Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 11, 2018
Latest on William Nylander and Artemi Panarin plus an update on the Penguins in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.
NYLANDER FINALLY ON THE TRADE BLOCK?
SPORTSNET (via KUKLA’S KORNER): Elliotte Friedman reports he still believes the Toronto Maple Leafs’ intent is to sign restricted free agent William Nylander but they’re at the point in this contract standoff where they’re testing the young forward’s trade value.
“Word is that they have asked teams to inform them who teams or interested parties would not be willing to move and also to begin to preparing formal offers for the unsigned Toronto winger,” said Friedman. He added Leafs general manager Kyle Duba declined to comment when asked if this was true.
Nick Kypreos also said the Leafs priority remains to re-sign Nylander and talks are ongoing. While no formal proposal has been made, it’s believed they’re willing to offer up something comparable to that of Boston’s David Pastrnak (six-years, $40 million). Another option is a shorter bridge contract.
The Leafs have until Dec. 1 to sign Nylander or he becomes ineligible for the remainder of this season. Trade speculation has linked him to the Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings.
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont believes the New York Rangers would love to land Nylander, “particularly if they are intent on continuing their roster purge of just about anyone over the age of 25.” He also believes the Boston Bruins would welcome Nylander but doubts the Leafs would ship him to a division rival, plus the cost of acquiring Nylander would mean the Bruins surrender some of their good young players.
Dupont also doubts the Hurricanes have the assets to land Nylander. He points out they shipped defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm to Calgary back in June.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s not surprising the Leafs are at least testing Nylander’s trade value. With the deadline to re-sign him less than three weeks away, they must be prepared to consider that possibility and have time to see what kind of offers might be out there in the trade market. If they do trade Nylander they don’t want this to be a last-minute rush where they end up getting a poor return.
The sticking point here will be which teams are willing to exceed the Leafs offer and by how much. I don’t see many being keen to offer him anything comparable to the $8.5 million annually his camp reportedly seeks. Quite frankly, anything over $6.5 million per on a long-term deal is far too much. Still, there could be a club desperate enough to make that move.
Interesting take by Dupont regarding the Hurricanes, who’ve been linked to Nylander for weeks and are said to be closely monitoring the situation in Toronto. Most observers feel the Canes could land Nylander in a one-for-one swap by offering up Brett Pesce or Justin Faulk.
If Dubas is seeking a defenseman and a forward, then yes, the Hurricanes can’t afford to make that swap. That being said, I don’t see teams being willing to overpay for Nylander. The Leafs aren’t dealing from a position of strength here. The calendar is working against them now.
COULD PANARIN LAND WITH THE KINGS?
BOSTON GLOBE: Kevin Paul Dupont suggests the Los Angeles Kings’ blatant need for youth and scoring could make them prime candidates to bid for the services of Columbus Blue Jackets winger Artemi Panarin, “particularly because of his desire to land in a big city with a robust Russian community.” However, the Jackets remains steadfast on waiting for the trade deadline to move Panarin plus the Kings lack sufficient trade assets to get him.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Not only do the Kings lack the assets, but also the salary-cap space to re-sign him beyond this season. Cap Friendly indicates they have over $76 million invested in 16 players for 2019-20. Panarin could cost up to $10 million annually to sign. Unless they can shed a significant amount of cap space, I don’t see Panarin landing in Los Angeles via trade or free agency.
ARE THE PENGUINS AND DUCKS A TRADE MATCH?
SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston noted Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford recently voicing his unhappiness over his club’s performance has prompted some trade calls on winger Daniel Sprong, a winger they’re willing to move on from. They’re looking for secondary scoring.
Friedman noted the Anaheim Ducks are also struggling this season. Noting Rutherford and Ducks GM Bob Murray have a recent trade history, he wondered if there could be a match there.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Murray was on record last spring saying his club needed to get younger and faster so he might have some interest in Sprong. Given the Penguins also seek secondary scoring, however, I don’t think there’s a deal to be had there.