Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 18, 2018

by | Nov 18, 2018 | Rumors | 68 comments

Latest on the Leafs, Rangers, Penguins, Senators, and Canadiens in your Sunday NHL rumor roundup.


SPORTSNET: Chris Johnston provides an update on the contract standoff between the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free agent winger William Nylander. Though the Dec. 1 deadline to get him under contract is less than two weeks away, Johnston said the Leafs are comfortable letting the winger sit out the season if a deal cannot be reached or if a suitable trade offer doesn’t present itself by then.

Nick Kypreos reports there are teams that aren’t discouraged by the high asking price set by the Nylander camp. At one point it was believed they sought $8 million per season but some clubs feel that could come down to closer to $7 million.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Rangers are among the clubs interested in Nylander though they’re not considered among the front-runners. He dismissed speculation suggesting they’re out of the running because they won’t include defenseman Brady Skjei in the package, noting the Leafs prefer a right-handed blueliner over a lefty like Skjei. If he was to be the primary part of the deal, Brooks believes that move would be made quickly, especially given Skjei’s struggles this season.

Could the Rangers offer up Chris Kreider as part of a package offer for William Nylander? (Photo via NHL Images)

Brooks also wondered if the Leafs could be further enticed by adding winger Chris Kreider to the deal. Kreider will be eligible for unrestricted free agent status in 2020. Brooks speculates he could be shopped at the February trade deadline or the draft if the Rangers aren’t comfortable with the cost of re-signing him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Considering how well the Leafs are playing without Nylander and with Auston Matthews sidelined, it’s understandable why they could be willing to let Nylander sit out the season. Of course, if a club makes a substantial offer for the young winger before Dec. 1, Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could jump on it. For now, however, I expect the Leafs and the Nylander camp will use the next couple of weeks trying to hash out a contract. The pressure could be building on Nylander more than the Leafs now. 

As for Brooks’ suggestion of Kreider and Skjei for Nylander, I don’t think that’s going to happen. After all, the Rangers supposedly aren’t among the front-runners, and if Skjei isn’t the type of defenseman the Leafs want, then there’s no point discussing this further. I don’t see Kreider for Nylander straight up taking place. 

There could be teams willing to pay what Nylander wants salary-wise, but are they willing to meet the Leafs’ asking price in the trade market? That could be a more difficult question to answer. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford might not be done dealing as he tries to shake up his struggling roster. Last week, Rutherford shipped left wing Carl Hagelin to the Los Angeles Kings for winger Tanner Pearson. Young forward Daniel Sprong could be one of the players the Pens GM is willing to move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Friedman isn’t the only one who thinks Rutherford could make another move. TSN’s Bob McKenzie also believes Rutherford isn’t done seeking a trade that can reverse his club’s fortunes. While he expects the Penguins GM could get creative and aggressive he doesn’t see him moving any of his core players. That means someone like Sprong, Bryan Rust or maybe even Jake Guentzel could be on the move soon. 


SPORTSNET: Nick Kypreos reports significant contract talks between the Ottawa Senators and pending unrestricted free agent forward Mark Stone haven’t started yet. There’s a feeling the Senators hoped to readdress it in mid-December. The earliest Stone can be re-signed is after January 1. Kypreos notes Stone and fellow UFA Matt Duchene will want significant signing bonuses.

Chris Johnston reports there were more contract conversations between Duchene’s agent and the Senators. That could indicate Duchene could be sticking around.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Both will be expensive to retain. Stone will likely cost over $7.5 million per season to re-sign. Duchene’s off to the best start of his career and could look for over $8 million per. While it’s not a certainty either guy gets shopped at the trade deadline, I’m not sure if the Senators can afford to keep both of them. Cap space isn’t the issue but it’s widely known the Senators are having money troubles. Owner Eugene Melnyk could be unwilling or unable to invest the big bucks to keep those two in Ottawa. 


SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Montreal Canadiens could be looking at moving a defenseman via trade with sidelined blueliner Shea Weber expected to return to the lineup soon.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin would probably love to move Karl Alzner and his $4.625-million annual cap hit through 2021-22. Alzner’s been a healthy scratch for most of this season as his slow-footed defensive style doesn’t suit the Habs fast-paced game. However, I doubt he’ll find any takers for the veteran blueliner. 



  1. Perhaps the Pens best bet might be to tank the year for a chance at a high draft pick?

    Maybe they trade Letang and Sprong for Nylander after Dec 1, retaining 1.2 mil of Letang’s salary in the process to offset the Kessel retention.

    They then let Crosby have some time off to recover, tank and draft top ten. Then sign Nylander to an even cheaper deal next season.

    They won the cup once without Letang and will get Schultz back anyway. Add Nylander and whoever they get at the draft and their cup contenders again next year.

    • You dont tank with crosby and malkin in their prines….you dont. Move brassard and something get a top 4 dman maybe muzzin kings pietriangelo of the blues then move rust matta sheahan sprong posdibly jarry for more help..get a pietriangelo and say zuccarello or someone else schultz will get back add a jordie benn to the d corps..hes playing to 2 with petry in montreal he canplay 2nd pairing 3rd pairing.

      • That “something” had better be damned good if you think you’re getting those D-men for Brassard.

  2. 2 weeks till the Leafs announcement that they have bridged Nylander

    • I would find it infinitely amusing if it turns out they agreed on a contract after that first trip Dumas took over there, but decided to keep it under wraps just for funsies.

    • Still predicting nothing gets done … and he sits for a year

      • I’m going to go in the middle. He will either sign a bridge or sit. I don’t believe he gets traded.

    • I agree…..makes most sense for it to get resolved just ahead of the deadline.

    • I realize that, as in birth control, hope is not a method but I hope you’re right, Shticky.

  3. I am sorry not part of the program here today in Rumors but watching the Oilers has become dreadful, again!

    What a thin talent pool after RNH & Draisitil to help Mcdavid,( see below ) they are wasting this kids best years with the team they built.

    They need to buyout Lucic ASAP and Fire both Mclellan and Chirelli today especially with Joe Quenville available, this experiment with the GM and Coach has been a disaster and its more of the same each year or seems to be getting worse.
    How an organization can squander the most #1 Draft picks in a row and then draft the best player in the world and be this bad is an embarrassment and miss management of the biggest degree.

    They need a serious Reboot – starting with Lucic and Talbot on the way out, get a winger for McDavid any way you can ASAP even if that means trading Klefbom and then pick up a veteran D man in a lower end trade for the year, maybe someone who has been to a Cup to get that into the room, someone like a Trevor Daily, Niklas Hjalmarsson,Jake Muzzin or Martinez, they need some cup run experience to invigorate this back end.

    Oilers have the perfect young pieces to make a deal with LA for either of those 2 guys ..LA is desperate as well. Its doable.but most of all needed….Oilers – LA are the perfect trade partners right now !

    Milan Lucic
    Ryan Spooner
    Tobias Rieder
    Zack Kassian
    Drake Caggiula
    Kyle Brodziak
    Cooper Marody
    Ty Rattie
    Alex Chiasson

    Honorable mention
    Jesse Puljujarvi
    Kailer Yamamoto

    • I have to say it is unbelievable how Chirelli has done a masterful job at making the oilers worse. After the 3 top players in their lineup the drop off in talent is substantial. It is also a mystery how the oilers can draft good players and are unable to develop them.

    • Not sure I follow your rationale. Those players you list, being the very reason for their problems, aren’t about to bring back anything of any consequence and one (Lucic – who is never going to have a “bounce back” year) will only get you a dial tone. Why would any team relinquish veteran D for any of those? Klefbom WOULD fetch a decent F but that just weakens an already weak D corps. And a scoring F to play alongside McDavid might result in more goals, but they aren’t getting to the playoffs winning every game 7-6.

      That is a deep cap hole they’ve dug for themselves (Leafs take notice) and short of tossing in the towel yet again by embarking on another re-build by dealing Draisatl and Nugent-Hopkins (dealing McDavid would result in a lynch mob regardless of the returns), I don’t see a light at the end of that tunnel. So, having said that, why would Quenneville take that thankless job? He’ll have far better overall team options to consider soon enough.

      • The Oilers COULD probably get Alzner from the Habs for Chiasson.

      • There are a couple guys that could take the reins in Edmonton
        Dean Lombardi for the GM role and
        Quenneville to coach
        Edmonton has the money to pay Quenneville and why wouldn’t he want to coach McDavid.

      • Because there’s not much else WITH McDavid and they’re not about to pick up any players of significance unless they deal a Draisaitl or Nugent-Hopkins. Do you see them doing that?

      • @George, hence the holdout on Nylander – they take note.

  4. If the pens continue to suck I’m gonna have to go back to the closet and dust off my decade old “I hope they lose to get a higher draft pick” jacket. Start partying like it’s 2005.

    Leafs fans who hope they let nylander sit would recognize that jacket. They been wearing it a long long time.

    • Been a few years for you guys you can borrow mine if the buttons on yours seems a little tight

    • Mine is right next to my 8 ball jacket

  5. Kreider is exactly what the Leafs forward group needs and adding in a Brady or Pionk would be a bonus in my mind and considering our current situation and whats available.

    • Kreider is currently Rangers leading scorer, on pace for over 30 goals and 70 points. As Lyle mentioned, doubt they deal him straight up for Nylander… definitely not both him and Skjei or Pionk. I wouldn’t count Rangers out of rumors, but I don’t see a fit of who Rangers would or wouldn’t be willing to part with and who Leafs might want back. Personally, I feel Zucharello would be available, possibly in a package deal.

      • I am fine with Kreider straight up for Nylander, different times of players, Leafs are win now so age is perfect with Kreider and rebuilding Rangers get a star to build around.

      • I don`t think Dubas is going to trade Nylander for a rental and Kreider alone won`t even get you invited to the party. Leafs and Rangers just not a good fit there, that`s why they`re not considered front-runners for Nylander.

      • Yogi, Zuc doesn’t have to be a rental. Can extend him for a lot less term and money than Nylander. Adding a young right D on an ELC like Pionk would sweeten deal. As far as Kreider not even getting you invited to party, that’s typical fan overvaluing their player. And I don’t believe Dubas for a minute saying he’s ok letting Nylander sit out. No way they get knocked out of playoffs and fans happy they didn’t either sign or trade for players that could put them over the top.

      • Zuc will be 32 next year, he`s a rental simply because of the lack of cap space. Bad enough Toronto has Marleau eating up space, can`t see Dubas using cap space on Zuc at 32. Nylander is a top line player that`s already surpassed Kreider, throwing a lower pairing D-man in won`t do it and I`m not the only one that sees it that way. That`s why NY isn`t a front-runner to make a deal with TO. and there`s little chance if Nylander sits for the year Toronto will miss the playoffs. Besides, I doubt Kreider would put Toronto over the top. It`s not overvaluing Nylander or knocking Kreider, it`s just seeing it as not a good fit for a trade between them

      • I don’t see Zuccarello being a player Toronto wants. And it would take a bunch of +++’s to make that deal work.

        I think NY should maximize the return on Zuccarello at the deadline for teams that are looking to add depth and scoring help. Not a team looking to unload a hold out player and wanting to maximize a return of their own.

    • @ Gary McCollom

      Id rather see if the Leafs could pry Hornqvist out of Pitt maybe for Nylander instead…imo if possible.
      I like Hornys play better, personally if possible and 2 cups on his belt all ready signed long term and you know what your going to get in the playoffs as well.

      • I’d say hell yeah but leafs would have to take back more money.

      • Yeah I`m surprised he`s not asking Toronto to throw in Matthews and a 1st on that deal

      • I’ll pass on that one but do like him just not his age.

    • @Slick62 “As far as Kreider not even getting you invited to party, that’s typical fan overvaluing their player.”

      Oh please give it a rest, I’m not even close to a Nylander nut hugger but him and Kreider as a basis for a deal is not even remotely close to a ‘robbery’ for the Leafs.

      • So you think Nylander alone gets you Skjei and Kreider? Not happening.

      • I thought you meant for Nylander alone, I apologize for misunderstanding and I was adding Brady in the hopes New York would give up on him but even still fully expected Toronto would have to add something just unsure what New York would want.

        Kreider would be an absolute force with Matthews.

      • I still feel the Leafs(my dead horse) need a replacement soon for Kadri due to his salary…
        Howden or Lias fit the bill and neither will have be paid top dollar any time soon.

        Nylander has offensive upside over either imho. Gorton might not be willing to trade either at this point though

      • Kadri at $4.5 until 2022 is a bargain. You keep that contract, you don’t get rid of it.

  6. Is this just posturing by Dubas? getting the message out their willing to let Nylander sit the year.
    I would applaud the move; however, for a team with cup aspirations, it doesn’t make sense to me to have a top level asset not available to you for a cup run. Yes Toronto is winning without Nylander and Matthews at present but you most definitely want all your best players available for a cup run.
    If Toronto let Nylander sit for the year and lose out in the playoffs regardless of what round it’s in, the leaf fans will points fingers at the GM inability to get his player signed when supposing other teams were willing to meet the player demands.
    I don’t think he sits the year, but it is interesting to watch; does he sign or is he traded? I’m leaning toward trade but I think he’ll sign. (that should cover it)

    • Let’s be very clear Caper, no one including Dubas wants him sitting. His point is, at this juncture, there are not enough teams that can make a good offer – so trading him may not be an option. They may have to deal in at the trade deadline, and Dubas is fine with that strategy as am I. They goal for the team is to be a cup contender for 10+ years if possible, not just this year. Stuff happens under the cap and it’s those that figure out the best strategy are the ones that will have a better run for years.

      Dubas IMO, is handling it as well as any quality GM would.

      • Just to add to my point, the reason there are not enough teams that can engage in a Nylander right now is the first year cap him on Nylander signing this late in the season. I believe only for or so teams can take on the cap him – you don’t trade in this type of situation – trading would be a big loss to the Leaf talent pool strategically – you’re better off waiting if signing is not an option.

      • Meant trade him at the draft – not trade deadline.

      • Trekie all good; but, I don’t have to tell you how long the leafs been waiting to win a cup.
        This isn’t to say Nylander is the difference but he is an above average asset that you don’t want on the sideline come December 2nd.
        Yes you want to be contender for years, realistically you want to be Champs one year!
        Buffalo Bill who appeared in 4 consecutive Super bowls to win 0. But hey they were contenders. I think the fans would’ve been happy with one appearance an one win.
        This isn’t to trash your logic, as I agree but they have a legitimate shot this year and doesn’t help to have that asset on the sidelines.

  7. Most folks were puzzled when the Habs signed Alzner, just cuz he can’t keep up the pace. Now he’s an anchor on Montreal’s salary cap for seasons to come.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how teams keep blowing their brains out at free agent time.
      I can understand missing on a player at the draft because kids change cannot adapt or just play their best hockey against kids of their own age group but to see teams go after players having scouted them for years and whiff is amazing.
      Names that have busted;

      • There have been some others doozies over the years like

        Ville Leino – Buf 6 yrs $27m
        Chris Drury – NYR 5 yrs $35.25m
        Wade Redden – NYR 6 yrs $39m
        Scott Gomez – NYR 7 yrs 51.5m
        Brad Richards – NYR 5 yrs $54m
        Ryan Smith – Col 5 yrs $31.25m

      • I don’t believe Drury or Gomez were busts. More of flat out overpaying both players. They were what they were at the time of their signings. They weren’t going to get better with added money. They got exactly the players they bid on.

        Redden, again was the same. A guy clearly seen by Ottawa, Fans and gms as a guy clearly in decline. Why Sather signed him? A head scratcher. The other two, I get. The 2 most sought after free agents, and a clear need at that time for NY.

      • You can throw Jack Johnson that list and Rob Scuderi’s second tour with the Penguins.

    • Caper, if the right deal doesn’t materialize and he doesn’t sign, Dubas is left with one option, sit. Hate it, but agree with it.

      My view, the best trade partner, assuming no sign, is Edmonton. They can’t keep playing McDavid alone. There is no one on that team that can play with him. Draisaitl does a nice job but they need him driving his own line and quite frankly, he isn’t right for McDavid. Nylander would be an unbelievable fit there. JMO.

  8. I believe Brooks answered his own stupid trade proposal when he went into the fact that this trade would put Marc Staal as the 1st pairing left dman….Yikes!

    This trade scenario would be much more palatable 5 years ago when Staal was more capable of playing 1st line minutes, or had they not traded Mcdonagh.

    Skjei is not playing his best hockey at the moment. I’ll chalk it up to a new coach, system and inexperienced, mixed matched pairings he’s had to deal with this year.

    On the other hand Kreider has become everything they hoped he’d be when he was drafted, playing smarter, playing well, providing leadership.

    I like Nylander. But I don’t believe + Nylander , – Kreider and Skjei makes this team any better. I believe it makes them much worse.

    They have stockpiled a bunch of promising young D-man, none of which are NHL ready, and most probably won’t be for 2-3 years.

    This trade isn’t happening!

  9. Doughty? I think the leafs are working on a deal. Doughty plus a veteran for nylander, Rosen, brown and a 1st. Going all out to win now!
    As for the Oilers,the GM needs to make a big move now to save his job. The only player safe is McDavid. With that in mind the Oilers need to focus on finding a fast wingers to play with McDavid.

    • Lol that’s a horrible trade for LA! Classic overvalue from a leafs fan

      • Hey Bruins fan, now with chara gone for a while your over valued young defenseman will show the holes. Marchant will have to start licking players to take off attention from bruins poor defense and lack of depth.

      • Jim, actually the Bruins are missing Chara, Miller, MacAvoy, Carlo and Moore that is 5 of their starting 6 dman. Considering the 2 games since (Chara went down in period one of game one) they only gave up 1 regulation goal. Not Bad.
        I’ve been real impressed with Lauzon and Zabrol gives us a hint of the future, not to mention Clifton has shown very well in two starts. Nothing put positives to come from these injuries.

    • NYR will trade you Brendan Smith, Shattenkirk and Vinny Lettieri for Klefbom and Puljujarvi …… lol

    • Hahaha, thanks Jim I needed that laugh. I owe you one.

    • How does this work past this year? Please don’t say LA is willing to retain money for the next 9 years?

      If Toronto hopes to retain Mathews and Marner long term, keep Tavares… this isn’t happening. Going lightly here… Mathews signs for 10, Marner 7, Tavares 11, Doughty 11

      That’s 39 million on 4 players…. and that’s pretending Mathews is willing to sign for 10, and Marner 7. Which is probably at least 2-3 million short of reality.

  10. Is this possible? Sign WN to a 14m 1 year contract, then have an understanding that he sign a 6,5 8 year deal in the summer. Great for both, the cap this year is not an issue and they get him signed for next season at 7.3 if you count the one year deal.

  11. I believe Nylander will sign but if he doesn’t come down to a better number and they can’t get what they want for Nylander right now he will sit. I know they want a good team for several years not just one. It makes no sense to take some crappy trade and go for it this year that’s laughable its way too hard to win the cup now so many thing have to go your way to win. They can try to move him at the deadline or at the draft if nessesary.

  12. Canadian King….we have written before around Doughty and the Leafs….and I agree with you the proposals and the idea itself may not be credible

    My question is how do teams like LA or the Pens get young without dealing some one one like Doughty , Malkin….trading Pearson for the old speed merchant from Piitsburgh does not solve anything

    If you wait without being preemptive you get you don’t get young enough until Doughty or Malkin are too old to be very helpful

    When a rooster gets overall old and slow…the GM better be a risk taker or the slow beat will just go on until it begins to look acceptable

    Who has the better rooster for example…the Senators who way too many people say is a tire fire or the Kings or the Pens…I am not sure .

    Anyway it is complicated not easy to resolve…

    • sorry guys….roster ….v rooster….I am a toothless old bird….

      • It isn’t just the age factor Old Blue Dog – it’s putting your team in a cap hell as they’ve done in Edmonton, making it virtually impossible (unless you’ve managed to draft some hidden gems in mid- to late rounds) to improve your team’s depth beyond 1 top F line and 1 D pairing. Some can take whatever comfort they wish from the thought that the cap will continue to rise – but people running hockey teams also need to be aware of overall economic conditions, and with most credible economists seeing another severe recession within a year, I wouldn’t bank too heavily on a rising cap.

    • As soon as the teams and the fans realize that the cap space they gain by trading players like Doughty or Malkin is worth more than the player. Toronto and Dubas saw that when Dubas traded Kessel to the Pens and even retained 1.2 mill. It wasn`t the best trade as far as getting picks or players in return, but the freed up cap space sure helped the rebuild. They say the NHL is the last pro league to come to terms with the concept.

      • I don’t believe Dubas made that deal.

      • Lol everything that comes out of your mouth is wrong yogi! Geez “ dubas traded kessel to the pens” you just make yourself sound dumber and dumber on here

      • Dubas made the deal, he got ridiculed for not getting much in return and most thought if Lou had handled it Toronto wouldn`t have had to retain the 1.2 million. It was considered a rookie mistake by Dubas. Kapanen`s speed is what Dubas was after. Shanny might have played a role in the deal, but it was mostly Dubas

      • Actually, it was Shanahan – this extracted from the National Post

        “Brendan Shanahan negotiated the Kessel acquisition with Jimmy Rutherford in June of 2015, and it was the first major trade he had ever completed. Lou Lamoriello had not yet been hired. Shanahan didn’t do the deal alone. He gathered his advisers, his scouts, both NHL and otherwise. He needed information and opinion. It was, I am told, a group effort putting the trade together, not very long after Dave Nonis had been fired as general manager of the Leafs.

      • Keep digging the hole yogi and sounding dumber

      • You just keep sounding dumber and dumber yogi

  13. With all the defence injuries in the league you would think someone would be interested in Alzner with some form of salary retention

    • Or a jet booster strapped to him