary

        I like Chabot but I think Ottw would have to offer up quite a lot more and I’m thinking Ottw would be wise to hang onto Chabot. Adding to that… trades between Ottw and Tor for ANY player would be a tough sell ; and therefore I think a Trade with Chabot and WW as key pieces, won’t happen

      • That is a terrible trade for the Ducks, absolutely horrible. That trade puts the ducks into cap hell and the assets the acquire are not as good as what they give up. I’d rather pay Montour 4 mill and Ritchie 4.2 mill than Gardiner 6 mill and Nylander 8 mill. That is just a ridiculous proposal.

    • Carolina. Justin Faulk is rumoured to be available. Although IMO Faulk isn’t the type of d-man the Leafs need. They need a top 3 stay at home d-man to make like difficult for the opposition in front of their own net and can make that first pass out of their own zone up to the forwards.

    • Boston has a Krug and space but no way these teams trade with each other.

      • Dave and Kevjam

        Concur … basically no chance now of a Bos/T.O. trade at any time in season for a roster player… minor leaguer flips maybe

        Re Carolina and Faulk … more of a chance than Bos for sure but I don’t see Car trading for WW as they’ll only do if they can sign and soon and I don’t think they have the appetite for $8M … so possible …. but a slim possibility IMO

      • I always thought that about Ottawa and Toronto – until the Phaneuf deal, And said in here it was flat-out impossible – and 2 hours after the post it was done. Of course that was Lou Lamoriello calling the shots. Not sure what Dubas’ thoughts are re trades within the division or with heated rivals.

    • The habs 🙂 trade weber + a spare part

      • Yeah – just name him captain … and then deal him

    • “All players are paid in U.s. funds”

      Do I really have to spell this out for you? Their NHL salaries are in US funds, but endorsements for a player in Canadian would be primarily in CAD. $11 million in US endorsements would be equal to about $14 million in CAD

  7. I disagree with Tyler Dellow… can’t see negotiating power shifting in favour of Nylander right now… and “their Stanley Cup quest this season”

    1) Right now Dubas has full upper hand…. if Leafs are struggling by midNov … then some power (SOME) shifts to WW

    2) I’m sticking with my repeated tome …. Unless Leafs address D situation …. they are not winning SC. As is (WW in or out)… I can’t see them getting past TB in playoffs ; let alone Pitt/Wsh and not getting by Jets/Preds/Sharks

    …. wait him out and if no deal coming …. trade for D upgrade

    Re AM…. I think he’ll max finalize at same deal as McD…. my guess is $90-$100 M over 8 (BTW I’d like them to bridge AM; but they won’t ).

    AM’s contract extension a MUST to be signed pre 1/7/19…. or Arz comes in and offers $100 M laden with SB … over 7 years … and that for Leafs ($14.3M AAV) will be very hard to fit in while still paying current and upcoming extensions AND …. for the love of God … improving the D

  8. I would wager Matthews is gone from Toronto first chance he gets. Why play second fiddle in the Tavares band when he can be the entire orchestra in Pheonix?

    Local boy signs huge contract to play in front of his hometown fans. Not like that hasnt happened before.

    • “I would wager Matthews is gone from Toronto first chance he gets. Why play second fiddle in the Tavares band when he can be the entire orchestra in Pheonix?”

      Just like they’ve been saying about Malkin for years. Yeah, right

      • Malkin cant play in the NHL and his hometown at the same time. Not a stretch to think Matthews might do exactly what Tavares just did.

      • Heh. Yeah, it’ll be a frosty day in Hades when Magnitogorsk gets an NHL franchise. Certainly, none of us will be around to see it.

      • agreed. Matthews ain’t heading back to the desert where many in the organization are actually concerned they may be headed to Houston if they don’t get a downtown arena. Are we to believe Matthews and his agent are unaware of this? Are we to believe he wants to leave the center stage of the hockey world to play some shinny in the desert? I seriously doubt that.

    • Ron, what happens is 7-9 years from now is irrelevant. If Matthews decides to leave when he is UFA, his choice. Like I said, won’t happen for 7-9 years and guess who is available right around that time that happens to be a Toronto boy?

      • Pretty sure the Coyotes could submit an offer sheet to Matthews after this season. Doubtful they would but its possible. Giving up the draft picks for a homegrown star may well be worth it in Arizona.

      • Ron, Offer sheets have rarely happened and don’t happen any more – any idea why?

        GMs don’t want to drive up salary
        Retaliation is a big issue/risk
        The last two GMs to do an offer sheet are no where to be found any longer within the NHL.

      • Ron

        I can all but guarantee that Arz as a young team already with depth … would have no problem losing the next 4 first rounders in lieu of getting a hometown boy that is the best US born player in years (still has to prove himself over years to be considered the best) and may (read “more than likely”) turn out to be the best US Born player ever… Madano now, is in my mind

      • Pengy,

        Agree, giving up the picks to land a homegrown star should be a no brainer for the Coyotes.

        Will they do it? Doubtful, but it would be great for the Yotes if they did.

      • Hi Ron

        No … I think it’s a high probability of an Arz offer sheet on AM if he is still RFA come July

        Trike is absolutely right that offer sheets are extremely rare and for many reasons

        This would be an extreme situation and worth it to them

        Remember per TSN on draft day (that’s AM’s draft day) they (Arz) offered their 2 first of that year plus ; plus Strome (3rd overall the year before); and Perlini (12th overall the year before that)… that’s 4 1st rounders before AM played a single game … now with what he’s done AND with (at next July) 3 years under his belt, a Calder , etc etc …. and the fact that they are loaded in young depth …. and with the knowledge that just having AM on team will increase fan base and therefore ticket sales, sweaters etc … revs increase ; and they’d immediately improve substantially …. the offer sheet by Arz … IMO , a no brainer



  9. Concur with those of you here giving Kudos to Lyle for broad coverage… thanks and great job Lyle

    I followed for years before posting as I didn’t have time to post. Started posting a few months ago as things had been running smoothly and I had more time.

    However we are considering another major acquisition (it might turn out to be a merger) and if I decide to go that route I will be full tilt focusing on that and will be back to mostly being a “reader ” on this site with rare posts.

    Regardless … many thanks Lyle … I truly enjoy your site and have certainly broadened my hockey knowledge from all here ….thanks

    • “Not a stretch to think Matthews might do exactly what Tavares just did.”

      Yeah, it’s a huge stretch. You are making a bunch of assumptions. First you assume that Tavares signed in Toronto because it was his hometown. Gee, you thing that the massive signing bonus may have had something to do with it. Come to think of it, if he needed a massive signing bonus maybe he wasn’t particularly interested in sign in Toronto.

      Second, name some other cases where star players signed somewhere just because it was his hometown. It’s rare. Especially when the hometown is a hockey backwater.

      • Why are you so angry? I didnt say it was going to happen, only that I wouldnt be suprieed if it did. Youre supposed to be allowed to express your views here without being subjected to personal attacks. Youre certainly entitled to disagree as is everyone else.It was just a thought I voiced not an invitation for a malicious attack.

        For the record, Tavares turned down more money from San Jose so he could play in his home town.

        Have a fantabulous day.

      • He’s a pain-in-the-ass troll Ron – never responds to challenges – just s*^t-disturbs to get reactions. If everyone ignores him he might just fade away.

    • Agreed! ..nice to come to a site with a respectable hockey writer. .and reading Lyle’s comments/perspective’s..and great posts by fans! for the most part no trolls..good job guys!

      • Sorry my earlier post was in response to pengy! .Happy thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. .and have a great weekend to our American cousins

      • Aren’t they celebrating Columbus Day this week-end? All the best.

      • “It was just a thought I voiced not an invitation for a malicious attack.”

        Show me where I made a malicious attack. You seem to think you can say anything, whether illogical or unwarranted, and no one can refute you. Oh poor you.

        “He’s a pain-in-the-ass troll Ron – never responds to challenges ”

        Buzz wrong. Just look up the page. I responded to the argument that Tavares signed with the Leafs because it was his home town. In fact, people don’t respond to me because I am usually correct in pointing out the flaws in their argument/opinion.

      • OK then, you pick and choose when and where you want to respond. As for not being malicious, almost all of your posts have this condescending “you-must-be-a-dummy” tone to them. You can make your points without coming across as superior. Anyway, none of us can force you to be right!

      • You just broke your own rule George with regards to the troll. Hard not to some times, I get it, I do it too.
        Of course he may want to sign in Arizona when the opportunity arises, why wouldn’t he want to? Great placed to visit, must be a decent place to live as well. Doesn’t mean he will, doesn’t mean he won’t, but you can’t argue it isn’t a possibility down the road.

      • Yeah, I did Ray – but only because he actually responded to a challenge – a rarity. I notice, for example, that when I pointed out grammatical errors in his snarky response to Lyle’s misuse of a word, he chose – as usual – not to respond. As I said, he picks and chooses.

    • Thanks, Pengy.

      • 🙂

      • Some folks on this site should consider getting doing something else. Your personal attacks on each other for what amounts to being mere opinions is the height of immaturity. Its only sport and we are only fans. Lets throw around our opinions and challenge each other but the bickering has to stop. Lets poke fun at each other but lets not get personal.

    • Pengy, please try and find the time to post here.
      You are a solid contributor and I enjoy your perspective on the topics of the day.
      Just like all of the rest of the guys.
      Miss Striker though.

  10. If Matthews wants $11 million plus, he better deliver a 90+ point, Hart trophy candidate season this year. His best season has been 69 points, so as of this moment he’s not worth 11. If Nylander wanted 8 he shouldn’t have been Pastrnak’s (6.666 per) female dog in the playoffs. 6.5 would be more than generous, otherwise he’s welcome to sit until he hits UFA age. Examples must be set, otherwise cap hell awaits.

    • Or another strike/lockout.

      • In which case Tavares – among others – gets paid a chunk to do nothing. That ‘s ONE reason why Karlsson is now a Shark (pun intended)

  11. Predictions….
    Nylander signs a bridge deal before end of month
    Leafs overspend on Gardner
    Kapanen shows he is capable of replacing Nylander on #1 line.
    Sparks is gone by Christmas after Carolina drops McIlhany and he returns to Leafs where Babcock feels he belongs.
    Marlies fall from grace but show enough that Keefe gets scooped up by years end for NHL Job.
    Leafs Fire DJ Smith and hire a better choice to coach the Defense on this team.
    Shanny continues to insert himself in the narrative this season leading most to realize he appointed Dubas so HE could have more control in day to day decisions. (Shapiro/Atkins light)
    Matthews scores 50 goals. Tavares scores 40. Kadri scores 25.
    Rush will continue for long term deals due to belief that NHL wants to cap deals to only 5 years effective 2020.