NHL Rumor Mill – November 14, 2018

by | Nov 14, 2018 | Rumors | 59 comments

Latest William Nylander speculation plus an update on the Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.


TSN: Bob McKenzie reports the Toronto Maple Leafs’ priority is to re-sign restricted free agent winger William Nylander, but they’re considering their trade options in case they cannot get a deal done before the Dec. 1 deadline. He said Carolina Hurricanes general manager Don Waddel remains interested in Nylander and will likely continue dialogue with Leafs GM Kyle Dubas over the course of this week. It’s believed the Hurricanes are willing to part with defenseman Brett Pesce but not Jaccob Slavin.

With the Dec. 1 deadline to sign William Nylander fast approaching, the Toronto Maple Leafs are believed listening to trade offers for the restricted free agent. (Photo via NHL Images)

McKenzie also said the Minnesota Wild are interested but aren’t willing to part with a young defenseman. The Los Angeles Kings are another potential suitor but McKenzie doubts they have the salary-cap space and the trade pieces to land Nylander. He also speculates the Florida Panthers could “kick tires.”

Darren Dreger believes the Leafs’ asking price will be expensive, citing sources claiming it could be a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward. McKenzie also points out most teams can’t afford the accelerated salary-cap hit in the first season of Nylander’s new contract if he’s signed before Dec. 1.

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During an appearance Tuesday on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, Elliotte Friedman also speculated over possible trade destinations for Nylander. Like McKenzie, he believes the Hurricanes, Wild, and Kings have been involved. He also suggests the Philadelphia Flyers could be another, “though I can’t prove it.” He also said he wouldn’t be surprised if a struggling club such as the Pittsburgh Penguins looked into Nylander’s availability.

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports Anaheim Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour has popped up in the Nylander trade-rumor chatter.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With the Leafs willing to at least listen to trade offers, it’s not surprising we’re starting to hear of more teams getting linked to Nylander, especially with that Dec. 1 deadline drawing ever closer. If the Leafs are indeed seeking a top-four defenseman and a top-nine forward, most interested clubs could play the waiting game in hopes Dubas will grow desperate by late-November and more open to lesser offers. Unless someone makes a significant pitch now, I think the Leafs GM will use as much time as possible trying to get Nylander under contract before considering the trade option.

Of the teams mentioned, the Hurricanes still seem the most likely destination. They have the cap space and depth in defensemen to make a Nylander deal happen. If the Wild won’t part with a young defenseman (hello there, Matt Dumba), I don’t think they can win a possible bidding war. Cap Friendly indicates the Kings are handcuffed by limited cap space and few viable trade options.

The Panthers have limited cap room this season to take on a new contract for Nylander, so they’ll have to shed significant salary heading to Toronto to make this deal work. Same goes for the Ducks.  As for the Flyers, the local media is skeptical, pointing out the cost of acquiring Nylander and the difficulty finding a suitable spot for him among their top-six forwards.


SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen lists Daniel Sprong, Carl Hagelin, Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust as four players the Pittsburgh Penguins to shake up their struggling roster.

A healthy scratch of late, Sprong has just four points in 12 games. Hagelin has considerable speed and works well on the penalty kill but he’s not scoring.

After being taken off the Crosby line, Guentzel went goalless from Oct 25 until last night’s loss against the Devils. Rust has only one goal and four points in 15 games. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Recent reports out of Pittsburgh indicate Sprong is attracting interest but it remains to be seen if the Penguins received any firm offers. While there’s a risk Sprong could blossom elsewhere, GM Jim Rutherford could take that chance if he gets a return that provides immediate help.

Despite Guentzel’s recent scoring woes, he would still attract lots of interest in the trade market. I doubt Rutherford is willing to part with the 24-year-old winger, who appears to be snapping out of his funk with three points in his last two games. Hagelin or Rust could hit the trade block but they probably won’t fetch a return that helps the Penguins right away. 



  1. Seems like there are more than a couple teams with some interest which is along way off what some around here have been saying since this whole thing started with the WW nonsense

  2. Trading Guentzel is out of the question. Pens have too much dead wood right now … Rust, Sheahan, Cullen, Hagelin, Wilson, Aston-Reese, etc. Calling Sprong out is ridiculous, the kid is on the 4th line when he plays and gets around 12 shifts all game. And doesn’t see the ice in the 3rd period. JR needs a trade partner badly.

    • Also, what will you get in return for players that you’re admitting have decreasing value?

    • Ed

      Agree with you re Sprong and Guentzel wholeheartedly

      On board with you re Rust, Cullen , Sheahan

      ZAR and Wilson have only played 3 games and very few minutes so hard to tell. The first game Wilson was up he had tons of zip and great passes and chances w/o any points

      Hagelin not producing offensively but his speed and energy have forced many turnovers and his PK work has been pretty good

      His fellow countryman was also in a major production funk then strung together a 3 game spurt that made me think he’d turn it around … certainly was not there last night

      What team is going to take on a Rust or Cullen or Sheahan or JJ (please!!!!)

      They keep throwing Sprong’s name out …. please don’t do it. If they do it better be as an incentive to take JJ

      See if Vegas is desperate enough ????

      Sprong + JJ + Rust + Cullen


      Miller + Macek + Carr + Pirri

      Macek, Carr, Pirri are 1st,2nd, 6th overall in AHL

      Combined in 14 GP…. 58 points and +35…. bring those 3 up and have them play as the third line …. can’t be worse than current third line production

      Crosby with Guentzel and Simone

      Malkin , Phil, Horny

      Pirri, Carr , Macek

      Sheahan and whomever

      Letang , Dumo

      Miller JO

      Maata Riikola (sp?)

      *dont forget Shultz will be back in new year

  3. GMJR…. why is there even a hint of trading Sprong …. he hasn’t been given a chance …. he’s got more 5/5 PP60 than many Pens now… that’s as much a baffling move as playing JJ so many minutes and yet to have him in press box while he continues to play so poorly. I think they are only seeing his one good play a game (like his 2-1 block of the saucer pass last night) but miss his bucket of bad plays

    Friedman throws out Pens as a possible destination for WW????

    Asking price per TSN/SN right now is top 4 D and top 9 fwd. Pens have tons of top 9 Fwds because they’ve shuffled lines so much they must have 10 or 11 guys that have played on the third line this year.

    I can’t even fathom a trade here….re top 4 D …. Letang and Dumo would not be discussed by GMJR. Shultz injured . So Maata , big Jamie O and JJ

    Babs would quit before GMKD took on JJ and he’d have a big issue with Maata’s speed.

    I really like Jamie O; and his bang for the buck is very good. He fits in well and is composed …. top 4 going forward on the Leafs ???? I’m sure Babs doesn’t see it that way. Would JO be an immediate upgrade to Leafs D …. yep. Would he be immediately better than Leafs current 4th best D … yes he’s performing better than their 4th best ….. I just don’t see JO as the D they need to push them over the hump

    Fwds Pens could offer up …. and please take Sprong and Guentzel off of the list …. with what is left …. why would Leafs move on this deal ?

    I agree that Car (as at now) is the key suitor for WW … but others out in the weeds waiting as well

    With WW “heavier” cap in 18/19…. now a more likely chance of multi-player deal such as:

    WW and Gardner to An


    Montour (Manson ask but not happening) and Ritchie

    Sundry swaps of pics/prospects to balance the deal

    • The only viable option seems like Carolina. La, Florida, Anaheim don’t seem to have the cap space to get a deal done. Pittsburgh does not have the assets (or cap space) Toronto is supposedly seeking.

      • The one thing about capspace is that the same as the value of the space the Leafs would have to take a big hit this year if they signed Nylander late, they could if it helped take back abit of money on a deal to facilitate w club getting under the cap this season like a Silfverberg for example, if the Ducks were interested. Leafs have some wiggle room this season to make a deal work just for the season but still might be the way to make a real work it’s not like 2 capped out teams trying to swap equal parts as alot of former Leaf trade candidates

      • NY4Life

        Agree …. but I think Phi could be a wildcard entry… would need to be a multi-player deal:

        Leivo still being underplayed/appreciated IMO so

        WW + Leivo


        Sanheim + Simmonds + prospect/pick

        Not a stretch to see WS re-sign with Leafs

        Again …. all speculation as at now

        Who knows … maybe a surprise and very good offer comes out from a team that no one is really considering at this time… Vegas, Arz

        These next 2 weeks will be interesting

      • Now if the Pens only had an asset worth some value the cap space is Sheahan and Hagelin 6 mill off the books would make Nylanders contract possibly do able but what comes back? I personally don’t think Matta is going to cut it but I think there are ways for capped out teams like the Pens/Ducks to swing a deal with the Leafs if the interest was there.

      • I agree 100 per cent Philadelphia is gonna be the best return for William Nylander and if it’s Leivo or 2nd round pick for Sanheim and Simmonds it give Toronto Maple Leafs what they need a young d and a forward with size and grit and it help Simmonds is a Toronto man

      • Well Rutherford answered the question of who is getting traded. Haglen to LA for Tanner Pierson one for one. Rust and Haglen are the same player and they don’t need 2.

    • Pengu, I see no options in Pittsburg for WW. There isn’t a player (outside of Crosby and Malkin) the Leafs would want playing top 9 and I don’t see a defenseman the Leafs would want either including Letang (for other reasons).

      I do like the Anaheim suggestion only if Manson is the principal. I could see Montour depending on what else comes back.

      Ultimately I’m 98% sure WW will not be dealt. I don’t see him garnering the proper return and in my view Dubas has him sitting over taking the “best” deal available assuming the “best” offer isn’t what Dubas wants.

      WW will sign by Nov 30th.

      • Well, they do say an optimist is one who expects to see all the crayons in the box!

      • Trekie

        Yep …. I couldn’t come up with anything logical that would have WW going to Pens.

        Montour very close to Manson in ability right now; is faster and on the rise …. I’d have no issue with either

        I am not with you however on the 98% WW staying

        I’m leaning a little north of 50% chance of a trade

        I think this would be best (if trade is right) as the Cap ramifications (with him re-signing) are just mind boggling right now ; and it would still leave Leafs sans D upgrade (which is what I truly believe they need to get deep in the playoffs — starting in Spring ’20)

    • Why would Leafs want Montour.
      He is extremely weak defensively.
      Why would Leafs want Ritchie, he of 10 goals last year and 14 goals the year before.
      Nylander is elite and the package coming back would have to include Manson and either Max Comtois or Sam Steele.

  4. You don’t trade a 22year old 1st line winger for a second pairing D…see Hall for Larsson as proof. Not unless something else is included to sweeten the pot considerably.

    Nylander is a two time 61 pt player who didn’t get much 1st unit PP time. You also don’t trade a proven commodity for a commodity with potential.

    • Not to mention that I’m not even sure alot of the D that speculated about here are even decent options as an upgrade to what the Leafs have. Not sure if anyone is noticing but the Leafs D isn’t all that bad i doubt they are swapping Nylander for a different Zaitsev, at that point may as well move him for a forward to try and replace some of the production that is lost dealing Nylander.

      • If Dubas agrees to trade Nylander for Pesce, Waddel needs to hang up the phone before Dubas changes his mind.
        I get what Craig is saying below about the Hall Larsson deal below, there were legit reasons for making that deal, but it was still a bad deal.
        My issue with the Oil and PC was the lack of patience and waiting for a better deal to come. And I believe it would have.
        Carolina is holding plenty of cards here and know the position Dubas is in and they are trying to win this deal outright. The vultures are circling.
        Dubas can’t control that Nylander won’t accept a reasonable deal, so he did not create this mess. But he can control if he gives him away for less than he is worth or signs him for more than he is worth.
        I don’t not envy him and this is a big test. The media pressure will continue to mount and he will take heat no matter what he does.
        Hold firm KD.

      • What I find amusing is how the attitudes have changed from Day 1 of training camp when Nylander failed to report. Then it was “oh, he’ll be back and happy to sign a low-ball bridge deal” – to the end of training camp when it became “he’ll sign any day now – mist such holdouts sign within a few games of the start of a season …” to the end of October when the team stumbled a bit and it morphed into “he’s greedy and is getting bad advice from his father … he should think of the team first” to now when it’s become, in some cases “deal him for the best offer received” or “let him rot for the season …”

      • I am sticking with my 2 year bridge at $5.5 prediction George.
        He may end up sitting for the year.
        Let’s assume he won’t sign at the Leafs # by Dec 1 and the rumors are accurate and these are his choices:
        A – Sign Nylander for 6 years at $8M/year.
        B – Trade him for Pesce.
        C – Let him sit and continue to guage the market and move him at the draft, or he caves and agrees to a reasonable deal at the bridge I mentioned or 6 x $6.5 prior to next season.

        If you are Dubas which do you pick?

        I have said it multiple times on here, if Nylander sits for the season and doesn’t accept one of the above he is a fool so I think he will come around before Dec 1.
        If he doesn’t I pick C.

      • Ray
        If those are the options as you lay out . I agree force him to sit . I highly doubt they are . I don’t think any team is signing him for 8M , nor do I think that’s what he’s holding out for . He will have more options than 1 player mentioned via trade . And sitting would hurt Willie , but would also hurt the leafs in multiple ways . Is he going to be any easier to sign next year after a forced holdout ? Is his trade value going to improve ? Another cap rise , m and m signings to deal with , which Willie could wait to see . Willie would also lose going this route , no doubt but I see no way shape or form it beats a reasonable trade offer or going in to the low 7’s to make a deal . Which is where I think the problem lies , dubas in first big negotiation , with supposedly all the leverage , has to protect his image and won’t go up to 7 at all . Which is what Willie is holding out for , with good reason . Holding out for 8 M would be greedy , holding out for 7 is not on Willie , they expect him to take less , as the president said in media , and he’s saying no , I’ll come down from 8 (original ask) but you have to come up . All imo .

      • you mean something like karlson yashin heatley alfredson

      • Agree Craig, I don’t think anybody will sign him for $8M. Just using what we have heard in the rumor mill. I have read that both sides have held firm/moved only a little and are still far apart.

    • Daryl
      At what point has larsson been a 2nd pairing d since the year before he left NJ ? He isn’t a true # 1 guy , doesn’t provide the 2 way game but he is an elite shutdown d man. When healthy in Edmonton he plays top line minutes vs the other teams best every night and is +34 doing it , including last year . Like dubas in this situation with Willie , more factors at play leading to trades . Chiarelli had a leadership problem in the room , with Halls own admission he wanted NO dialogue with coaches or any coaching , the entitlement . Not what I want as a voice for my young kids in the room . He needed to get tougher and bigger , and needed to fix the D . All factors which led to hall being moved .

      • And that’s plus 34 relative to team who is probably around even over that same stretch and not proving great offensive numbers . Plus minus isn’t perfect but relative to team it can be used imo

      • Morgan Reilly , for example over the same period , yes he has a ton of points , and has played vs other teams top lines , not full time , is -15 relative to a team who is probably close to plus 80ish over that span .

      • Craig the oilers were one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL last year I’m not sure Larsson made a difference and how’s Lucic looking? This was a terrible deal no matter how you want to spin it.

      • Schticky
        Larsson klefbom and talbot took turns on the IR for much of the first half , larsson took time off for fathers death . They were planning on nurse stepping up to fill the void left by sekera , which happened , couldn’t hold up to the injuries to both top guys and goalie early , how many teams can ? He was still a positive player relative to teams big negative through that .
        Lucic had a solid first season , has struggled since. But he does provide leadership and toughness / presence to this team who was known for being too small and easy to push around . He was / is and will be overpaid , but Pete wasn’t competing vs himself on ufa market . The trade is far from over yet , for example , regardless of how you feel about the chances today . The oilers win a cup over the course of Larrsons/Lucic deals . Are we talking about Halls 1 and will be only 1 mvp level season ? Or will we be talking about the moves made leading to a cup ? It’s far from over . I’ll be interested to hear how dubas does if the return is a guy not even established in a top pair role yet (montour pesce type) for Willie who is younger and produced back to back 61 point healthy seasons now at age 22 . Hall was coming off 65/ 38 , 30 games missed at age 24 ish at trade , followed it up with 53 in year 1 in nj , larsson played top pair minutes in to round 2 and without a blown interference call 1 minute and change with a 1 goal lead from round 3. Larsson is also cheaper and locked up longer at a more premium position

      • Tougher and bigger…Lucic? Kassian? How’s that working out?

        What the Oilers need is a winger that can keep up with McDavid.

        I’m not sure it’s ever a good idea to trade a 1st line scoring winger for a shut down D?

      • I like Larsson as a player. Moves well, moves the puck well, physical with a bit of a dirty streak. Plays and practices hard. He is a very good defender, I just don’t think he was worth Hall.
        The top 4 has played well in Edmonton and that is with Russell getting top 4 minutes, and he is borderline in that role.
        The issue with Edmonton D is depth. With Sekera out they have had to give too many minutes to Benning, and had to throw Garrison or Gravel over the boards every night. The bigger issue is in net, they need Talbot to find his game. Koskinen has been a nice surprise, but will that continue?

      • Daryl it worked out great in year 1 , and teams no longer look forward to pushing them around . Not so well last year , but Lucic was a small portion of why the team struggled , health of the d and Talbots play behind . They scored middle of the pack with no pp . This year through the most road games , 2 east coast trips and the toughest competition faced league wide they are 9-8-1 , talbot has struggled and mcdavid hasn’t been great for him yet , very good at times but not fully clicking yet . I agree Ray , the depth on the back end has hurt . But how many teams can get by with such injuries to top pair guys and goalie together ? Sekera was known and I think nurse stepped up nicely . But larsson / klefbom trading time on IR forced everyone up a spot , at times 2 spots . Tough to succeed and tough on talbot / brossoit . This year they could still use 1 more d man to pair with nurse allowing Russell to slide back with Benning and gravel the 7th man to fill in on bottom pair if needed .

      • Also Darryl what is dubas trying to accomplish ideally if he trades willy (top line winger) . Manson is what ? And I’ve heard he would be a favourite over montour / pesce / Martinez / Muzzin type ? He wouldn’t pull the trigger if offered a d man playing top pair minutes , locked up longterm around 4.1?? Wouldn’t that be best case ? Depending on the position you are in , it may be the best idea available .

  5. Dollars and sense eliminates a lot of potential trade destinations. Pearson and Muzzin could make it work. Anaheim would have to trade dollars as well. Agree Carolina the most likely but there may be a team hiding in the weeds.

    To prove a point is to sit the entire year. Nylander might have to buy NHL Center Ice package to see any hockey but I don’t think they have that in Sweden

  6. Just wondering

    Does anybody here know what is the absolute maximum WW could expect for playing 3/4 of a year in KHL or in the Swedish Elite League?

  7. Vancouver could make it work . The Sedins reincarnated – Pettersson and Nylander

    • Ya know I had the same kinda thoughts, personally I don’t think it’s a good idea to deal Nylander but that seems like a nice fit there as far as the player goes.

    • SilverSeven that is a trade that would make total sense as it would fill the seats in Vancouver again! They have the assets to make it interesting for the leafs also.

    • What would Vancouver have that the Leafs want/need?
      Edler? Nope
      Tanev? Nope
      Juolevi? He’s in the AHL so doesn’t help them now. Might be a starting point but as I said above you don’t trade a 22 year old 1st line RW for a player with potential

      I can’t see the Canucks trading one of their high end young forwards for Nylander.

    • Yeah the one team that can that no one is talking about..is Van.
      We could move a Gudbranson and Beartschi or Gaudette for him.Guddy is playing great right now..Ive Heard Dubis is a fan of him..

    • That’s my thought as well. Who comes to the Leafs though? Tanev plus?
      Best case for Leaf fans is still a bridge contract.

    • Only if Vancouver willing to trade a high end defensive prospect and this year’s #1.

  8. Compared to the KHL, leagues like those in Sweden and Finland see salaries in the $50,000 to $100,000 range. The KHL, on the other hands, has salaries that have ranged from $1 mil to $5.5 mil

    • The KHL has had money troubles for years, a few teams have folded over the last couple years. I believe it’s (IMO) one of the reasons Kovalchuk returned to the NHL. Having said this, I can’t see WW making anywhere near the KHL max if he signs there.

    • Thanks George

      So realistically the most he could be looking at is maybe $2-$2.5M to play the balance of a KHL season

      • IF he really needs the money now. I hear the family is independently wealthy, plus I’m sure he’s socked away a few nickels from that 2.5 mil plus he’s earned so far as a pro.

  9. As a hockey fan I would like to see a decade of Nylander , Broeser and Pederson (forgive spelling) but I can’t see a trade unless the young Finnish defense man in the minors is seen a potential first liner…

    • Been lurking reading the Nylander chatter for awhile, thought I would chip in with my 2 cents. If Dubas does not get him on the contract that he wants/needs (to make his team budget work), then I believe he would ultimately get more value for him by making him sit the year out and dealing him at the draft or in the summer. Many more teams would be in on it and have more budget to work with. Sucks for right now, but isn’t that what coaching is supposed to do ? I bet those two second round picks the leaf’s wasted (in my opinion) the last two playoffs for basically fourth line centres (who never resigned with the club) would look pretty good right now.

      • Agree hockeyislife, you hate to not have everything at you disposal this season if you are the Leafs, but it isn’t just this season he has to worry about.
        If Nylander sits because a deal can’t be reached, then they may decide to look to add secondary scoring at the deadline which will cost an asset they would rather not spend. Not ideal, but is that better or worse than overspending for the next 6-8 years? Or selling an asset like Nylander for less than it is worth?
        Tough call.
        Still think Nylander will give in first, but time will tell. Once these things get emotional you never know.

      • I agree I can’t understand why it is not a more widely held opinion…the asset ( don’t like calling a person that) will more valuable when there are more potential buyers with more flexibility….and the Leafs are not going to win this year with both Boston & Tampa blocking the way out

  10. Pearson to Pit probably for sprong

    • Same money as Murray almost. Lol

    • I just heard Sprong was not included. Still don’t know who was

  11. we should have access to waivers list and khl scouting report.

  12. Hags with tiny retained for Pearson. Like it as a pens fan! A change of scenery type for tanner.

    • Just got back and reading about this trade now…. low risk trade both sides. Change of scenery alone will prob increase production for both

      Couldn’t they have taken JJ for Pearson straight up??? LOL 😂

      I think GMJR is prob going to tweak some more

      I’d still like to see him aquire Macek, Carr , and Pirri and try them out as a third line

  13. I would bet the Kings are not done, Hagelin is off the books next year and with Doughty getting a 4 mil increase in salary the Kings have 7 million in cap space with only 13 players signed. Look for Carter($ retained),Toffoli, Muzzin, Martinez to be in play at some point this year. The Kings need to inject some youth into the lineup.

    • I would wager that Hagelin doesn’t finish the season in LA either, unless the Kings pull an unlikely turn around and contend this season.

      Someone will gladly grab him as a rental at the TDL.

      • “I would wager that Hagelin doesn’t finish the season in LA either, unless the Kings pull an unlikely turn around and contend this season.”

        We have a replacement for the Hotels.com spokesperson right here

  14. I know it is early in the season ….but if the season ended today the top 7 teams in cap spend would not make the playoffs.