NHL Rumor Mill – November 2, 2018
Could William Nylander fit with the Hurricanes or Flyers? What’s the latest on the Bruins and Rangers? Find out in today’s NHL rumor mill.
RUMORS LINK NYLANDER TO HURRICANES AND FLYERS
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a recent appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Pierre LeBrun was asked about the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs landing defenseman Brett Pesce if they were to trade William Nylander to the Carolina Hurricanes. He said it’s his understanding the Hurricanes would consider it. However, he reminds us we still don’t know if the Leafs intend to trade Nylander. It’s also one thing for the Hurricanes to be among the clubs believed monitoring Nylanders’ status but it’s another to say they can sign him.
During this week’s “31 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman said the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t been mentioned much regarding Nylander but he thinks they have the pieces to interest the Leafs. “So who have we mentioned. We’ve mentioned – if Toronto gets to this point – we’ve mentioned Los Angeles, we’ve mentioned Minnesota, Carolina definitely – they’re all over the place there – but I really do believe that a stealth team that has what Toronto would want would be the Flyers.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Interesting note from LeBrun regarding Pesce. The Hurricanes value him highly but one can’t blame them for at least considering the possibility of moving him for a skilled top-six forward like Nylander. Pesce would probably be the Leafs’ asking price. The 23-year-old is a mobile blueliner with good size (6’3, 200 pounds), a right-handed shot and (stick tap to Cap Friendly) carries an affordable $4.025-million salary-cap hit through 2023-24.
As for the Flyers, NBC Sports’ John Boruk is skeptical about their chances of landing Nylander. If the Leafs want a defenseman, Boruk dismisses the notion of the Flyers parting with Ivan Provorov or Travis Sanheim and doubts they’ll move promising Philippe Myers. “If I’m Hextall, (Robert) Hagg may be the only defenseman I’d be willing to part with in a deal for Nylander and it would likely take a little bit more on the Flyers’ end to facilitate a trade.” He also questions if the Flyers could re-sign Nylander and where he would fit among their top-six forwards.
UPDATES ON THE BRUINS AND RANGERS
NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: Appearing on Toronto’s TSN 1050 yesterday, Darren Dreger noted the Boston Bruins have some good young players, such as Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork, who are “kind of similar to one another” that they might be willing to move for an experienced forward. “Maybe, maybe there’s a fit, maybe there’s a piece in Los Angeles that makes sense to Boston, and L.A. gets a cheaper, younger player, as an example. And I use L.A. just for sake of discussion here. I’m not suggesting that there’s any trade dialogue happening between those clubs.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins are in need of secondary scoring and recent media speculation suggests they either want a second-line winger or a third-line center. The Kings could soon be in the market for younger, more affordable forwards and Heinen or Bjork could be interesting to them.
Jeff Carter, who lacks a no-trade clause in his contract, checks the box in terms of top-six experience. However, he’s also 33, missed most of last season to injury and carries a $5.27-million AAV through 2021-22. The Bruins would probably have more interest in younger, more affordable options like Tyler Toffoli or Tanner Pearson.
During this week’s “31 Thoughts” podcast, Elliotte Friedman spoke about the possibility of the New York Rangers shopping pending free agent veterans Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes. Co-host Jeff Marek asked about moving defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Friedman believes he’d be more difficult to trade because he’s still got term on his contract.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s expected Zuccarello and Hayes will be traded by the Feb. 25, 2019 trade deadline, if not sooner than that. Shattenkirk is in the second season of a four-year deal with an annual average value of $6.65-million per season. He also carries a 10-team no-trade list. Not saying he can’t be dealt but as Friedman observed he’ll be tougher to move.