NHL Rumor Mill – November 8, 2018

by | Nov 8, 2018 | Rumors | 57 comments

More William Nylander speculation plus the latest on the Penguins in your NHL rumor mill.


TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons recently weighed in on William Nylander’s contract standoff with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He considers Nylander the Leafs’ sixth most important player (behind Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, and Frederik Andersen) and suggests he should be paid as such.

Another day, another round of William Nylander trade speculation. (Photo via NHL Images)

Simmons notes Washington’s T.J. Oshie (the Capitals sixth most important player) earns an annual average value of $5.5 million while Pittsburgh’s Derick Brassard makes $5 million per. He also feels the Leafs cannot let this situation drag on up to the Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign Nylander and calls upon general manager Kyle Dubas “to make a deal of some kind.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Simmons also pointed out Dubas offered the Nylander camp more than what Oshie and Brassard are making but he doesn’t believe they’ll pay $7 million or more per season. 

SPORTSNET: Rory Boylen lists the Carolina Hurricanes, Los Angeles Kings, Philadelphia Flyers, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim Ducks as potential trade destinations for Nylander if the Leafs decide to trade him.

Players the Leafs could target include Carolina’s Brett Pesce, Justin Faulk, and Valentin Zykov,  LA’s Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez along with prospects Kale Clague and Rasmus Kupari, Philadelphia’s Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Sanheim, Philippe Myers and Robert Hagg,  Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon and Matt Dumba, and Anaheim’s Brandon Montour, Josh Manson and prospects Josh Mahura, Troy Terry, and Max Jones.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind Boylen is merely listing possible trade options. He’s not saying the Leafs will want every player listed on each club in return for Nylander. The widespread assumption is Dubas would want a top-four defenseman if he puts Nylander on the trade block, though Elliotte Friedman recently suggested Dubas could surprise us by bringing in a forward to replace Nylander.

Of the teams listed, Carolina and Anaheim have considerable depth in skilled young defensemen to tempt the Leafs. The Hurricanes are reportedly very interested in Nylander but there hasn’t been much speculation suggesting the Ducks are among the suitors. 

Recent reports out of Philadelphia suggest the Flyers probably won’t get into the bidding for Nylander. I doubt Dubas will part with Nylander for Martinez or Muzzin. The Wild might be willing to part with Brodin or Spurgeon but the Leafs would probably target Dumba. I don’t see the Wild parting with him. 

TSN: Darren Dreger acknowledged the growing trade interest in Nylander but remains unconvinced he’ll be moved. He believes there’s progress in contract talks between the two sides and said he’d be shocked if Nylander doesn’t re-sign with the Leafs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Dec. 1 deadline to re-sign Nylander is just over three weeks away. We’ll find out for sure by then. 


PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE: Jason Mackey reports Penguins GM Jim Rutherford isn’t pleased with his club’s recent performance, suggesting changes could be on the way if their fortunes don’t improve soon. He’s already made a couple of internal moves, calling up Zach Aston-Reese and Garrett Wilson. He singled out the club’s sputtering secondary scoring as an issue.

Rutherford also criticized some players under new contracts and those in their contract years who haven’t performed up to expectations. Though the Penguins GM didn’t single them out by name, Mackey believes he was referring to Brian Dumoulin Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin or Riley Sheahan. He was also critical of goalies Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith.

Mackey also reports multiple sources said the Penguins are listening to offers for young winger Daniel Sprong, though it’s less clear if they’re actually hearing anything. The 21-year-old Spring is struggling but still has considerable potential, which could make Rutherford prefer to slow-play this situation and remain patient with the youngster.

NICHOLS ON HOCKEY: During a recent appearance on NBCSN, TSN’s Darren Dreger said he’d be surprised if Sprong isn’t traded. He speculates it could be a small move but suggested Rutherford could have some bigger up his sleeve. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As we’ve seen in recent years, Rutherford isn’t afraid to make moves at any point in the season to improve his club. For now, his unhappiness with the Penguins performance could be seen as a shot across the bow to motivate his players. But if things don’t improve soon, Rutherford could pull the trigger. He might be reluctant to trade Sprong but could jump if he’s offered a quality young winger in return. 



  1. Voracek for Nylander. Think the Leafs would do that?

    • why would the Leafs do that? He’ll be 30 years old next year … think first before hitting enter.

      • He’s only 1 year older than Tavares and his contract ends a year earlier. He’s a proven top level NHL RW that is excellent along the boards, has great vision and a pass first mentality that would be perfect for a shooter like Auston Matthews. Flyers could retain $ to make it work for a team that is ready to win now. I thought about it plenty before I hit send.

      • Why? This is an extremely fair and reasonable proposal.

      • Doesn’t Voracek make a bit more than the $8 million supposedly sought by Nylander, and isn’t he signed for several more years? Why would either team bother?

    • Good day …
      I am a bit worried that the Nylander situation has possibly turned into a scenario to where as the Leafs will make a broader deal that maybe was not in the initial plans and will ruin the make up of the team in the end result by having to move out core players and or high quality prospects that have now earned the right to play and have excelled …i.e Kapanen and Kadri as potential inclusions to a broader deal …

      I think this would really be a very disappointing move if it comes to fruition just to appease Nylander or resolve the situation 1 player has created …this would be a derivative of the original plan and would be out of character to what the process is or was ….

      Was at the Vegas game and really liked the Brad Hunt …he is a really good depth D man with size and skill…just an FYI very interesting player for a team looking for a quality possible 3-4 guy shut down with upside on the cheap !!

      I had posted a few weeks ago in the midts of insanity of the constant barrage of Nylander news that the Penguins situation was headed down a dark path that was going to require a serious course correction for the sustainability of quality for the overall franchise …I was told that it was not news that would be relevant and the Pens were just fine, by some Pens fans here, I was trying to change the subject on the day ..but it seems as if the subject has been brought to the forefront now.. and is in the daily Rumor discussion…I see teh pens going down an LA KINGS type road and they need to re jig this organization with a BIG shake up to give Croasby more life long term…he needs support on his line and teh Organization needs to re evaulate its trades and stop giving up its draft pick for quick fixes now as they are pulling a Pat Quin style breakdown of WIN NOW and foregt the future witch will destroy the long term viability of the franchise ….the League has changed so much in the last 2 years and its leaving Pitt in a bad situation …they need to rethink adding quality youth keeping draft picks and start to RE TOOL while they have the support of the big 3 Malkin Letang and Crosby…they may need to unload 1 of the 3 to help the process with what ever you can get back for Kessel as well.

      Just my 2 cents
      have a good day …

      • HI Kal El

        Re: Pens

        The game last night was very very strong for Pens. Dominated Wsh for a very very large part of the game; but were stymied by many spectacular Holtby saves.

        They have had their issues and mixing lines does work sometimes.

        The treatment that they are giving Sprong is deplorable to me. He is a speedy, highly skilled player that needs to play with a similar athlete. Playing him with inappropriate line mates I believe is not working in favour of his development.

        Pens, similarly treated, IMO, Pouliot. Traded for pittance to Van where he is doing very well and has played the second most total ice-time of ANY Vancouver player.

        I wouldn’t trade Sprong. Give him a 3 game try with Sid and Guentzel. IMO this would pay off.

        Something does need to get done , I agree — but do not trade Sprong.

        Re: post of “Mackey believes he was referring to Brian Dumoulin Bryan Rust, Carl Hagelin or Riley Sheahan. He was also critical of goalies Matt Murray and Casey DeSmith.”

        My question to Mackey is …. has he actually watched Pens games? Dumolin has been very good. He is not there to score points. He is a very solid D and integral part of the Pens; and has IMO been Pens 2nd best D all year.

        I will concur with the concerns w.r.t. Murray and Rust; and perhaps to a small extent w.r.t. Sheahan. However, Hagelin although not putting up points has played solid; and De Smith is by far outperforming Murray and is playing above his current pay-grade IMO.

        Other than last night’s game and two others (that’s it IMO)— Pens need to concern (deeply concern) themselves with JJ’s play. He did have a good performance last night— but does that compensate for his multi-game pure atrocities? I don’t think so.

        No mention of the play of Horny, who IMO has under performed dramatically.

        Give Riikola some more games.

        I liked what I saw last night from Wilson; give him some more work.

        Brass and Shultz out have had some big impacts to the team.

        GMJR— small tweak now if you absolutely have to— but small; and please do NOT move Sprong.

      • If I recall you floated trading Malkin. Which won’t happen. As a pens fan I’m not even remotely worried yet. Certainly not to the point of wanting a panic move.

      • Yeah I’m not worried either. This talk is 3-4 years premature. Every team goes through ups and downs in a season. Dumoulin is not an issue it’s trotting Jack Johnson out there every game and giving him more and more ice time even though he spends 60% of the game in his own end. You can add Patrick Hornqvist to that group though, that was not the wisest contract to hand out. Sullivan is not putting players in positions to best utilize their strengths. You stick Sprong on a line with a very useless Derek Grant and the husk that used to be Matt Cullen, only play him 5 minutes a game and then complain about him not producing. His best shift of the season came when he was on a line with Malkin. Let’s see more of that. It’s not like Rust or Hornqvist have earned top 6 minutes so why are they getting them. ZAR should have replaced Grant weeks ago and when Brassard comes back Cullen needs to become the 13th forward. That won’t happen though because Sullivan won’t show disrespect to Cullen or Johnson because they are vets, even though they are also the worst 2 players on the team. Calling up Wilson was a mistake as well, Angelo, Adam Johnson, Haggerty, and Blueger are all better options. They need to play Riikola more. If
        They adjust the lines when Brass comes back and spread the wealth a little things will be fine. Murray has not played that poorly even though the stats say otherwise.

      • This situation was created by one man, although not a player. This man’s name is Kyle Dubas

    • $8.25M cap hit through 2023-24 for Voracek.

      If the Leafs wanted to spend that much Nylander would be playing already.

    • Voracek horrible deal for Leafs: age, suitability for the team, speed. Ghost is not much better, he is poor defensively.If Flyers have a deal it has to be Simmonds and a young d-man…….Sanheim or Myers or Haag: Nylander would be a good fit for the Flyers, though I would prefer he goes to West
      There is no good deal with LA..or Minn.

      • Age? He’s a year older than Tavares and his contract ends a year earlier. He’s a proven top level NHL RW that would fit immediately on a team ready to win now. He’s excellent along the boards, has great vision and his pass first mentality would be ideal for a shooter like Auston Matthews. Philly needs shooters and they could retain some $ to make it more appealing.

    • as per usual leaf player r worth more than the same player on any other team voracek for nylander a good trade as any winning team needs leadership grit and experience but you leaf fans wouldn’t know that because its been 50 years and counting

  2. Just spit balling. How about Travis konechny for Nylander straight up.

    • Flyers need to add to that but at least he’s young and fast …

  3. Ed woke up on the wrong side of the bed. A simple no would have done just fine. Konecny is an interesting suggestion. I think they would have to add at least a 2nd or 3rd to make that deal though.

    • The irony of Travis Konecny ….

      is that he was the player the Leafs Hunter traded down in the draft for to get BOTH Dermott and Jeremy Bracco …he traded with Philly to get an extra pick which has turned out to be an amazing idea and will reap benefits longer term…as Bracco is a finisher and great passer who had a great camp …and Dermott is all ready paying off now….took a chance and they lucked out !! Great move by Hunter …

      While Konecny is a quality player he is not a Nylander straight up fit !…IMHO
      like the player not the deal … Leafs need more size on the top 6 not another smallish player …

  4. How about a 7th round draft pick and the rights to Chris Kotsopuoulos a former right shot defenseman if he decides to come out of retirement in exchange for Nylander?

    This is the absurdity of this line of reasoning in any trade chatter return for a core member of Toronto’s short and long term future.

    Dubas can get any of the suggested options for packages that include draft picks, buttercup wingers on the current roster and prospects.

    No need to pull a Peter Chiarelli.

  5. But of an unfair comparison, Nylander is on the upswing and Brassard and Oshie are on the way down
    In my opinion

  6. I wonder if the Leafs would go for a duo of either Wayne Simmonds/Phillipe Myers or maybe a Travis Konecny/Andrew MacDonald… a mix of both youth and experience? I’m not sure Hextall would want to part with Ghost or Sanheim.

    • Monf,

      don’t think he’d part with Ghost— but I think that Sanheim is a possibility.

      I’d give up WW ++ to get Sanheim and Simmonds.

      Just not sure what the ++ pieces would need to be to motivate Phi to make that trade.

      • And thank gawd you`re not the gm in Toronto. You seem to be a bandwagon jumper more than a fan

      • Yogi

        How am I a bandwagon jumper

        I’m a Leafs and Pens fan. Leafs fan for a tad over 50 years and Pens fan since Mario was drafted

    • Monf,

      Don’t see them parting with Ghost. Sanheim a possibility IMO; and would be a great add to Leafs.

      Would love to see a trade of WW ++ to get Sanheim and Simmonds.

      Not sure what the ++ pieces would need to be to motivate Phi to make that trade?

      • sorry for the dual post

        I posted and then hit send but nothing showed at all. I thought I had to re-type.

        Now both posts are showing???

      • Yeah the site has been doing that for a couple of days now. There is about a 15 minute delay for posts actually showing up.

    • No one wants AMac even at half that salary.

  7. Konecny was a 17 overall and a member of team Canada World Jrs. Him and Phillipe Myers would get it close . It will be interesting to see what the Nylander eventual contract looks like. Maybe we speculate at 7 or 8 for 8 and maybe they are fighting over 5 or 6 for 5.

    Pens are fine .Regardless Jimmy wil do something . He always does

  8. Of the players listed above w.r.t. possible trades (for WW):

    Car: Pesce,Faulk, Zykov— I think GMKD should target Pesce— will be better fit in the long run; fair cap; on the move upward in development

    LA: Muzzin, Martinez, Clague, Kupari. Clague great future but not enough in return. Kupari a little farther down the road in development. Muzzin/Martinez are great adds now— but as I’ve posted before— Leafs better to look at a D in mid 20’s range to still be in prime when they are in the 5-7 year run (which I’m saying starts in June of ’20) to try and capture a couple of cups… those two would be 31 and 33 to start the run. If they do move on LA— Muzzin IMO better player, better fit, younger.

    Phi: Ghost, Sanheim, Myers, Hagg. Phi won’t part with Ghost. Myers and Hagg not quite a good enough return IMO— Sanheim would be a great add. As posted above— Phi not likely going to get into a bidding war over WW.

    Min: Brodin, Spurg, Dubma. Dumba obvious target– would be a non-starter by Minn. IMO. Spurg and Brodin great value for Cap; IMO Brodin being 3 years younger and still on rise— I’d prefer him.

    An: Montour, Manson, Mahura, Terry, Max Jones. Mahura, Terry and Jones not enough return. Target would be Manson but An likely to only want to part with Montour.

    To me, the best return the Leafs could dream possibly dream of would be Dumba— it ain’t happening!!

    To me I think the most likely of above is either Pesce or Sanheim and I personallly would lean towards Sanheim.

    I know others have posted before w.r.t. a potential trade with Phi that sends WW + to get Sanheim and Simmonds— now that would be a great move IMO

    • Just a thought…would Winnipeg consider Trouba for Nylander…that would nicely fill the void left from Stasny leaving

      • Not sure WPG has the depth on the blue line to make that move.

    • Agree 100 percent Simmonds and Sanheim would look great in the blue and white

  9. Unless LA can dump 1 or 2 of their “bad” contracts or Nylander comes down from his $7+ million asking price, LA is not in the running.

    Nylander is what LA needs, tho. Young, fast and can score. That sure is missing on their roster.

  10. Contrary to Dreger’s optimism of Nylander signing, at this point it’s a question now of ‘when’, not ‘if’ Nylander gets traded.
    Leafs are in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ situation. It could be a bad precedent been set when they do trade him.
    Sadly in the end, everyone loses, no thanks to Nylanders Agent & dad.
    Nylander, even when traded will not get what he’s asking for. And the Leafs have no choice but to trade him, as they are facing cap hell next year.

  11. Yes it makes perfect sense to pay Matthews 11-12.5 million a year to play with Tyler Ennis so long as they save a half million to a million by trading Nylander and keeping Marleau and Hainsey who are pushing 49, buttercup wingers who won’t hit and can’t score, and overpaying Zaitsev whose never been the same since he had the flu last winter.

    Matthews needs to play with a talented winger. Paying Nylander 7 per year will seem like a steal when Matthews and Marner come up for contracts.

    • Frank, you really think Mathews will accept 11-12.5? I suspect it’s higher than that. You’re not wrong about the lack of depth on the wings though.

    • impressive numbers but then again he is an overage player in the OHL. Ottawa Valley kid,from Pembroke, the Senators should be all over this.

      • Curious to know how he got to play 4 games with Montreal’s AHL farm team, Laval Rocket, last year. Decent size too at 6′ 190 lbs

      • You got a thing with size George.

      • Bear hunter

  12. The reality is that Simmonds playing on a line with Matthews and and Kapanen would be terrific..he can score but more vital is his grit and ability to crowd the front of the net. He is also a team first guy, Toronto native…Kopecny too small, no one else on the Flyers has what the Leafs need….

  13. Interesting bit George I would think there will be a long line. It does say he should have a deal done by Dec.

    • I don’t know if the kid will get a shot at Team Canada (he probably should) but if he does, it’s a golden opportunity to demonstrate his scoring skills on the world stage. I can’t imagine too many NHL teams not taking a stab at signing him – it’s like getting a free draft pick of someone who might have been a 1st rounder under different circumstances.

      He’s listed as a left-shooting RW

      • George unfortunately he cannot play in the junior tourney since he is 20 years old

      • Ahh … thanks – forgot about that.

      • he signed a pro tryout with Laval after the 67’S were eliminated from the playoffs last year. 4 GP, 0 G,0 A,-4 in his audition, he was cut loose.

  14. Hey Ray…I see your point, but if Trouba was moved out, then we could allow the opportunity to be given to Niku / Stanley / Poolman. even without Trouba, I believe we still have a pretty decent top 4 and the bottom 2 would still have value

    • Dave, as long as they keep Myers. It will be interesting to see what WPG does. Plenty of young talent wanting the big payday and term. Won’t be able to keep everybody happy. Chevvy played it hard with Trouba, so expect the same with the rest.
      Does he try and extend Trouba before Myers so he knows what he is dealing with? Have to think he will be the better player over the next 6-7 years, but if he won’t a long term extension…

  15. Lost in the “trade Nylander for a top four defenceman” talk lately is the solid play of Toronto’s current top six D. Some credit needs to go to the forwards that are getting the hang of defensive responsibilities but the Leafs’ back end corps is really looking better lately.
    If this continues for the next couple weeks, you could make a case for Nylander being moved for a solid, two-way forward.

  16. Ray – yes, I agree. Myers would have to be locked up before moving Trouba. The money Chevy would have spent on Trouba, he could use towards Myers, with the remaining put towards Nylander. The balance needed to cover the difference to pay Nylander could come from moving out Perreault, as I believe we would have the forward depth to replace him

    • They have plenty of depth at forward, plus you have Laine and Connor due big raises next season. Wheeler’s raise kicks in too.
      Even if they move Perreault for picks, they will use up their cap space if they keep Myers.
      Something has to give, if not next season, then the year after.

  17. I’m thinking Josh Manson, max jones and large contract guy ( less than 2 years left) for Nylander and a pick. Gives the ducks a young center/wing to give this old team someone to build around and the leafs a way to move an asset and still save face.

  18. Winnipeg can’t afford Nylander, as they’re almost in an identical position as the Leafs. They can extend Myers and bring in some youth but they will need a shutdown rhd to play with Morrissey as they currently do not have one. If the Jets trade Trouba it will be for a RHD or a 3 way to flip someone for another. They wont be trading Trouba this season. I still think Nylander gets bridged on a 2 year deal much like Trouba did. Nylander will most likely follow the same path as him contract wise.

  19. im starting to think nylander is done in toronto, and maybe was all along.
    It might be in their best interest to wait, however long it takes, until a solid defenseman or an older, #1, over-priced one becomes available. I’m sure nylander or nylander + 1st + other is a solid trade offer.

    • also hats off to dubas for holding out ala lou
      great patience