Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – October 28, 2018

by | Oct 28, 2018 | Rumors | 55 comments

Coaches on the hot seat plus the latest on the Kings, Kevin Hayes, Zach Kassian, William Nylander, and more in your Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup


SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports St. Louis Blues head coach Mike Yeo and Los Angeles Kings bench boss John Stevens could be feeling the heat following their clubs’ poor starts to this season. However, it appears both coaches will be given some time to dig themselves out of their holes, though they need to start stringing some wins together soon.

Elliotte Friedman noted several former NHL coaches such as Alain Vigneault and Craig Berube have been mentioned but he wonders if a team could approach the Toronto Maple Leafs about hiring Marlies coach Sheldon Keefe, whose contract expires at the end of this season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Yeo and Stevens aren’t the only ones whose jobs could be in jeopardy, as questions are also being raised over the futures of Jeff Blashill with the Detroit Red Wings and Dave Hakstol with the Philadelphia Flyers. One of those four could be unemployed before the end of November. 

New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes is garnering interest from NHL scouts. (Photo via NHL Images)

Kypreos reports New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes is garnering interest among NHL scouts. He feels Hayes, an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, is going to price himself out next summer as the Rangers continue to rebuild. Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175-million contract.

Kypreos suggested the Winnipeg Jets might look at Hayes as a possible replacement for Paul Stastny, who departed for the Vegas Golden Knights this summer. If the Rangers shop him the asking price could be a draft pick or a prospect.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Could be worth keeping an eye on the Jets there. I’ve also suggested GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could be in the market for another rental center to replace Stastny. That move doesn’t have to be made now and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Hayes, though he could become one of their targets perhaps closer to the trade deadline. 

Friedman reports Edmonton Oilers winger Zack Kassian could be on the move soon, as he’s been granted permission to seek a trade.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kassian’s signed through 2019-20 at an annual cap hit of $1.95 million. He’s never played up to expectations as a power forward but could have some value as an affordable physical winger to clubs in need of checking-line depth. We’ll find out soon if there’s a market for him. 

Chris Johnston noted the recent busy travel schedule of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas, who has traversed the continent over the past several days. Friedman believes there’s a stalemate between the Leafs and unsigned forward William Nylander and at some point, they’ll have to consider dealing him. Kypreos said he’s heard 12 to 15 teams are interested in dealing for Nylander, though the Leafs are still saying no. The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings could be among the suitors.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lots of conflicting views on what Dubas is up to and where things stand in negotiations with Nylander. The folks at TSN have downplayed Dubas’ travels and mentioned the possibility of some movement in negotiations between the two sides. I don’t doubt there are a lot of teams who’d love to land Nylander. Perhaps Dubas can use that as leverage in contract talks with the Nylander camp if the youngster has his heart set on staying in Toronto. 


OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch believes the St. Louis Blues have limited options to address their sputtering start from within. The possibility of firing head coach Mike Yeo “is most certainly on the table”. He suggests former New York Rangers bench boss Alain Vigneault could be an option if the Blues decide on a coaching change.

Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell is open for business and has four right-shot defensemen that could attract interest between now and the trade deadline in February. The Edmonton Oilers and Toronto Maple Leafs are seeking a right-shot blueliner. Clubs could target Justin Faulk and Brett Pesce. Waddell might be listening but isn’t likely to make a move if his team remains in playoff contention.

Garrioch also notes the Hurricanes GM has shown interest in Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander. He notes Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was reportedly at Friday’s game between the Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s been assumed for months that Waddell might swap a defenseman for a scoring forward, preferably a center. But with the top line of Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Micheal Ferland leading the way offensively, that need might not be as urgent as it once was. If the Hurricanes seek secondary scoring they might be able to address it without giving up a top-four defenseman.

Teams are calling the struggling Los Angeles Kings to inquire into the availability of forwards Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. Defensemen Alec Martinez has been mentioned and a league executive tells Garrioch that teams could also start calling about blueliner Jake Muzzin. There’s speculation Kings coach John Stevens could be fired but GM Rob Blake is believed reluctant to make that move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Trading those guys or firing Stevens won’t address the fact the Kings, built for a slower, more physical game, are carrying expensive veterans who are struggling in a league trending toward youth and speed. Maybe if they can move someone like Martinez or Muzzin for, say, William Nylander, that might help them get faster, though it will also create a hole on the blueline. 

Garrioch believes the Vancouver Canucks would like to move a defenseman and suggests keeping an eye on Ben Hutton, who’s a restricted free agent this summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Of late, Hutton’s filled in for the sidelined Alexander Edler on the Canucks’ top pairing. Last night’s 5-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins aside, he’s looked good in recent games. If Hutton continues feeling comfortable in that role, the Canucks might be reluctant to part with him. Then again, it could also bolster his trade value. 

Given the struggles of the Philadelphia Flyers, including a 6-1 blowout loss yesterday to the New York Islanders, Garrioch wonders how much more GM Ron Hextall can stand.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hextall is more patient than his trigger-happy predecessors. Still, if a change is coming it could be behind the bench as there’s growing dissatisfaction among Flyers fans over coach Dave Hakstol’s handling of the lineup. 



  1. Its not Hakstols fault the Flyers goalies are Cryin Smelliott and Michele Neuvirth. Nor is it his fault Andrew Macdonald is still a Flyer, though it is his fault he keeps dressing him.

    Carter Hart!!!!

    • Bad Goaltending is not his, but just about everything else points to the coach. Sloppy play, bad penalties, mishandling of the youth… They are not doing anything right at the moment, and all that points to Hak. Get him outta here…

    • Ron I don’t know how you can keep blaming everything on the goaltending, like I said at the start of the season the flyers defense is week also giving up scoring chances left and right. That’s why I thought the jvr signing was terrible he is very one dimensional and the flyers didn’t need scoring they need some team defense, which could also be tied in with hakstols game plan

      • Weak

    • Ron

      I’m tending to view this more on BadCowboyDan’s and Bigbadbruin’s side that it is not all on goaltending.

      That said , bringing in Hart to experience tough play in front of him might crimp his development . Not saying for sure that it would but it is a tough gamble to make with the franchise’s star goalie for the next decade.

      Fingers crossed on the proper career movement by Phi on Hart as I think this kid is great

      The season is still young and trends can turn … I don’t see both Ed and Van being top 3 in Div by April; or Car vying for tops in Metro in April ; and Malkin is not going to get 164 points.

      In another 3 weeks things will start to even out more and a clearer picture of each teams’ wants/needs will appear.

  2. I hadn’t realized (until last night when HNIC pointed it out ) how much travel and viewing Dubas has been doing.

    This is either a true search and find a good piece for a potential trade or (maybe even and) a demonstration to the WW camp to bring the demand price down

    BTW , this injury to AM should not have a bearing one way or the other on a contract finalization or WW trade.

    It was a good game last night with a tough loss. Hoping it’s short lived

    Leafs bacon saved numerous times by Freddy. Even though Leafs were pressing in the third I thought Jets would win.

    Kapanen’s goal a very nice one !!

    For you Jets fans …. yes I’m a Leafs fan but I did watch the game and I do realize that the refs blew a penalty call just seconds before Gardiner’s goal which would have given PP to Jets , up 2-1 with just less than 4 mins left.

    I do have trouble when refs “let them play” and miss a late call that costs either Leafs or Pens a game …. so I do get your anger over that. The natural thing that happens at the time is for me to be peeved and blame the refs. My pragmatic side however eventually takes over and says that after a few seconds have passed the refs can’t call it and what is beneficial this time will come back and bite the same team another time.

    Playoffs’ no calls/missed calls can be huge. Hopefully the League will rarely see again the high stick (to Dougy Gilmour by Gretzky ) no call that completely turns a series. I went off yesterday w.r.t. Wilson decapitation (ZAR) no call that turned the series. These are rare and unfortunately do happen and do have serious impacts on not only games but series!

    If you look at things objectively, the reffing has dramatically improved. In the 1980’s there were many games with highly skewed (what appeared highly skewed) reffing.

    One off missed calls do happen now but are much more rare.

    I am very confident that the atrocious reffing in the SJ /LA series of 2014 will never happen again …. EVER. That IMO was the lowest point in NHL history as it wasn’t one Cal and one game . It was multiple missed calls in every single one of the last 4 games. Even one blown call in each of those games wouldn’t have made a difference. The cumulative effect of many missed calls on LA and many phantom calls on SJ over those final four games allowed LA to do what only 3 teams in prior NHL history had done …. win series after being down 3-0. LA then goes on to win the cup.

    As everybody remembers the reffing tightened up significantly after that series.

    The long and short of my running off at the mouth .,. Yes Jets have a beef over missed call and likely would have won last night …. but IMO there will be a game in the future that goes their way

    • If Matthews is out for any length of time it will definitely affect nylanders outcome, how can it not? Lol there is a reason dubas is flying everywhere the Toronto media is just down playing it

      • Bigbadbruins,

        Subjectively I would think you may be right…. lengthy AM injury would affect WW situation

        I hope the injury is short lived and even if longer, that it doesn’t affect the WW situation.

        Objectively though; it shouldn’t

        Even with AM out for a long time and even if WW plays overseas all year …, I truky believe Leafs (barring another major injury… Freddy??) are still playing Bos first round.

        The big picture is next year and beyond and going far in the playoffs … D must be improved; and as at now , 19/20 will be a nightmare to get all upcoming RFAs under contract AND still have Cap room for reasonable rest of roster …. as at now Gardner can’t be fit in

        …. so , hopefully GMJD takes the objective and pragmatic approach wrt WW regardless of length or seriousness of AM injury

        Fingers crossed


      • Can’t he use a phone or something?
        All this jet setting around seems desperate to me, and that doesn’t make a lick of sense considering where they are in the standings.
        If Matthews is out for a significant amount of time, no problem. Move Kadri and the others up.
        Center depth is one of the Leafs strengths.

      • I don’t think it’s as deep as it was last year when mAtthews went down they still had Nylander and Bozak along with Marleau and Komarov who could chip in, much deeper at center last year imo not to mention offensive depth. Matthews Nylander JVR Bozak …whole lot of goals missing out of that line up if Matthews misses much time. Bubble wrap Tavares

    • Blah blah blah, Kadri got a stick and glove in the chops right before the ridiculous face-off violation call against Gautheir. One that should have been called but wasn’t & one that was called and the linesman should be reassigned to riding a Hound to do games in the ECHL. It goes both ways, evens out in the end.

      • new nhl = bs messing with the Goat
        the kid is +2-3 with 0 points, hovering just below 50% FO and the stupid ref’s gotta pick on him.

  3. Tvr and foegle and a pick for nylander.

    • You’re dreaming ….

      Maybe ….maybe Pesce and Necas and or a 2nd/3rd rounder

      WN is a good player , but , he’s a perimeter player, a dime a dozen….Carolina has a nice little run going on , they are in control of any potential trade that involves any of their dmen , even the Talented Mr.Ripley (Dubas) will have to work Waddell to get a good return

      • That comment seems to contradict itself

      • Ya no way the canes are giving up pesce and Necas for nylander, if they trade with the canes it will be Faulk straight up for nylander

    • I am always amazed at how Leaf follows over value their tradeable assets. Leafs are not dealing from a point of strength with Nylander. They need to improve their D; all focus should be getting a quality defenseman back for Nylander.

  4. Mathews shoulder didn’t look good last night I think it will be atleast a month or three but I’m no doctor. Leafs play as well without him as they do with they will be fine.

  5. I honestly think some people put to much into this but if you think of it uncle Lou trained him and he never did deals over the phone
    But the Leafs need to address the D problem and get some protection for there player once the Jets got pushing them around you could see they got out of sorts and started mishandling the puck like they were afraid to get hit this team is as soft as melted ice cream

  6. I’ve always thought that Mike Yeo is overrated as a coach, in his stops in Pit, Minnesota and St Louis. But the Blues won’t go anywhere with Jake Allen as their starting goalie, especially with no good backup goalie (Chad Johnson, really ?) to help out like Hutton did. Allen’s issue is mental, don’t know if he can overcome it. He’s the latest version of Steve Mason

    • Yeo wasn’t overrated in the Pittsburgh. He wasn’t rated at all. When he was with the Penguins, Yeo was never the top assistant coach or an important part of the organization. As I recall, he did a poor job as being the special teams coach.

      It amazed most fans when out of nowhere he got a head coaching in Minn. He probably got the job because Wild GM knew him from their days together on the Penguins.

      • Anyone else want to fact check this dude? I’m getting tired of correcting his revisionist history.

  7. Mathews will be back in a number of unless he needs surgery
    Separated depends how bad

    Regardless the Nylander situation is dealt with in 33 days
    A Toffoli and Muzzin package would interest me.
    Marleau Nylander Dermot plus picks

  8. It was reported that Dubas likes going to Hockey Game; he’s just exploiting his position as GM to take in some Hockey games around the NHL with free travel, free tickets and excellent seats. He is a true hockey fan / GM.

  9. *****RANT***** Since the NHL has incorporated the coaches challenge, the emotional investment has changed. Last night watching the Habs / Bruins game and Ryan Donato skated down the left side and wristed a shot that eluded Price, my wife cheered and I said it’s coming back he was offside. CJ challenged correctly so and no goal.
    My emotions in the pass would be cheering hard, fist pump, or whatever but now I wait to see if there is any reason for a challenge, I no longer cheer a goal and once there is no challenge or the goal is upheld, there is no instant emotion of the goal. Instead just happy and continue watching.
    I understand it’s important to get the right call but for me i’m ok with the missed calls, that allow for the instant emotional reaction.
    After all there is several missed calls during any given game just like the Toronto / Winnipeg last night, if the call was made maybe Winnipeg scores on the PP and at worst case they kill two minutes off the clock. These calls also have an impact on the final result but we are ok with this because we don’t want a challenge on every play and drag the game on for 4 hours.
    For this one fan I willing to live with the mistakes of the refs for my emotional commitment to the game. The immediate reaction of a goal scored or the instant swearing of another soft goal by Rask.

    • The problem is the game is getting faster and the refs and linesman are missing a ton of calls. Everyone I was watching the game with saw it, you saw it Boston knew it was offside pretty much everybody but the guys that should have saw it! Lol

      • id say the biggest problem is that there are too many rules :p

  10. Leaf….therefore a naive dreamer and over valuer of Nylander…it might be true….

    But what also is true if is for a D man it won’t be Faulk, Muzzin or Martinez….there not enough marginal difference between any of those than Rosen, Holl, Lilgren or the other Swede they brought over last to pay the price of Nylander

    Nylander who I would trade for D if nothing else would improve the 2 nd power play enough to cover the difference

    Nobody has to trade or sign him….there is value to the Leafs just to hang on to him until there is value for value or he signs …impatience is not the answer..the Leafs are not winning this year….their window is only opening….not opened

    • Disagree the window is now opened,when you sign an 11million dollar offensive free agent when you desperately need defense you are all in. Tavares is a good player but 11million for a position that isn’t the top priority it could come back to bite a little,

      • An 11 million dollar player signed for 7 o 8 years….can anticipate 4 or 5 good years…

        IMO the window opens when Marleau is off the books and when legit number 1 is on the rooster….how they do that I don’t know

        I may not be right but that is why I said opening not open….

      • Matthews’ injury shows the sense in signing Tavares; it also shows that the Leafs need Nylander on the ice asap. He can play centre or wing, and can add significantly to the power play.
        Like many others who have dealt with shoulder injuries, I am pretty sure, based on how Matthews was holding his arm after the hit, that sooner or later he will require surgery to tighten up the joint and keep it securely in place. His career is just getting started, don’t forget.
        Depth at the centre position is not a Leaf strength, it’s an absolute necessity.

  11. To see past legend into small market, exhibition hockey legend tour should be a good way to promote hockey.

    • That’s a really good idea.
      Hockey is a great sport, and should be shared by all, with all.
      A legend tour would be a hit in non traditional markets.
      I go whenever there’s one in my area.

    • We have that in Ontario. One of my friends fathers used to organize an old timers tour of the province and they would hit at least 20 cities/ towns. I actually went out for dinner one night with Bobby Hull, who is a good friend of his father. Bobby is super obnoxious and even called the waitress toots and expected the restaurant to come the dinner. He even said “do you know who I am.” Anyways the premise is that the old timer team plays against some combination of that cities police and fire fighters. Then they sell a ton of merch and do autographs. It’s a fun concept and very profitable.

      • Comp the dinner

  12. I know weed is legal now but some of you must be high if you think the leafs are trading Nylander for a 30 year old defenseman named Muzzin lol.its total bs

    • Nylander for Muzzin and Kovalchuk. I bet someone is regretting that contract right now.

  13. It could not be Muzzin on his own. A one for one is a no go.
    Add Pearson or Toffoli and that would make it interesting. Then you would add something back with Nylander , prospects /picks or both to get it done

    • Both Muzzin and Toffoli for Nylander and a prospect or pick? Dream on, unless that prospect is named Liljegren.

      I love how Leafs fans think that the rest of the league is so desperate to add a prima donna winger holding out for way too much money than he’s worth, that they are going to over pay to land him.

  14. If traded it’s gonna take a special package of players and pick to get it done and right now Dubas has not gotten the offer that fits
    So sign him and move on

  15. I believe if they do decide to trade nylander it will take something special to trade him and it will be 25 and younger. Your right on that Roger.

  16. Crazy trade thoughts?

    nylander + gardiner + 1st + some prospects/picks + salary acquired (keep going till they say ok) for oreilly + parayko

    St Louis is going nowhere fast, the salaries are close, makes them a little younger & faster & probably better long term, a bonus if it shakeups the team & make playoffs again.

    For the leafs it gives them experience, toughness, improved team faceoffs & defense, contract stability, positional upgrades where truly needed (rhd + lw)(assuming o’reilly played some lw & C)

    • That’s a great deal for the Leafs and only the Leafs.

    • my crazy one involving a going nowhere team that helps get young fast

      Nylander + Dermott + 1 st

      for Drew Doughty at 8 million and something else

      Probably a pipe dream but as I write this LA is losing to the Rangers….it is an organization that maybe needs to make fundamental structural changes….

      • Hahaha again read my response above to silverseven.

        You want Drew Doughty (the best all round d-man on the planet), it will cost a stud young roster player, a top prospect and multiple draft picks (including a first rounder).

        Something like, Nylander, Liljegren, 2019 1st, 2020 2nd and maybe Gardiner to help make the money work for TO. Oh and LA isn’t eating a penny of DD’s contract either.

  17. That’s a slight over payment for a good Day man and an aging center with no up side this trade would never happen

    • im overpaying on purpose, cause im making stuff up & trying to envision something that could help 2 teams…
      the basis of the trade would be nylander/gardiner for oreilly/parayko.
      as a leaf fan, I’d over pay to try to win stanley cup.

      I see that as beneficial to both teams:
      toronto cup runs vs StL stop missing playoffs/avoid rebuild. That’s why I suggested it.
      Cool though thanks for input

      • While that trade may plug a couple of holes, it would reek havoc with Toronto`s cap this year and really make a mess of it next year. Toronto has far less cap space this year than you realize because of the bonuses to be paid out over 5 mill this year which is not included in the cap total yet

    • Aging? The guy is 27 years old and one of the best 2 way centres in the NHL. Gardiner is terrible and a FA after the season and looking to get paid. Nylander is a soft, floater of a player with some good offensive instincts. Parayko is a monster with a monster shot and good defensive abilities. If I’m the Blues I’m hanging up the phone without even saying “no thanks” first.

      • Couldn’t agree more Deee.

  18. D man

  19. Well if Dubas thought like that he would never be GM his job is to do his best for his team I understand that your trade proposal helps both teams but it helps them more and they get younger and Leafs get O’Reilly and his cap hit

    • Give it up! Your proposal will never happen St. Louis also has a gm that wants to do best for his team!

  20. The Flames Brodie and Sam Bennett could use a change of scenery as they are still very quality players. Flames are deep in D prospects right now. Wonder if they could swing something for Nylander. Although, BT will not give Willy a higher salary than Gaudreau or Gio.

  21. The trade I would make is with Phillie Simmons and a d man for Nylander and Hainsey to two key pieces of course would be Nylander and the d man Simmons would be payroll dump like Hainsey it will be a good trade proposal