NHL Rumor Mill – October 7, 2018

by | Oct 7, 2018 | Rumors | 67 comments

Latest on the Leafs plus an update on Sergei Bobrovsky and Nick Ritchie in your NHL rumor mill.

It will get very expensive for the Toronto Maple Leafs to re-sign top young forwards such as Mitch Marner. (Photo via NHL Images)


SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports Toronto Maple Leafs restricted free agent forward William Nylander is still holding firm for a long-term contract. A bridge deal hasn’t been seriously contemplated or discussed at all. December 1 is the deadline for the Leafs to sign Nylander or he becomes ineligible to play the remainder of the season. Kypreos suggests Nylander can offset the money he’s losing in missed games thus far by seeking a signing bonus.

Chris Johnston said the Nylander camp’s initial asking price was comparable to Edmonton Oilers’ center Leon Draisaitl’s $8.5-million annual salary. He doesn’t believe they’ve come down much from that while the Leafs are countering with “something in the sixes”, fitting somewhere in the range of Winnipeg’s Nikolaj Ehlers ($6 million) and Boston’s David Pastrnak ($6.6 million). Neither side seems intent on bending.

NEW YORK POST: If the Leafs can’t re-sign Nylander before Dec. 1, Larry Brooks believes “they will have to trade him, no matter what TV commentator Phineas T. Bluster — er, Brian Burke — thinks about it.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t appear as though the Nylander standoff is going to end anytime soon. His previous performance doesn’t justify his asking price. His side can argue that the Leafs will be paying for potential but Draisaitl at least put up better numbers and one good playoff performance to justify his contract, even though the Oilers overpaid. That doesn’t mean the Leafs should do the same.

$Six million per season on a five- or six-year contract is more than fair. If Nylander feels he’s worth more, then why not accept a two- or three-year deal and cash in when he’s got arbitration rights? His camp, however, seems to believe the longer this standoff goes the more pressure Leafs management will feel to get the youngster under contract before Dec. 1.

The signing bonus tactic is an interesting one, which could in part explain why the Nylander camp is willing to stage this lengthy standoff. Doesn’t mean the Leafs will be inclined to use it.

The Athletic’s Tyler Dellow recently observed the Leafs could face re-signing Matthews, Marner and Nylander next summer if the latter becomes ineligible to play this season. We’ll find out soon enough if that scenario comes to pass. 

So far, the Leafs insist they’re not trading Nylander. However, that could change if this drags on into November. 

Elliotte Friedman wonders if the solution is a five- or six-year contract for Nylander. He considers it a big challenge for the Leafs to get Nylander, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner signed for a combined $27 million. Johnston notes Marner and the Leafs have agreed to wait until the end of this season to talk contract while Matthews might be willing to discuss a new deal during this season. Kypreos believes Marner wants to wait and see how much Matthews gets.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Most observers feel Matthews is going to get around $12-million annually on his next contract because that’s the going rate for young franchise players. Marner could get around $10 million annually. If the Leafs end up bending and paying Nylander $8 million annually they can forget about getting those three under contract for a combined $27 million. Heck, getting him to agree to $6 million would put them over that mark.


NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks observed Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky didn’t get the start during his club’s season opener, speculating nothing good can come of this decision. Bobrovsky is due to become an unrestricted free agent next summer and is rumored seeking a deal comparable to that of Montreal’s Carey Price’s eight-year, $84-million contract. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This isn’t a rumor but I felt it was worth noting here. Brooks notes Bobrovsky’s lousy playoff record, though he overlooks the fact “Bob” is the only active multiple Vezina Trophy winner.

Anyway, it was interesting that he didn’t get the start in the season opener against Detroit. He did get the start in a 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes the following night. Was head coach John Tortorella trying to send a message here? Whatever it was, one wonders if it could become a factor in determining Bobrovsky’s future in Columbus. 


Nick Kypreos reports there’s nothing new regarding the Anaheim Ducks’ contract impasse with restricted free agent winger Nick Ritchie. The Ducks want to give him a three-year, “take-it-or-leave-it” deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: So far, looks like Ritchie prefers leaving it but I daresay he’ll soon reach the point where he’ll have to take it. He’s not as valuable to the Ducks as Nylander is to the Leafs. 



  1. Gotta luv Brooks giving it to Brian Burke, bully blowhard who thinks he invented hockey …

    • I am not Pro-Burke, by any means, but Brooks just loves hearing himself talk.

      Brooks truly thinks HE is very important to the NHL/Sports.

      Ask him & he will tell you. He loves talking about himself in person.

  2. The Leafs should play hardball with Nylander. If he thinks he is worth $ 8 million or more he can play in Sweden or in the KHL this season. The Leafs will not win the cup this season with or without him.
    Sign and trade him if the return is ok.

    • agreed the oil with chia in charge over pay all there players that they shouldn’t draisaitl by at least a million then the players who deserve it Mcdavid takes less to leave room under the cap I love me oil but no team should use chia as example he’s simply a moron who should have been let go at the draft table years ago

    • Juss76

      …. play hardball.., yep

      …. play in KHL or Sweden… not sure on interleague rules with NHL RFAs whether they can play professionally in Europe w/o current team
      permission … anybody here know the answer on that??

      Leafs not winning cup with/without him this year … with you on this IF they don’t upgrade D… if they DO upgrade D…very slim chance; but still a chance this tear….better chance in out years.

      Re: sign/trade… a rarely used possibility and I just don’t see it happening … they’re having trouble coming to an agreement now….providing approval for possible trade partner is also a slim chance but IMO a higher chance than sign&trade. If traded … most likely is “as is (still RFA)”… and it better be for a D upgrade.

      Regardless … KD…. wait him out. Giving in now for what his father (LOL) is demanding … will be GM suicide (basically throwing in the towel on negotiating with AM & MM…. and then basically ending up paying $8M [WW] ; $9.5 [MM]and $12M[AM]— $29.5M)

      With above scenario … top 2 lines (with Kessel take-back) cost over $52M… add Andersson , Reilly, Zeitz… $67M for 9 players.

      Add Brown & Hyman …. and for 8 Fwds ; 1 G; 2 D…. 11 players … just shy of $72M

      …. if Cap goes up to about the same percentage then it’s about $84M… Leafs would have $12M to sign 13… AND D strength would go down further than it already is.

      Just to keep D status Quo … re-signing Gardner ($6.5M Min ) or a UFA for similar… Leafs would have 8F, 3D, 1 G… for North of $78M … won’t have upgraded D … and have at best $6M to sign 11 players (About $0.55M each …. note current league min. is $0.65M!!!!)

      In summary of my ranting diatribe …. Dubas just can’t sign WW for $8M (w/o trading him) and still even think Leafs could win a cup in next 4 years

      Rant over

      • “providing approval for possible trade partner is also a slim chance ”

        should have read

        “providing approval for possible trade partner to negotiate with/speak to WW camp”….is also….

        Doh …. single finger typing

  3. Chabot chewed up the Laughs and spit them out!

    • Love chabots game but the leafs defense is bad

      • Its dreadful

      • It’s a long long season and there will be stretches where they rack up some wins in a row as they meet up with teams going through their own brand of fund, or playing the second of back-to-backers against a rested Leafs team. All teams get this sort of respite in the schedule. The problem is, many fans will then forget the warts in their new-found delirium (again, ALL teams go through this stage at some point in a long season) and it won’t surface again until they hit playoff hockey. Then – boom.

      • brand of funk” – DAMNED faded script

      • BigBadBruins

        Youbetcha !!!

      • BigBadBruins

        All I can say is … youbetcha!!!!

    • Come on man, hardly anyone left in here resorts to that juvenile “Laughs” “Habs-not” “Senaturds” juvenile crap and if they do they are usually called out. It’s corny and old hat jingoism. It’s fine to be a devoted fan of some other team – but leave that stuff out.

      • you forgot the Minnesota Mild, the Hurricants and one of my favourites the Atlanta Thrashees 🙂

      • Agree. saying things like the shames and the soilers just shows a true lack of intelligence.

    • It’s good to see him doing well. I remember when drafted quite some time ago that many scoffed when I claimed Ottawa got the better of the two Seadog Defensemen. Chabot or his higher ranked defensive partner Zboril.

      Boston selected Zboril a few picks ahead of Ottawa and then the World Juniors happened and it’s hard to find a casual fan who recognizes Zborils name.

  4. Leafs have systemic issues….it showed last year in the play offs….it showed in both games so far….if you hurry or hit their defense they will cough the puck up….opposing teams know it

    Leaf management are not geniuses ….they have not learned the Einstein lesson….if you the same thing and expect different results you are a fool

    They have not adjusted their skill set from too much talent up front….not enough at the back end…it is written here all the time…and yet the same guys are on the rooster and on the ice

    Nylander should never be signed …we already have enough forwards who have been reading their press clipping….trade him for just a good defenseman….someone who doesn’t panic….and Leaf fans like me should not expect a Doughty type….just a lower budget reliable guy

    Hainsey who served us well the first half and last year looks like a spent force,,,,the new Russian needs at least a year with the Marlies..

    This is not an after 2 bad games panic…this is the observation of the obvious from last year and now…so do something other than smiling on TV

    • Old Blue Dog – you are not alone in saying “trade Nylander for a good D …” And on the surface it sounds simple enough. But I’m sure the other 30 GMs see the hard stance taken by he and his agent (dad – whatever) on an $8 mil – long-term deal – and I doubt any in their right mind would give up anything “good” just to inherit that headache. Why would they? The longer this drags on the more it appears that the only way out for Dubas/Shanahan (whoever is really calling the shots here) is to do a sign-and-trade (with NO NM clause) and then hope they can find a taker at his inflated numbers.

      • one place he would look good is beside Elias Peterson in Vancouver….Canucks have a real good one there

      • They sure do. The kid seems to have “Gretzky-sense” by which I mean he appears to know exactly where to be on the ice at just the right time – kind of a internal sense thing – that’s a rarity.

      • George

        Sign & trade is one option … or they could basically try and negotiate with a partner and then if a tentative deal can be reached …. allow other team to see if they can negotiate a deal with Nylander’s father (LOL).., and then basically it would be trade with an immediate sign instead of sign, then trade …. this may open more doors

        … regardlesss …. WW…. “no soup for you…next!!”

      • Pengy, that is another option … but that can drag on forever if Nylander doesn’t like the new location and is not interested in signing there long term. On second thought, maybe that’s what they’re doing and Nylander has already turned down several 🙂

    • OBG

      yep, yep, and more yep

      IMO … almost any D acquisition would be an upgrade

      … I’d even call Dotchkin’s Agent to see if (proof would be needed) he dropped the weight. I know he’s challenging TBay on the situation … but a call doesn’t hurt… even if he wins legal battle with TBay… he’s not going back to them … some team can pick him up for league min and for SURE he’s way better than the Leaf’s new Russian D acquisition

      Baby steps …. any upgrade in D will help …. just sayin’

  5. Nylander appears to be one greedy SOB oh yea that Peterson is for real nucks got a star for sure. Anyone know what happened to Striker nobody posts more them him?

    • Google “Striker Spectors Condescending” and you’ll get your answer

    • Striker moved into a different oldPeoples home, but this one unfortunately, is without WIFI on his wing.

    • Nobody knows more than him either. Just ask him!

      Let’s all just enjoy not being told we’re wrong or he knows better about your team for a bit.

      Not a snowballs chance in hell he can be silent for too long!

      • What a game last night, Sabres!

      • Stanley cup here they come!!!!

        Or another dead last finish. That would be what? 4 in 6 years?

    • Wow talking behind a dudes back in social media. Classy

      • I’d say it to his face in real life, or here on the board!

        This is nothing new…. so settle down classy!

      • Well it’s not like I expect better from you. It’s the others I was more wow’d about.

  6. Why post on a site where people rag on you when you didn’t even post?

    • There is a reason I dont post often.

      • Who are you?

      • Exactly.

  7. Striker….git year arse back on here. Some of us still enjoy your posts!

  8. First time that I’ve ever posted anything here, but I have been reading almost every day, for years. Just staying, I miss Striker too, but, if I were him, not sure I’d ever come back.

    • People chose how to receive strikers post. I’ve read his post explaining what he attempts to Express and how. It falls on death ears. People choose to be annoyed and instead of making a more logical choice and either scrolling past a post with his moniker at the top or simply reading it and ignoring they go the attacking route.

      I’d suggest Lyle censor out such post. No of this has tk dk with current hockey rumours. But man he’d have to take o extra staff tk moderate the amount.

    • If you’re going to come here on a daily basis, and be condescending to everyone, act like you know more than everyone about every team, player , coach , life, career ….. on and on and on…. what do you expect? There is no scrolling through when he feels the need to come here and put his 2 cents in on every conversation…

      If he wants to put himself out there like that daily…. wth do you or he expect?

      I believe his last 2 cents was “ I just hate ignorant, hillbilly’s and idiots” …..

      Yeah this poor guy!

      Boo hoo!

      • Well here’s a good example of scrolling by. I’m not sure what NYR4life posted. Hopefully its content makes for a good example. It’s one moniker I only read if it responding tk a post of mine. Otherwise. See name, ignore post.

      • If it isn’t. Contractions are hard.

      • There’s a few good examples of practice what you preach!

        Maybe you should get off your horse now. You look like you’re full of bs!

        I like you more when you “hardly post”

      • Amen

  9. There’s no big mystery concerning why Bob didn’t play against Detroit. It’s become something of a tradition for Bob to play the home opener. Add in the fact that the most prominent theory as to why Bob has been less than stellar in the playoffs is that he’s been worn out from playing both games of back-to-backs and Korpisalo getting the call against Detroit makes perfect sense.

  10. Just saw a couple of items on the NHL Transactions wire that stood out

    first, Anaheim is trying waive Pontus Aberg after picking him up on waivers from Edmonton – yet another relatively high pick (2nd round) that didn’t pan out for Edmonton

    Second – Joe (Bare Face) Thornton has been placed on IR (reason not stated) – watch, like a lot of hockey players who believe in that stuff, now he’ll use superstition to justify growing “the Beard” again

    • Yeah. Thornton went IR on my Yahoo pools. They didn’t update the note. 8 am curious as to why he is on the IR

      • If it’s a knee again, he might as well hang ’em up

  11. It’s been an interesting start to the season. Leafs struggled with Montreal and lost to Ottawa. They’ll figure it out, too much talent not to, but an interesting start against too opponents that were supposed to be weak. I’ve stated before I think that the media hype for Leafs players costs them because it inflates the players perception of their value.

    I find their construction interesting. Detroit used to win the presidents trophy and then fail brutally in the playoffs because they were all skill and no grit. They didn’t actually win cups until they started getting players like Shanahan that played with a little more oomph. Maybe the league has changed enough that you don’t need to be physical to win in the playoffs anymore but I’m not convinced that is the case.

    • I think its simply to early to conclude anything. Wait till 10 games to start formulating any opinion if how well the leafs are as a team. At 20 you can start actually believing what you thought at 10. Goes for the league

      Ottawa hasn’t lost. Do we suddenly think they are a playoff team. Even a bubble team? Leafs struggled vs 2 perceived weak teams like the thinking OF Ottawa to early to change our opinions.

      • Good point – I missed the Bruins game in Washington – how did that go?

      • I did not see it myself.

        The good teams will knock off summers rust and start playing consistent. The not so good will struggle tk maintain consistency. It needs some time

  12. Nylander asking for 2mil more than Pastrnak…funny. Different level players.

    • Roughly the same cap hit percentage though.
      If you factor in when Pasta signed and all…
      I believe he’s looking for 7 + bonuses, and the same term.

  13. Forgot to post Happy Thanksgiving for all of those in the Great White North ; and Happy Columbus Day to all those of you South of the Border celebrating today; and Early Happy Columbus Day if celebrating tommorrow

    Off with the famdam to my sister’s now for the feast … might be Dotkiness-like tommorrow


  14. Nylander wanted a contract the same as Draisaitl??? LOL, how about Mr Nylander you play as well in playoffs as real NHL stars do. Draisaitl has two back to back 70 point seasons and when he played in playoffs he had over a point per game. Nylander looked soft as mink fur in the playoffs and was a no show…I don’t care that the “cap is going up each year”…Who cares? How about you earn the money? Now if Nylander played as well in last years playoffs as Boston’s Pastrnak did then well you have a great case for getting more than 6.6 million a year. Just because the cap goes up doesn’t mean you should pay guys more than MacDavid…Matthews can’t even get 30 assists in a season but he is going to get the same as McDavid? so funny. Come back when you score 41 goals and 108 points then we can talk after you do something in the playoffs.

    • When has Marner scored 41 goals and 108 points – or Matthews for that matter – and no one seems shocked that they could be getting $8 to 12 mil. Matthews has played 17 playoff games and has 5g 5a for 10 pts while Nylander has played 13 playoff games with 2g 6a for 8 pts – a difference of 2 pts. Whoop-de-doo, Marner and his 3g 10a in 13 playoff games is marginally better.

      • I think he is saying matthews et al shouldn’t be expected that high of a contract.

      • I have yet to hear any serious objections from Leafs fans to the thought that Matthews and Marner will be gobbling up anywhere from $17 mil to 20 mil between them. More like it’s a certainty come next year – whichis why some would like to see Nylander settle for less now. I think that;s what I inferred.

  15. +1 for Striker posts.

  16. Nylander is worth 8million if that is the number on the last year of an eight year deal.

  17. Folks, I’d appreciate it if you’d all act like adults on here. You can debate or disagree without getting into name-calling, childish trash-talking or personal insults.

    If you don’t like someone’s attitude just ignore them and carry on. I’ll weed out the nonsense and ban repeat offenders as I’ve always done. There’s no reason to try and drive someone away from this forum simply because you disagree with their opinion or feel they’re being condescending.

    At the end of the day, this is just hockey talk. It’s not about heavy social issues or politics. Keep it in perspective and try to respect each other even if you disagree with them.

    • Thanks lyle.

      I’m at fault today and accept responsibility. I apologize for adding to the irrelevant conversation. You have a fine site.

      At times though the comment section becomes like a high school lunch room where the kids at the cool table decide what is allowed and attack those who they feel dont fit. In this case how another expresses themselves.

      Odd though. I get the impression many of the regular’s here are long long past their days of high school but got the old adage. If you dont got anything nice to say…..

      • I wish you were the person you think you are too

    • I agree Lyle.. and please will someone tell me why they call William Nylander (WN). WW?