NHL Rumor Mill – November 29, 2018

by | Nov 29, 2018 | Rumors | 56 comments

Potential goaltender trade candidates plus the latest on William Nylander in your NHL rumor mill.

TSN: Frank Seravalli lists Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Red Wings, Cam Talbot of the Edmonton Oilers, and Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators as five possible trade candidates.

The future of Columbus Blue Jackets goalie remains a hot topic in the NHL rumor mill (Photo via NHL Images)

Seravalli admits it’s unlikely the Blue Jackets will trade Bobrovsky, who’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. However, he believes “Bob” is worth watching in the rumor mill and wonders if his former club, the Philadelphia Flyers, will try to bring him back. Seravalli suggests Murray’s injury history and inconsistency might test the Penguins’ patience.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’ve said for weeks I don’t believe the Jackets will trade Bobrovsky as long as they’re in the playoff chase this season. I see no reason to change my mind. Given the Flyers’ recent management change, I wouldn’t be shocked if they pursue Bobrovsky if he hits the open market next summer, though it remains to be seen if he wants to return to the city where his NHL career began.

As for Murray, his inconsistency is likely tied to his injury history. I don’t think Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is running out of patience with Murray but he might be growing concerned over his goalie’s frequent absences. 

Wings general manager Ken Holland attempted to move Howard two years ago but his contract made him a tough sell at the time. With Howard playing well this season and slated to become a UFA in July, Seravalli said the Wings GM is believed to be holding out for a first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Seravalli’s colleague Bob McKenzie noted the possibility the Wings could re-sign Howard, adding there’s no rush to move him. However, he doesn’t rule out a trade, suggesting it depends upon what they get offered.

McKenzie pointed out the St. Louis Blues are believed to be scouting Howard but they lack a first-round pick in 2019 and aren’t inclined to part with top prospects like Robert Thomas or Jordan Kyrou. Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch believes the Blues would have to shed current starter Jake Allen if they were to acquire Howard, noting there would also be salary-cap concerns with both clubs up against the cap ceiling this season.

Earlier this month, MLive.com’s Ansar Khan reported “The Red Wings are happy with Howard, and Howard is happy in Detroit. That is why the sides are sure to agree on a contract extension this season.” Unless Howard or Wings GM Ken Holland have changed their minds, the long-time Detroit netminder won’t be moving anytime soon. 

Talbot’s numbers this season aren’t as good as backup Mikko Koskinen. Seravalli said the Oilers aren’t in any hurry to move Talbot, who’s also a UFA in July, but his availability could become clearer near the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Talbot fails to regain his form and Koskinen keeps sporting better numbers, perhaps the Oilers management (be it Peter Chiarelli or someone else) will decide to move him by the trade deadline.

Anderson’s strong play and the extra year left on his contract is believed the reasons why he’s still with the Senators. Seravalli wonders if a contender would make a pitch for Anderson if the Senators ate part of his salary.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Anderson requested a trade earlier in the summer but there was no feasible deal to be found. As Seravalli pointed out, the Senators lack a suitable replacement to step in and take over for Anderson so he’s unlikely to be going anywhere for now.


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman wonders if William Nylander has a future with the Toronto Maple Leafs beyond this season. “Whether he signs or whether he doesn’t sign, this is going to be it. And even if he does sign, I think Toronto trades him by the draft at the latest. One way or the other, I think this is over. I would be surprised if he plays for Toronto next season.”

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons wonders if the Leafs can afford to keep Nylander beyond this season. Speculating it could cost $22 million annually to re-sign Auston Matthew and Mitch Marner, and noting the $11 million annually being earned by John Tavares, and the estimated $7 million per season it could take to keep Nylander in the fold, Simmons notes that’s $40 million tied up in just those few players. Patrick Marleau is also earning over $6 million next season plus there’s the cost of re-signing UFA Jake Gardiner and restricted free agents Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.

“Assuming contracts for Matthews and Marner, the Leafs will be over $70 million in salaries. That’s without including Nylander. That’s without including Kapanen and Johnsson. That’s without including Gardiner. Do the math. It doesn’t add up. (GM Kyle) Dubas knows this. The challenge is to sign Nylander and have a plan for what comes next.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Since the summer, I’ve been questioning how the Leafs can fit everybody under the cap for 2019-20. Unless they shed a significant salary or two, re-signing Nylander, Matthews, and Marner won’t leave much to re-sign Kapanen and Johnsson, let alone re-sign or replace Gardiner and Ron Hainsey, who’s also a UFA next summer. 



  1. The Nylander thing is coming to a close. On Nov6th, there was some very good debate over Nylander of which predictions were laid out – here they are:

    Nov 6

    7 years at 6.5 by Nov 30th

    7 years at 7.25 after being traded to Carolina with Pesce as the primary coming to the Leafs

    2×5.75 bridge with Leafs

    Ray Bark
    2×5.5 bridge Nov 26

    3×6.7 US Thanksgiving Week

    We’ll see how things go

    • And I predicted no contracts – sits the season

      • Good Point George, sorry I missed yours or didn’t mark it

    • bets are open!

      Thanks for this @Trekie. I’ll be back here sunday to check out the results.

      I’d bet on Schticky (not enough vowels in thishandle 🙂 )

    • I believe trekie your the closest! .6×6.8ish?..I also believe that a deal has been in place for weeks? ..the leafs needed the cap hit to be under 6.5AAV..after this year..and if Nylander wanted the money close to 7 (I personally never thought 8 mil was the price) he would have to wait til the end of November. .to help the team get a cap hit they could fit..cheating a bit..maybe? Lol.but the leafs have one of the best cap man in the business!..also my guess is Matthews at 11.340 and marner at 7.8ish?..wishful. .probably! .Lol..but either way they’ll be signed! P.s…also those prices for Matthews and marner I suspect that they’ll be 5/6 year deals and sign for the 8 year deals later on?..maybe trekie you can come back here after all is said and done and see how close I was?.cheers gentleman and have a great day!

      • Interesting about Matthews and Marner. Friedman believes that Nylander will be dealt due to cap issues with Matthew and Marner. The question will be, how bad do these two want Nylander to stay. JMO.

    • What about those that predicted a trade?

      • If it didn’t happen on Nov 6th, it wasn’t recorded by me. So you can add whatever you like as it’s still not D-day.

    • Looks like I missed the date, but I see not everyone submitted one.
      Starting to think Nylander is stuck on a longer deal, but the bridge still seems like a reasonable compromise if he wants to maximize earning potential.

    • That looks goo I still think Dubas should Circumvent the Cap, sign William Nylander to a 5 year 5 million dollar per year contact and then hire Mike Nylander as European scout and pay him 3 million a year for 5 years.

    • I predict he is traded …

      for the record ..LOL

      • He’s getting traded but I think he goes with a contract one way or another and I’d imagine at the draft maybe the best time to do it. I still do think it’s likely there is a deal maybe not quit worked out but will get ‘signed’ right at the deadline they both know where this is heading and no way is Nylander worth more in a trade or a contract if he sits a season they have cap room the longer they wait the more it shaved down next year’s hit for wherever he gets traded. Not sure this is gonna go as planned lol

    • I am with ….Chrisms

      I have been pushing the trade scenario …

      # tradenylandernow..


    • 8 years at 7.3

    • Trade to philly Sanheim

    • He gets traded. More specifically to my Ducks 🙂

  2. And that’s bang on about Craig Anderson. Trading him now would be idiotic since there is no goalie available who could come in 0- even for a short term. Gustavsson and Hogberg are their top prospects by they’re both still at least 2 years away. I’m surprised Dorion didn’t claim Pickard who’d be a better back-up than McKenna.

    • Pickard was moved in the expansion draft. Waived by the Knights, waived by the Leafs and now waived by the flyers.
      He’s got some NHL experience under his belt but I wonder how good he actually is.
      Then again that year he was backstopping the AVs to one of the worst seasons of all time

      • All academic – Arizona just claimed Pickard off waivers

    • George how about Darling for Zack Smith? Canes retain 900k. Darling has excelled as a backup in the past.

      • He’s on waivers now so free claim if Ottawa wants to spend on him. Would be nice if they can send Smith the other way, would fit well on the canes

      • I’d do that in a heartbeat. And I wouldn’t ask Carolina to hold any salary back. Darling’s cap hit is $4,150,000 while Smith costs $3,250,000. Ottawa has plenty of space to absorb $900,000. And while he’s at it, Dorion should deal Dzingel for a solid vet type (not ancient) stay-at-home D, They have plenty of offense now – need to firm up that top 4 D structure.

      • Taz the point here is Ottawa dumps one bad contract to take on another and fills the back up role. No way they are going to claim him and pay him 4 mil for the next 3 years without ditching a bad contract. Smith is serviceable and not obscenely overpaid but they have lots of youth who can play up front for a lot less$.

      • AND know where the bloody net is, Fergy. I know I said they need more defense than offense at this stage – but Smith is giving them neither. Nor is Paajarvi. Both are part of the PK which sits near the bottom.

  3. JR should be looking to deal Murray … his confidence is broken, his glove hand is a major flaw and he is as fragile as a potato chip. Jimmy Howard would look good in net for the Pens, let’s hope JR protects the pick this time. Pens might be picking high this summer. Nylander signs Saturday, bridge deal which he could have signed four months ago.

    • 35 year old Jimmy Howard would absolutely NOT look good anywhere near the Penguins. Talk about injury prone. I’ll let Murray take as long as he needs to heal up and get focused as long as he back for the playoffs. He’s not built for the regular season grind. He needs high stakes and intensity to really play his best. Let the 2 kids split duties until the stretch run in March when it’s make or break time. I’m surprised it wasn’t Pengy who pitched the idea of Howard, ideas this bad usually come from him.

  4. I’m starting to think Papa is playing chicken and will call Dubas’ bluff.

    I predict the likelihood of Nylander sitting for the year is strong so long as his father is in charge.

    • Then he should fire his father.
      Bad dad.

      • How’s he a bad dad? He knows that the Leafs are strapped for cash and don’t want to pay for Nylander. Dubas wants the public to think that he’s offering a solid deal to Nylander. For all the public knows it’s 7 or even in the 6mil range but in reality he might be low balling Nylander and his dad is standing up for his kid finding it an insult that the only reason he is getting low balled is because Dubas needs to also pay for Marner and Mathews (and Kapanen the next year). How fair will it be to accept the low ball price knowing that the rest of the guys are going to get paid probably grossly more??

      • Exactly what I’ve been saying right from the get-go RobD. It’s a business and only a dumb businessman would sell his goods for below market value for years to come.

  5. Nylander signs for three years around five million and if he doesn’t he sits out the year. The leafs can work out a better trade in the off season. The leafs have the offence to challenge but agreed would be better with him. A three year deal gets everyone signed a makes the leafs strong contenders for the cup. Kapanen can be moved for a defencemen and Gardiner has to go at any price and easily replaced for a rugged defensive defensemen. It’s too easy.

    • Not sure I agree on Gardner Raymond.
      Gardner has his warts, but isn’t he a valuable player? Babcock is giving him the 2nd most minutes on the team, so he seems to like him.
      Depends what he wants to resign I guess, and he is only 28 so plenty left in the tank. Methinks they would have to replace him with a puck mover.
      If you go rugged defensive guy, he better be able to skate. Not cheap either.

      • Gardiner actually leads the Leafs D for Icetime in 5 on 5 situations
        He’s relied on heavily. He’ll get between 6 and 7 as a free agent.

        I said this yesterday, the Leafs D isn’t as bad as last years and Gardiner is a big part of that

      • That’s why they consistently allow 40 shots against? If the leafs are going to contend they need better defense

      • I think the key is, we are coming to the end of Oct-Nov hockey which, much like April-May baseball, does not really reflect the true capabilities of most teams, Going into December and on, the games start to tighten up in terms of forechecking/sustained pressure and closer attention being paid to the big goal-getters. In other words, it gets much tougher. Unless a given player who has been in the league for several years suddenly changes his style of play/gets smarter, the warts will rise to the surface. By the end of December we may be in for a few surprises/disappointments. Happens every season.

      • BB, How you make 33 s/g into 40 is beyond me.

        I’m saying nothing about competing here but you are presumptuous and wrong in you comment. So, all in all, standard behaviour

      • Taz BBB might have exaggerated the ga per game but don’t lose sight of the fact Anderson has faced more shots on net then all other goalies except Craig Anderson and John Gibson. Yes he has played more games then most and this should also be a concern.

      • 4 out of the last 5 games tax you moron! That’s pretty consistent wouldn’t you say?

      • Not sure all the blame for shots against is all on the D in this situation.
        Agree they are not an elite D core, but defense is a team game, as is the offence.
        Understandable given the amount of the youth up front and replacing Gardner with a 6’4″ banger isn’t going to change that as he will hurt how often you have the puck.
        For certain Anderson is extremely valuable for the Leafs. Has a very high save % on high danger chances.

  6. How the heck is Toronto going to be able to field a team with three players, each making $11M?

    • That’s the thing. The plan is to low ball Nylander while Marner and Mathews collect BIG time. Dubas has a preference and Nylander dad isn’t having it. Nylander is better off somewhere else.

  7. It’s my understanding and I could be wrong but Marleau’s contract is front loaded so last year only is a 1.25 mil salary cap hit, Hainsey at 3 mil won’t be back, gardiner will be traded as they won’t be able to afford him so his 4.25 mil is off the books. From these three that’s 13.5 which can be used to sign Marner and bring up two entry level contracts to replace the senior blueliners.

    There’s room in the cap but the real problem will come later with signing Rielly and Andersen which will force trades.

    • Marleau’s contract is frontloaded but the cap hit remains $6.25 million per season. The $1.25 million you’re referring to is his base salary for next season. Add in his $3 million signing bonus, and that’s $4.25 million in actual salary. But as I said earlier, the cap hit remains $6.25 million, and that’s the problem for the Leafs.

    • Frank, they way I understand it he would only be paid $1.25, but Annual Average Salary is the cap hit. $6.25M.

    • If that was the way the cap worked every team would sign their players for huge money the first year and then low dollars every following season. That would solve all the leafs problems.

  8. Babcock last night sure sounded like Nylander would be back. I predict he’ll sign a deal that takes him to ufa. 6.5 per. If not, he’ll be traded at deadline to non playoff team

    • I have him at 6.8 for six

      • Yep same here smitty! Again for that amount to work they had to wait til the end of November/December 1st this year’s salery will be around 8.2ish?.. approx.6.4 AAV for 6 years?

      • Hunter, can you explain your math please?

        I’m curious how they mich would drop off the contract on 6 years.
        He’s only missing 1/4 to 1/3 of 1 season.


  9. Maybe he signs a 1 year deal and they revisit in summer. Might be easier when they do other deals

  10. Tom Dundon is sending a good message to the team by keeping the two best goalies on the roster regardless of Darlings contract. If Zykov is not claimed I will be shocked. Probably ends up back in LA.

  11. Just on site now … missed all the fun today with predictions.

    Was at game last night …. Leafs do not need WW.

    Stretches of offensive bouts that were great but also some stretches of intense SJ pressure

    Leafs will have no problem now or in playoffs with scoring; but last night’s game just re-emphasized the need to upgrade the D in order to go deep in playoffs. Freddy can’t bail them out with 5 “ten-ballers” every play-off game.

    I don’t wan’t to predict as I think I’ll jinx what I want and believe is best for the team…. which is to sit him… look at any exceptional offers at TDL but unless Something spectacular
    Is offered…..trade off-season when there could be 25+ different offers.. take best offer that includes D upgrade

    Scoring no problem …. whatever Dubas was willing to spend on WW … spend it on a D…. now that will reduce shots, GA, and stress on Freddy… big increase in probability for a cup

    I revisit my dream …. WW + whatever it takes for Parayko

    Not happening but I do love to dream

    All I am comfortable predicting is that if GMKD capitulates to $6.8M or greater long term… then Cap mania will definitely cause the inability to re-sign some of key current roster

    The other prediction I’ll make is that if AM doesn’t have his signature on aLeaf contract come 1/7/19….. offer sheet (Arz) a definite.

  12. Pengy, if WW isn’t traded or signed by weekend …. deadline deal for you. Skjei, Zucharello and McQuaid for WW and a 2nd rd pick.Helps with a cup run this year. Zuc gives you similar production as WW. Skjei and McQ add size and grit on D. Skjei is signed long term at reasonable cap hit. Allows you to let Gardner walk after this season. Let McQ walk, bring up Linjgren. Sign Zucc for 2 years what do you say

    • Slick

      Sorry reading this morning of 30th

      That is a reasonable offer IMO

      I don’t think GMKD would take it though as I believe he wants 2 pieces that he can have for a few years; and both Zucc and McQuaid would not be re-signed by Leafs.

      Love Skjei though. I’m sure he’d be great addition for Leafs.

      I realize why the need to move at least one of Zucc or McQuaid is to fit in room for WW contract this year (which if long term would be in the $9M + range for 18/19).

      Like it… just don’t think GMKD takes the offer.

  13. Leafs fans, you guys worry too much about how the team will figure out the cap. After making the playoffs only once from 05/06-15/16 you have lots to appreciate today and look forward to. If players can’t fit into the cap structure I guarantee you the players moved will fill the cupboard for years to come. Tavares, Marner, Matthews,Reilly, Nylander, Anderson all ‘real’ stars in the league. Kadri, Kapanen, Johnssson third line players who could be top 6 on other teams and 3-4 players on the Marlies waiting to make the jump. Nice problem to have Leaf nation , enjoy the present.

  14. we should allow coach or gm trading to boost up franchise hope.